If you've had a run-in with the legal system, information about your past offenses will be included in your criminal record. In some cases, only the crimes you've been convicted of will be listed, while in others, it may feature all arrests. This document serves a variety of purposes. It will likely be examined when you apply for a job and other situations in which a background check is necessary, such as adoption and security clearance. Although these records are public, it's difficult for people to access and review them, so it's not necessary to worry too much about just anyone getting a hold of them.
One of the common questions about this document is whether or not it can be used against an individual in court. Judges will often consider a person's criminal record when setting bail, but most of the time it can not be used as evidence of guilt in an unrelated trial. There are, of course, some exceptions. If you've already been convicted of the same offense - such as DWI - previous charges will be reviewed when determining your sentencing.
Many juveniles think that their record will be erased once they turn 18, but that isn't the case. Instead, these documents are closed to the public, but law enforcement officials and prosecutors can still access them as needed. It's also worth noting that in New Hampshire, 17-year-olds are treated as adults in court, so the juvenile record ends at age 16.
As always, if you have been accused of a crime in the Granite State, you should consult an experienced New Hampshire criminal attorney who can help you prepare, ensure that your rights are protected and look out for your best interests throughout the entire process.