Big Changes In NH Annulment Law
The “Live Free or Die State” continues to slowly trudge behind the other New England States and Canada when it comes to sensible marijuana policy. Attorneys Cohen and Winters have been involved in this movement for many years and we are happy to report that on January 1, 2020 our State will take another tentative step forward when New Hampshire’s annulment statute is amended to allow for the annulment of any conviction for possession of small amounts of marijuana before September 16, 2017 (the date simple possession was decriminalized).
What the Law Says
The new law says that if you were convicted of possession of ¾ of an ounce or less of marijuana before September 16, 2017 you are eligible to petition for annulment of that conviction. When such a petition is filed with the court in which you were convicted, the prosecutor will have 10 days to object, or the court shall grant the petition to annul the conviction. If the prosecutor objects she will be required to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the petitioner knowingly possessed, or controlled more than ¾ of an ounce of marijuana and if she cannot do so at a hearing the annulment will be granted.
What the Law Means to You
When a conviction is annulled it means that the defendant shall be treated as if he had never been arrested, convicted, or sentenced. We have spoken with many clients who have no record other than a simple possession of a small amount of marijuana from their younger years. This law makes it much easier to get that conviction annulled. Let’s hope that New Hampshire continues to work to live up to its proud motto and lets its citizens “live free” instead of labeling them a “criminal” and locking them up for possession of a simple plant.
We Are Here to Help!
While you can file petitions to annul on your own, Cohen & Winters have helped many clients clean up their records and we would be happy to talk to you about helping you clean up yours!
I have a conviction from 2002 and when I tried to petition for annulment on the provided form NHJB-3124-DS the clerk would not process my request and claimed that my charge required a general request for criminal annulment (i.e. not eligible for 615:5-b provisions). My understanding is that because my crime took place prior to 2017 that the legal statutes have changed and the statue 318-B:2 which I was charged with was the only one available at the time for possession of marijuana in amounts smaller than 3/4 of an ounce. This was reflected in my sentencing of a fine of $100.00 dollars and a Class A Misdemeanor. Can you help me understand the process required to complete this effort? Thank you!