Arrest Records in New Hampshire

Table of Contents

Need more information? Check out our guides to New Hampshire background checks and New Hampshire public records.

 

New Hampshire has a population of around 1.36 million, which makes it the 42nd most populated and the 21st most densely populated state in the U.S. Crime is very scarce in New Hampshire, and the state’s 2018 violent crime rate of 1.73 per 1,000 is less than half of the national rate.

The most dangerous city in New Hampshire is Manchester, which has a violent crime rate over three times the national rate. Although its crime is low, arrests are a bit more common than average in New Hampshire, as the state has the 19th highest arrest rate in the U.S.  

New Hampshire Arrest and Crime Statistics

  • In 2018, New Hampshire logged 46,413 arrests as reported by 184 law enforcement agencies in the state.
  • The leading identified cause of arrests was drug abuse violations, which accounted for 6,522 arrests, followed by driving under the influence with 5,053 arrests. 
  • There are nearly 2,500 registered sex offenders in New Hampshire.  

Sources: FBI: 2018 Crime in the United States, New Hampshire Sex Offender Registry

 

What is a public arrest record?

An arrest record is a report produced by a law enforcement entity after the arrest or apprehension of an individual which contains the details of the incident, the individual’s personal information, and occasionally includes additional information about the individual’s criminal record.

An arrest record is often a key document in a criminal case and may play a significant role in an ensuing trial. The arrest record may remain in the public record for a long time regardless of whether the suspect is ultimately convicted of the crime(s) for which they were initially arrested. This means that it can be accessed by the general public.  

What is included in a public arrest record?

  • Description of the incident: An arrest record will include a chronological account of the alleged crime produced by the arresting officer that may utilize information provided by first-hand witnesses and/or victims of the alleged crime. 
  • Date and location of the arrest
  • Physical description: The height, weight, hair color, sex, and race of the arrested person, along with other distinguishing characteristics such as tattoos, scars, or birthmarks. 
  • Personal information: The name, age, date of birth, phone number, address, social security number, and other contact information of the arrested individual, as well as any other names the person may go by. 
  • Photographs
  • Fingerprints
  • Criminal charges filed
  • Classification of the crime: Whether the alleged crime is a felony or a misdemeanor.
  • Bail
  • Court date
  • Police interrogation details

What are the types of charges that may appear on an arrest record?

Generally, charges are classified into three main categories:

  • Infraction – An infraction is a minor violation of the law that is regulated at the state level. Punishment for an infraction is typically a fine or a written warning, rather than a jail or prison sentence. Examples of infractions include minor traffic violations, public nuisance offenses, and littering. 
  • Misdemeanor – A misdemeanor is a crime that is more serious than an infraction, but less severe than a felony, and generally punishable by a term of imprisonment of less than a year, or a term of probation. An individual convicted of a misdemeanor is more likely to serve time in a county or local jail than a federal or state prison. Examples of misdemeanors include driving under the influence, most drug abuse violations, and petty theft.
  • Felony – A felony is the most serious type of crime and generally results in a term of imprisonment of more than one year in a state or federal prison. Having a felony on one’s record may result in limitations of employment and the acquisition of specialty licenses. Examples of felonies include rape, murder, and arson.  

Who can access arrest records?

As in most other states, arrest records (also known as arrest reports) are public records in New Hampshire and can be accessed by anyone upon request to a law enforcement agency, and may come up during a routine background check. 

Other examples of New Hampshire public records include:

  • vital records such as birth and death certificates
  • marriage licenses
  • mugshots
  • court records
  • voting records
  • property records 

Where are physical copies of arrest records kept in New Hampshire?

Arrest records are typically held by the law enforcement agency responsible for the arrest, usually a local police department or county sheriff’s office. They also may be kept in the archive of a state government agency, or circuit court. 

The central repository for criminal history record information in New Hampshire is maintained by the New Hampshire State Police Justice Information Bureau Criminal Records Unit.

Why can’t I access an arrest record in New Hampshire?

There are a number of reasons why you may not be able to access an arrest record. Although the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requires federal agencies to release arrest records and other public records, records that fall under certain exemptions can be withheld from the public.

The FOIA includes nine exemptions that allow agencies to withhold documents, such as arrest records, and not release them to the public. They are:

  1. The information is classified to protect natural security. 
  2. The information focuses on the internal rules and practices of the agency.
  3. Another federal law prohibits the release of information.
  4. The information includes confidential trade secrets and/or commercial and financial information. 
  5. The information includes privileged, confidential communicative exchanges between two agencies. 
  6. The information could pose a danger to another person’s privacy if released.
  7. The information is reserved for law enforcement purposes in a court case or an investigation or could reveal a confidential source. 
  8. The information includes confidential information about financial institution supervision. 
  9. The information includes geographical information about wells.

Additionally, some state laws limit the availability of arrest records due to the fact that they are perceived as one-sided documents that do not include the arrested person’s account of the incident. 

What is the difference between an arrest record and a criminal record?

Compared to an arrest record, a criminal record is a more thorough document that details an individual’s entire criminal history, including arrest warrants, arrests, third party complaints, convictions, and even dropped cases. 

What is the difference between an arrest record and an arrest warrant?

An arrest warrant is a document issued by a judge or magistrate that grants law enforcement the authority to arrest an individual suspected of a crime or to search and seize the individual’s property, whereas an arrest record is a document of an arrest that is only created after an arrest or apprehension has already occurred.  

In order for a judge or magistrate to issue an arrest warrant, they must conclude that there is probable cause for an arrest. Probable cause must be backed by sworn testimony or an affidavit that provides sufficient information supporting the need for an arrest. An arrest warrant must also specify one individual that should be arrested, rather than a group of individuals or a rough description of a suspect. 

