New Hampshire Court Records
Are Criminal Records Public In New Hampshire?
Under RSA 106-B:14 of the New Hampshire Statutes, the state’s criminal records are considered public records. The law provides that any person or entity may request for and obtain a copy of a personal criminal record or a criminal record on another person. While anyone may receive a criminal record, note that New Hampshire law prohibits record recipients from transferring or disclosing the information on a criminal record to a third-party.
In New Hampshire, criminal records are available with the New Hampshire Division of State Police. Through its Criminal Records Unit, interested persons may request and receive non-confidential criminal records in the state. However, note that criminal records may be temporarily exempt from public disclosure if the disclosure:
- Interferes with law enforcement proceedings
- Deprives a person of a right to a fair trial
- Reveals the identity of a confidential source or detail
- Could adversely with the safety of any person or property
What Is Included In A Criminal Record In New Hampshire?
A criminal record is an official document that contains a person’s criminal history. This record includes personal information about the alleged criminal and details of said person’s encounters with law enforcement officers and processes regarding crimes committed. A criminal record includes specifics about the crime, locations, persons involved, a court case if applicable, and details on a court’s final disposition on the alleged charge(s). In New Hampshire, criminal records contain the following information:
- Name of the individual
- Physical description of the individual, including eye and hair color, height, weight,
- Date of birth
- Date(s) of arrest
- Information about charges, including description and offense class
- Details on the case, including the offender’s plea
- Court disposition, whether the offender was acquitted or convicted
- Details of the sentence if convicted
- Information about the case, if there was no prosecution
How To Look Up My Criminal Records In New Hampshire?
Criminal records in New Hampshire are accessible from the New Hampshire Division of Police. The process involved with requesting a New Hampshire criminal record depends on the reason for the request. According to the New Hampshire law regulating the release of criminal records, requestors may need a New Hampshire criminal record, an FBI criminal record, or both.
Persons interested in a New Hampshire criminal record may apply in person or by mail. Applicants requesting by mail are to begin the process by downloading and completing the Criminal Record Release Authorization Form. Filling the form requires information on the subject of the record. The information includes the individual’s full name, maiden name (if applicable), address, city, zip code, date of birth, hair and eye color, gender, driver’s license number, signature, and date. The requestor should also state the reason for requesting the record.
If the request is from a third party, the subject of the record must complete the section of the form that authorizes the release of the criminal record. The section should be filled with the name of the record recipient, address, city, zip code, and a signature. The section should also contain the subject’s signature and date. Furthermore, the section should include a notary’s signature, and the date it was notarized. Note that the request costs $25, payable by a check or money order made out to the State of New Hampshire—Criminal Records. Note that third-party requestors do not have access to a full criminal record.
Send the completed form with the check or money order to:
Criminal Records Unit
New Hampshire Department of Safety
Division of Police
33 Hazen Drive
Concord, NH 03303
Requestors may also visit the Division of State Police at the above address to request a criminal record in person. In-person requests also cost $25, payable by cash, credit card, and check or money order made out to the State of New Hampshire—Criminal Records. Note that only payments with credit cards from Visa, Discover, or MasterCard will be accepted.
Persons interested in an FBI criminal history record may initiate the process through the agency that requires the record. For this method, the applicant should complete the Criminal Record Release Authorization Form and obtain a fingerprint card, or receive instructions on providing fingerprints using LiveScan. This method costs $48.25 and is payable by check or money order made out to the New Hampshire State Police—Criminal Records. Note that the requestor may not receive a fingerprint card or LiveScan fingerprint instructions until payment is made.
Also, while both fingerprinting methods are acceptable, using a LiveScan device presents a more accurate set of fingerprints and is the Division of State Police’s preferred method. Although walking in for fingerprinting services is possible, applicants are strongly advised to schedule an appointment by calling (603) 223–3867. Applicants should arrive at the fingerprinting location at least ten minutes before the scheduled time. Note that the applicant must visit the fingerprinting center with a valid government-issued ID such as a driver’s license or passport. The fingerprinting process will take about 15 minutes.
After the fingerprinting process, submit the fingerprints with the agency. The agency will then send the record request form, fees, and either an inked fingerprint card or a completed LiveScan fingerprint form, to the Division of State Police’s Criminal Records Unit. The request form, fees, and fingerprint must be submitted as one package. After processing, the record will be submitted to the applicant’s (state) agency.
How Can I Get My Criminal Records For Free New Hampshire?
Requesting criminal records in New Hampshire costs varying fees, depending on whether the request requires fingerprinting services. However, according to Administrative Rule Saf-C 5703.07, fee reduction is possible. The rule states that requestors may be charged $10 per criminal record request if all of the following conditions are met:
- The requesting entity is a non-profit organization
- The subject of the record is a volunteer with the requesting non-profit organization
- The subject of the record will be working with children, disabled persons, or the elderly.
An applicant qualified for the fee reduction should complete the Criminal Record Release Authorization Form along with the Division of State Police’s Reduced Fee Request Form. Completing the form requires the name of the requesting organization or agency, the street, city, zip code, phone number, and fax number. The form should also be completed with the volunteer’s name and the signature of an authorized person representing the agency or organization. The applicant must also confirm on the form that all the above requirements are met, as the fee reduction is not available otherwise.
