New Hampshire is a New England state with a rich national history. The area broke off from Great Britain in 1776 and became the first post-colonial sovereign nation of the Americas. New Hampshire was also one of the original thirteen states that founded the United States. They were the ninth state to ratify the U.S. Constitution in 1788. New Hampshire is the birthplace of one U.S. President, Franklin Pierce.

New Hampshire has the shortest coastline in the U.S., approximately eighteen miles long. It is also one of the smallest states in the country, both by area and population. New Hampshire is currently divided into ten counties, with Hillsborough and Rockingham being the most populous. The state has no sales or individual income taxes levied at either the state or local level.

New Hampshire is well known for being the first state to hold primaries in U.S. presidential elections. State law requires that the Secretary of State schedule this election at least one week before any "similar event." Results of New Hampshire primaries have historically been influential in shaping the outcome of the overall election.

Crime and Punishment
If the absence of sales and income tax doesn't make the state attractive enough, New Hampshire also has the lowest crime rate in the United States. It makes sense that the state would also have a low incarceration rate, which they do, with only 206 per 100,000 residents incarcerated. This is compared to the United States rate of 502. The motto "Live Free or Die" is printed on New Hampshire license plates, which seems fitting in light of these numbers.

Expungement of Criminal Records
If you are convicted of a crime in New Hampshire, the opportunity to expunge your record is very limited. Felony and misdemeanor offenses in general cannot be expunged from any record, nor can traffic offenses. The only exceptions are in the case of prowling and loitering.

If the offender was not given the opportunity to explain their reasons for loitering or prowling, the record becomes eligible for expungement.

Annulment of Criminal Records
Criminal records in New Hampshire may be eligible for annulment if the sentence has been served and all the requirements of the court have been satisfied. Receiving an annulment means that the record cannot be accessed by law enforcement for general purposes or in civil matters. The individual with an annulment can legally report that the crime never happened. If there is a subsequent offense, however, the annulled record will reappear and is treated as a prior. To receive an annulment it is necessary to file a petition making a request to the court.

Gun Laws
New Hampshire gun laws are pretty laid back as long as you are not an ex-convict. State law does not require citizens to obtain a license in order to be in possession of rifles, shotguns and handguns. If you have been convicted of a felony in the past, however, you are prohibited from obtaining, owning or using any type of firearm in the state.

New Hampshire Jails