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Annulment of Criminal Records

Reviewed 05/05/2021

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Introduction

There are many consequences of criminal convictions that go beyond serving a sentence or paying a fine. These are called the "collateral consequences of conviction." One way of mitigating these collateral consequences is the annulment of a criminal record. Some states refer to this as the expungement or expunction of criminal records, but in New Hampshire the usual phrase is annulment of criminal records.  According to the National Inventory of the Collateral Consequences of Criminal Conviction, there are at least 1,108 collateral consequences found in New Hampshire laws affecting business and professional opportunities, housing and residency, voting rights, and health care options to name a few.

As discussed by the Congressional Research Service report (below): "What it means to expunge a criminal record is unclear because the term “criminal record” has various potential meanings." There are criminal records controlled by the judiciary and records that are controlled by the executive branch. Also records are maintained on federal, state, and local levels. Read the report for more information. 

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Please remember that this guide is for information purposes only and is not comprehensive.  
It is intended as a starting point for research, to illustrate the various sources of the law, and to provide guidance in their use. 
NH Law About ... is not a substitute for the services of an attorney.