DUI Expungement in New Hampshire
New Hampshire will allow a DWI conviction to be expunged. In NH, this process is called annulment. Though an annulment will not technically remove a DWI conviction from an individual’s record, it will seal that portion of the record so that a very limited number of people will have access to the information. Generally, sealed portions of the file will only be available to government officials and certain law officers. This means that most employers and the general public will not be able to see a conviction that has been annulled, making it easier to gain employment and decreasing the possibility that peers in the community will gain knowledge of past crimes.
To obtain an annulment, a person or his attorney must apply for annulment in the court where the person was convicted. The application may take place in person or by sending a notarized application to the court. The person must also pay a required fee to apply. After the application is received, the court will set the date for a hearing, at which the driver or his attorney can argue as to why the court should annul the conviction. Generally, an annulment is allowed when the court determines that it is in the best interest of the public welfare and/or help with the rehabilitation of the individual. The court will take into account the seriousness of the conviction, the sentence which was imposed, the post conviction record of the person, and various other factors to determine if the annulment will be granted.
Although annulments are allowed, the statute governing annulment of DWIs in New Hampshire (RSA § 265-A:21) does not allow an annulment to take place until ten (10) years after the date of conviction. The statute does state that both DWI and Aggravated DWI convictions may be annulled. However, it is also important to realize that one of the situations in which the record will be unsealed is upon a subsequent charge for DWI. This means that an annulment will not keep a driver for being sentenced as a multiple DWI offender upon a subsequent DWI related charge.
Any driver who wishes to have a New Hampshire DWI charge annulled should contact an attorney who is experienced in dealing with issues of this nature. Annulment allows drivers to regain certain rights and should be requested by any driver who is eligible for annulment of a DWI related offense in New Hampshire.
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