New Hampshire Criminal Records
New Hampshire criminal records summarize a person’s background or criminal history. These are generated and maintained by law enforcement agencies that allow access or viewing under certain circumstances. The records may detail an individual’s physical description, aliases, previous criminal convictions, or rap sheet.
They also include any charges an individual may have faced, along with court proceeding outcomes or any fines imposed. Criminal convictions also form part of the person’s background and will remain on their sheet until they successfully apply for and get a record suspension.
The New Hampshire Right to Know laws are designed to allow the public to access non-confidential criminal records from government agencies. That provides access to records unless there are legal exemptions. They are generated and maintained by law enforcement agencies like the New Hampshire State Police.
Public or private companies may use criminal records to check prospective employees before hiring. Private Citizens may also use criminal record checks to make more informed decisions on business decisions.
What Are the Types of Crimes in the State?
Felony offenses are the most serious crimes in the state. These apply to individuals or groups. Charges for people attract a minimum sentence of one year. Felony convictions typically have a monetary fine set by the courts, depending on the crime. There is significant stigma attached to felonies as they are indicated on the person’s criminal record, which then hampers chances for employment, finances, and even admission to educational institutions. Felony crimes in New Hampshire are grouped into classes A and B.
Class A felony is grouped as a severe offense. Convictions of Class A felonies attract sentences upwards of 7 and a half years, though not more than 15 years. They also mandate a charge of $4,000 and up to 5 years’ probation. Class A felonies include manslaughter, kidnapping, assault resulting in bodily harm, and theft of over $1,000.
Class B felonies
Class B felonies are categorized as less serious criminal offenses though they still attract harsh sentences. Convicted offenders can expect to be incarcerated for three and a half to 7 years. They may also be fined $4,000 and face five years of probation. Examples of felony class B offenses include possessing small amounts of controlled substances, theft of over $500 but less than $1,000, or computer fraud. A fourth instance of Driving While Intoxicated would also be classified as a Class B Felony.
These minor criminal offenses attract little jail time, fines, or probation as set by the courts. The maximum penalty for a misdemeanor is not more than a year in prison. They are also grouped into classes A and B.
Class A Misdemeanor
Class A misdemeanors are the more serious type of these crimes resulting in jail time of up to a year or a fine of $2,000. These include infractions such as a second DWI, stalking, or criminal mischief.
Class B Misdemeanor
A class B misdemeanor is grouped as the lightest of criminal offenses. Typically, they do not attract jail time, and the maximum fine for these is $1,200. Any offense designated as a misdemeanor but not given to Class A is automatically deemed B. unless it involves an act or threat of violence. Examples of class B misdemeanors are first-time DWI or simple assault.
How Does Probation Work in the State?
Probation refers to a sentence that is ordered by the courts where the offender remains under the supervision of the Probation and parole officer. For every offense, the probationary period may not exceed a period of five years for a felony or two for a misdemeanor.
At the beginning of the probation period, the officer will review the offender’s case and the conditions of their release. Discretionary may include house arrest, substance abuse tests, or mental health treatment. They will also evaluate the offender via interview and risk assessment.
It allows the probation officer to determine the offender’s supervision plan criteria. During probation, they will continually evaluate the offender’s danger to themselves or others and adjust interventions appropriately. As per the probation conditions, the offender must visit their officer either weekly or bi-weekly. Aside from the drug tests, they also have to maintain employment which can be tricky. The offender also has to keep up with any court-mandated programs. Failure to do so would constitute a probation violation.
If the offender is accused of committing crimes, it is a probation violation. Even if they are not convicted, the proceedings may still be initiated. It is worth noting that a person cannot get probation for violating an existing one in New Hampshire.
Rather, if an individual was on probation for a year and on the 12th month, they committed an offense, it will attract a punitive action if convicted. The courts may then extend the probationary period for another year on top of whatever sentence they are provided.
How Does Parole Work in the New Hampshire?
Parole refers to a conditional release from prison, allowing the inmate to serve the remaining time outside the jail facility. There are conditions inmates must satisfy, though, to qualify for parole.
To qualify for parole, the inmates must complete the minimum sentence as ordered by the court during sentencing. The inmates must have also demonstrated very responsible behavior to indicate rehabilitation while in prison.
The state’s adult parole board has seven members that report to the governor with the council's consent and serve five years. Each member serves one term, and the board is mandated to hold 24 hearings every year. Every hearing should be held by a panel of three board members.
Having an obligation to parole prisoners, the board has legal custody of every individual released until they get discharged, or the individual is recommitted to prison. The board can also set regulations concerning the parole process, such as hearing conduct and how to evaluate parolees.