How To Search Criminal Records Online In New Hampshire?
In New Hampshire, criminal records are only accessible in person and by mail, from the Division of State Police. The State Police does not provide any platform where persons may search for criminal records online. The New Hampshire Judiciary also does not provide an online repository for criminal case files in the state. These case files are only available in person from the New Hampshire Superior Courts.
Records that are considered public may be accessible from some third-party websites. These websites often make searching simpler, as they are not limited by geographic location, and search engines on these sites may help when starting a search for a specific or multiple records. To begin using such a search engine on a third-party or government website, interested parties usually must provide:
- The name of the person involved in the record, unless said person is a juvenile
- The location or assumed location of the record or person involved. This includes information such as the city, county, or state that the person resides in or was accused in
Third-party sites are independent of government sources and are not sponsored by these government agencies. Because of this, record availability on third-party sites may vary.
How To Get Criminal Records Expunged In New Hampshire?
According to RSA 651:5, New Hampshire residents may apply to expunge their criminal records. Officially called an annulment, the law provides certain rules that guide the expungement process and lays down requirements that determine eligibility.
To annul a New Hampshire criminal record, the case must meet either of the following requirements:
- The person was arrested and was found not guilty on all charges
- The person was charged to court before January 1, 2019, but the case was dismissed or was not prosecuted
- A court later vacated the conviction
- Three years have passed after completing a Class A misdemeanor conviction sentence
- Two years have passed after completing a Class B misdemeanor conviction sentence except for sexual assault
- Five years have passed after completing a Class B felony conviction sentence except for lewdness or indecent exposure
- Ten years have passed after completing a Class A felony conviction sentence or sexual assault
- Ten years have passed after completing a conviction sentence for lewdness or indecent exposure
- At least one year has passed after completing a sentence for most other violations eligible for annulment
- The individual has completed all terms of the received sentence(s)
Persons who meet the above requirements may qualify for a New Hampshire annulment. However, note that persons that were convicted of any of the following offenses are ineligible:
- Class A negligent homicide
- First-degree assault
- Felonious sexual assault
- Endangering the welfare of a child by solicitation
- Child pornography
- Kidnapping or criminal restraint
- Aggravated felonious sexual assault
- Class A felony arson
Eligible persons may begin the annulment process by filling and downloading a Petition to Annul Record Form, for convictions resolved before January 1, 2019. Persons interested in annulling convictions resolved on January 1, 2019, or later, should fill and download the Petition of Eligibility for Annulment of Record. Completing both forms requires the court name, case name, charge ID, and case number. The form also requires information about the applicant, including the full name, date of birth, address, city or town, zip code, phone number, and email address.
Furthermore, the applicant must fill the relevant form with information about the charge, including the charge date, the case disposition, the disposition or conviction date, and the date the individual completed the sentence. The applicant must also confirm eligibility.
After filling the form, file it in the court with jurisdiction over the case. The applicant will pay $125 per court. Applicants have to file separate petitions for separate cases. However, only one court fee is required if the applicant files all petitions in the same court, and at the same time. Applicants that have multiple convictions from different courts should file a separate petition in each court.
If the petition requires the attention of the New Hampshire Department of Corrections, the applicant will be charged an additional $100 for investigating the criminal record. Note that this fee should be paid directly to the Department of Corrections, and not to the court. The Department of Correction will notify the petitioner if the fee is required.
The New Hampshire Department of Safety will also charge $100 to research and correct the individual’s criminal history. Note that if the charge was dismissed, not prosecuted, or the person was found not guilty, this fee may not apply. The fee should be paid directly to the Department of Safety, and not to the court. The Department of Safety will notify the applicant if this fee is necessary.
New Hampshire residents may request a fee waiver for any of the above charges. However, the applicant must make the request directly to the court or agency that requires the fee. Note that the waiver is only available to indigent persons as the applicant must prove an inability to pay the fee.
Depending on factors including eligibility, the court may grant or deny a petition for an annulment without a hearing. Regardless, petitioners may request a court hearing if there is enough reason to do so. Note that the annulment process is lengthy and may take several months. If the annulment petition is denied, the petitioner may not apply for another petition until a minimum of three years has passed.
Who Can See My Expunged Criminal Record In New Hampshire?
Eligible persons may receive an order of annulment after going through the process and paying the respective fees. An annulment does not totally erase or destroy a person’s criminal record. However, all record custodians, including the individual courts and the Division of State Police, will be required to seal the records.
Annulled records are not open to members of the general public and may not be disclosed by any of the custodians. However, the court has a right to view an annulled record in determining the disposition of a case, if the person is a repeat offender.
Also, law enforcement agencies may gain access to a criminal record. Depending on the circumstances of the case, law enforcement officers may disclose details of an annulled criminal record to other law enforcement officers, for legitimate investigative purposes. Officers may also access details of the case in defense of a civil suit borne out of a related arrest or conviction. The New Hampshire Police Standards and Training Council may also gain access to criminal records if the individual applies to serve as a law enforcement officer.