January 1, 2020 NH law, HB 399, mandating annulments for arrests or convictions for less than 3/4 of an ounce of cannabis for any offenses prior to September 16, 2017 became the law. This law amends RSA 651:5-b. This means that any conviction prior to the date that possession of cannabis was decriminalized shall be annulled upon filing a petition and filing fees. The idea behind simplifying the process of annulment is to attempt to undo the criminal records for citizen’s convicted of possession of cannabis.
In order to get a possession of cannabis annulled you must go to the NH state judicial system website to get a petition to annul. At this point use the general annulment form but it is anticipated that the judiciary will likely create a special form for for marijuana cases in the future.
Complete and print out the petition and mailed or provided in hand to the prosecutor for the police department that brought the initial charge. The petition requires $125, as a filing fee payable to the court where the conviction occurred.
Once the petition is provided to the prosecutor and court, the prosecutor has 10 days to raise an objection. The only basis for objecting to a petition for annulment, is if a prosecutor believes the amount of marijuana involved is greater than three-quarters of an ounce. The law requires that if there’s no objection, a judge “shall grant” the annulment. There is no discretion.
It is expected that a petitioners will not have to appear in court. The only time a hearing would be held is if a prosecutor argues the underlying offense involves more than three-quarters of an ounce of cannabis.
There is no judicial discretion and the burden is on the prosecutor to prove greater than 3/4 of an ounce.
The Department of Corrections will charge a $100 for an investigation to ensure no other convictions exist.
If the annulment is granted, New Hampshire State Police will charge $100 for deleting the computer record from the state criminal records database.
This means that if you have a marijuana/ cannabis/ pot conviction for less than 3/4 of an ounce prior to 9/16/2017 you can get that record annulled for $325 in fees. If you have any questions do not hesitate to contact me.