For anyone facing a conviction under the “so-called” white collar umbrella, expungement may be an option.
This is why it is essential to hire a criminal defense lawyer such as Michael Anzalone who is experienced in New Hampshire’s expungement law.
Your first question may be what is expungement?
Expungement is, in simple terms, the process of sealing of records for past convictions or arrests. It’s essentially an annulment of records that is allowed under certain circumstances in state law. But it’s only available for certain kinds of crimes.What Is the Process?
The person seeking expungement, or annulment, has to file a petition to the court. State law says that someone may seek annulment after all convictions and other terms have been completed. The person can’t have been convicted of any other crime _ with the exception of driving under the influence _ for a certain period of time. These timeframes are spelled out in state law and include: waiting one year after a violation; three years for a Class A or B misdemeanor, five years for a Class B felony and 10 years for a Class A felony; 10 years for a sexual assault and indecent exposure or lewdness, according to the Expungement Guide.
There is a big reason for getting your record expunged. A conviction goes on your record, making it more difficult to pass a background check for anything you want to do in life. Remember that potential employers will see it. Also, schools, lending agencies and others will have access to your records, which could make your life a nightmare.
This is why you’ll want to have an experienced criminal defense attorney on your side. Michael Anzalone is well-versed in the state’s criminal code, including RSA 651:5.
The law says a judge may grant or deny the petition with or without a hearing, depending on the circumstances.
If you are successful in getting an annulment, state law dictates that you will “be treated in all respects as if he or she had never been arrested, convicted or sentenced.”
There is a $100 fee for the annulment, which covers the costs of the investigation. If a judge doesn’t approve your petition, you must wait three years to petition again.
In addition, if you’ve been convicted of more than one offense, you won’t be eligible for the annulment if one of the offenses if barred from expungement or the time period hasn’t been met.
While many violations are eligible for annulment, there are certain crimes that are not. Your attorney should be able to advise you on whether or not you would qualify for an expungement. These include, but are not limited to, murder, first-degree assault, aggravated sexual assault, child pornography, felony arson or robbery. Also, someone who has been convicted on obstruction of justice charges isn’t eligible.
There are many requirements and that’s why it is advisable for you to seek the guidance of an experienced criminal defense lawyer.
Please call the office of Michael Anzalone at The Anzalone Law Firm in Nashua, New Hampshire, for a free consultation. Our goal is to help you get back on your feet.