Before their release from prison, the officer is set to conduct a pre-parole investigation. The officer may review the offender’s plan toward supervised release, which entails employment, education, residency, or any self-help programs. An officer will inspect the proposed residence and meet with the employer to determine if it will help foster a positive environment for the parolee.
Apart from meeting sentencing requirements, discretionary parole would also consider other elements. That is the nature of the crime as well as the inmate’s history. Inmate conduct during incarceration should also play a part when it comes to discretionary release.
The testimony done before the Adult Parole Board is a significant part of the parole hearing. The impact of the crime on the victim, such as physical, financial, and psychological traumas, may assist the board to assist the case clearly. The victim may speak with or without the presence of the inmate and be accompanied by a witness advocate if they so choose.
A petition for pardon or commuting the sentence is made for the state’s counsel. With advice from the council on the application of a convict, the governor can grant a pardon on the condition they are imprisoned for life or any terms of years as specified.
In the case of a pardon, the commissioner of corrections has to make reports on a petition for the pardon of a person serving a sentence before referral to the council.
The governor, with the advice, may pause the execution of a capital sentence while the undetermined are pending on an inquiry of a complete or a conditional pardon or in the event it appears the convict is deemed mentally unstable. In the case of a female that has gotten pregnant, there will also be a stay of execution until such time the cause is deliberated.
How Does Expungement Work in New Hampshire?
Annulling or expunging a criminal record means it is treated as if it never occurred legally. The offense should be kept from employers or interested parties that perform a background check.
Though the person’s connection with the offense will not be illustrated on their criminal record, reports will still be available to law enforcement, prosecutors, or court personnel. Even then, it would be dependent on the circumstances, such as participation in later crimes, so eligible requesters may submit an application for viewing under New Hampshire’s Right to Know legislation.
There are two types of expunging: when the person was not convicted of the offense, and if they were convicted, they served the appropriate sentence in prison. In the first case, it is possible to annul a criminal charge from records that did not proceed to conviction.
It means that the person was acquitted of the charges, or their case was dismissed due to the prosecution withdrawing the charges. In this case, one will still have to file a petition for an annulment with the court that heard the case. The process is similar if the individual is an ex-convict looking to get their records expunged.
One can petition for annulment upon completing a sentence for a crime along with the waiting period. It is not possible, though, to get a crime expunged if it was violent or involved felony obstruction of justice crime. For the majority of violations, though, the waiting period is a year.
For class B misdemeanors, the period is a year, but a Class A felony requires ten years wait. Considering felonies are higher crimes than misdemeanors, the wait time for expungement is longer.
Individuals are required to file a court form designated the ‘Petition to Annul Record’ and pay the mandatory court filing fee of $125. After completing the paperwork and paying the filing fee, the court clerk will contact the Department of Corrections. The government agency will review it and investigate to assess if the request is valid.
Findings will be returned to the appropriate court where the case was heard. It will be up to the courts then to either grant the request or hold a hearing if the judge needs more information before proceeding with the decision. A written decision will be mailed to the address of the ex-convict following the decision. The duration before the court decides depends on the requested circumstances.
Should the application for criminal record expunging be successful, individuals will be allowed to answer that they were acquitted of a crime during a job interview. It also means the employer should not be able to find the charges upon doing a background check.
Aside from the application benefits afforded to a person, it also removes obstacles that would have prevented a person from getting a loan. It also allows one to find a place to live without worrying that the landlord or relevant boards do not discover the person’s criminal record. Juvenile criminal records provide individuals with the needed second chance so they can pursue college applications and employment in any pursued field.
How to Obtain a Criminal Record in New Hampshire
Criminal records can be obtained from the New Hampshire state police in person or via mail. Walk-in services are made available at the counter located at 33 Hazen Drive, Concord, in Room 106A. Application by mail does not require notarization, though. One can also request their own confidential criminal record, but a justice of the peace or notary public signature, plus the date and the seal are required.
Results for such requests are issued as an amended New Hampshire State Police Criminal History Record Dissemination Document. Should the request require fingerprints, FBI results may remain formatted as a red stamp.
As per the New Hampshire Administrative Rule Saf-C, 5703.07 (c), public and/or private non-profit volunteers can get a reduced fee for criminal history record checks. The ten-dollar reduced fee is allowed if the solicitor is with a not-for-profit organization. It is also if the individual making the request is a volunteer working with the disabled, elderly, and children. Criteria, though, have to be met to grant the body reduced fee status.
Counties in New Hampshire
Police Departments and Sheriffe Office in New Hampshire
List of Content
- What Are the Types of Crimes in the State?
- How Does Probation Work in the State?
- How Does Parole Work in the New Hampshire?
- How Does Expungement Work in New Hampshire?
- How to Obtain a Criminal Record in New Hampshire