What is an “annulment?”
I want to talk to you briefly about annulments here in New Hampshire. In many states people call it an “expungement,” but here in New Hampshire it’s called an “annulment.” Filing a petition for annulment is the way to ask a court to essentially seal a record of a conviction, or an arrest.
What crimes can be annulled?
Virtually any crime can be annulled in New Hampshire although there are a few exceptions: violent crimes which could include felony assaults; robberies; and sexual assaults could be exempted. You should make sure the crime you’re trying to get to annulled is eligible under the statute before you file.
When can I file and why does it matter?
You must wait different time periods before you can file a petition depending on the class of crime and the specific sentence: a class A misdemeanors you must wait three years; a class B felony it’s five years; and a Class A felony it’s 10 years. The counting period starts from the end of the sentence which can be a little tricky to calculate. Let’s say that you had a sentence of six months in jail, but it was suspended for two years on certain conditions like good behavior. The counting period would not start until the end of that two year period. You will want to make sure that you are time eligible for an annulment because you can only file a petition to annul a crime once every three years.
Do I need help for this?
You can petition to annul a crime by filling out a petition on your own. That said, many people choose to hire experienced lawyers like Cohen & Winters to make sure things get done right!