How many Americans have been arrested?

While crime has steadily dropped in the United States over the past several decades, arrests have gone up, particularly for younger age groups. Typically, law enforcement makes around 10 million arrests each year. Here are some key statistics on arrests in the United States:

  • In 2018, around 10.3 million arrests were made nationwide.
  • 73% of arrested persons in 2018 were males.
  • The more recent an American was born, the greater the likelihood that the individual has been arrested at least once. The following is the percentage of Americans in various age groups that have been arrested: 
    • 6.4% of Americans born before 1949
    • 10.7% of Americans born between 1949 and 1958
    • 13.8% of Americans born between 1959 and 1968
    • 18.7% of Americans born between 1969 and 1978
    • 23% of Americans born between 1979-1988

Sources: Federal Bureau of Investigation, RAND Corporation

How to search for Arrest Records in New Hampshire

New Hampshire does not have a convenient online search tool available to the general public for finding arrest records and other criminal history record information. 

In order to view your criminal history record information, you have two options:

1. Request a record in person at the New Hampshire Criminal Records Unit public counter. Complete Section I of the Criminal Record Release Authorization Form and visit the address below between Monday through Friday, 8:15 AM – 4:15 AM. There is a $25 search fee. 

33 Hazen Drive

Concord, New Hampshire 03305

Room 106A

2. Submit a Criminal Record Release Authorization Form to the Criminal Records Unit through the mail

    • Complete Section II of the Authorization Form.
    • Have the form signed and sealed by a public notary.
    • Prepare a check or money order for $25 payable to “State of NH – Criminal Records
    • Mail the form and payment to:

Criminal Records Unit

33 Hazen Drive

Concord, New Hampshire 03305

How can I search for a New Hampshire arrest record on the internet using a background check service?

Since tracking down physical copies of arrest records can prove challenging, searching for them online is a viable option. There is a wealth of online services that allow you to search and access New Hampshire arrest records and other public records via numerous government agency databases in exchange for a fee. 

However, despite the fact that users must pay to obtain an arrest record from an online service, it’s nevertheless a convenient means of getting these documents. The offices of government agencies are often marred by inconsistent service and take a long time to process requests to view documents. 

Sometimes it’s worth it to pay a fee to use an online background check service, rather than endure the extended delays typical of government offices.  

What can I do if my arrest record has a mistake?

The New Hampshire Criminal Records Unit outlines a process on the Criminal History Record Information Release Authorization Form that an individual may take for challenging incorrect or incomplete information on an arrest record or other criminal history record document.

The process is as follows:

  1. Highlight the portion of the document that contains the error. 
  2. Write a note explaining the error and giving a correct account of events.
  3. Submit the note and the criminal record document to the Criminal Records Unit (address listed above). 
  4. The CRU will conduct a review within 30 days of receiving the challenge and will contact the law enforcement agency or court responsible for the alleged error to determine if the challenge is valid and if action should be taken. 

If you have any questions, you can call the Central Repository for Criminal Records at (603) 223-3867.

New Hampshire Courthouse and Sheriff Information by County

CountyCourthouseAddressPhoneSheriffAddressPhone
Belknap CountyBelknap County Superior Court64 Court St # 5
Laconia, NH 03246
855-212-1234Belknap County Sheriff42 County Dr
Laconia, NH 03246
603-527-5454
Carroll CountyCarroll County Superior Court96 Water Village Rd # 3
Ossipee, NH 03864
855-212-1234Carroll County Sheriff95 Water Village Rd
Ossipee, NH 03864
603-539-2284
Cheshire CountyCheshire Superior Court33 Winter St #2
Keene, NH 03431
855-212-1234Cheshire County Sheriff's Office12 Court St
Keene, NH 03431
603-352-4238
Coos CountyCoos County Superior Court55 School St
Lancaster, NH 03584
855-212-1234Coos County Sheriff's Office55 School St
Lancaster, NH 03584
603-788-5598
Grafton CountyGrafton Superior Court3785 Dartmouth College Hwy
North Haverhill, NH 03774
855-212-1234Grafton Sheriff's Department3785 Dartmouth College Hwy
North Haverhill, NH 03774
603-787-6911
Hillsborough CountyHillsborough County Superior Court South30 Spring St
Nashua, NH 03060
855-212-1234Hillsborough County Sheriff329 Mast Rd
Goffstown, NH 03045
603-627-5610
Merrimack CountyMerrimack County Superior Court5 Court St
Concord, NH 03301
855-212-1234Merrimack County Sheriff's Office333 Daniel Webster Hwy
Boscawen, NH 03303
603-796-6600
Rockingham CountyRockingham Superior Court10 NH-125
Brentwood, NH 03833
855-212-1234Rockingham County Sheriff's Office101 North Road
Brentwood, NH 03833
603-679-2225
Strafford CountyStrafford Superior Court Clerk259 County Farm Rd # 6
Dover, NH 03820
855-212-1234Strafford County Sheriff259 County Farm Rd
Dover, NH 03820
603-742-4960
Sullivan CountySullivan County Superior Court14 Main St
Newport, NH 03773
603-863-3450Sullivan County Sheriff's Department14 Main St
Newport, NH 03773
603-863-4200

 

If you’re worried that someone you know or love has a criminal record and maybe hiding it from you, run a quick background check online with ArrestRecords.com. Thanks to public records laws, almost all New Hampshire arrests, criminal and civil records are available online, as well as comprehensive background checks and secret data. You can even find New Hampshire marriage records, secret divorce records as well as birth and death records.

Violent Crime rate 

Property Crime rate 

Murder Crime rate 

Forcible Rape rate 

Robbery rate 

Assault rate 

Burglary rate 

Theft rate 

Motor Vehicle Theft rate