Restitution Worries Prompt Work on Crime Annulment Bill

May 21, 2019

Credit Allegra Boverman for NHPR

New Hampshire lawmakers could hold off on making it easier for some people to have their criminal convictions erased from their records.

The Senate passed a bill in March that would eliminate annulment fees, expand eligibility and reduce the waiting period to apply in certain cases. Supporters say the current system unfairly benefits those with financial means and continues to punish people long after they've completed their sentences because past convictions hamper their employment and housing prospects.

But advocates for domestic violence victims oppose the bill, saying it jeopardizes public safety and victims' rights because it would allow criminals to get annulments before paying full restitution.

A House committee working on the bill plans to meet again next week; at least one member suggests holding on to the bill until next year.