Frequently Asked Questions

General FAQ

How can I obtain a copy of a police report?
To obtain a copy of a police report, you can come in to the police department and fill out a report request form or you can get a copy of a report request form in the forms & reports section of our website. You can either bring or mail the form in to the police department, or e-mail it to Cheryl Robinson in records. At the time of pick up, you pay $10 for up to ten pages of the report; any pages beyond ten cost $1 per page. Black and white pictures, if needed, are included in this fee. We do not take credit cards or debit cards – cash or check only.

If you would like your report mailed to you, we must receive payment and a stamped self-addressed envelope in advance of mailing. There is no set number of days for you to receive the report. You will receive a phone call or e-mail notifying you when your report is ready for pick up and the actual cost of the report.

What is a letter of good conduct?
A letter of good conduct states that the requesting party has no criminal arrest record with the Somersworth Police Department. Employers, the housing authority, or a state/federal agency may require letters of good conduct. The requesting party must make the request in person. Any outside agency that wants information about someone must provide a signed release from the person they are requesting the information about.

How can I obtain a copy of my adult criminal/driving record for the state of New Hampshire?
You may obtain your own criminal record or driving history from the State of New Hampshire by completing the appropriate form which may be provided by the Records Division. If you wish further information, you can always call the main number at State Police Headquarters at (603) 271-3636 and ask for criminal records or the motor vehicle department. There are fees involved in obtaining both a criminal record and motor vehicle record.

How can I obtain a concealed carrying license?
To obtain a concealed carrying license you can get the permit forms from the police department by visiting or download them from the website; the state also has the required forms. The forms must be filled out correctly with no false information. Forms must be submitted to the dispatcher and an officer will verify your residence with a visit. The application will go on for further verification after this. The permit is good for four years and costs $10. You will be notified by phone when it is ready for pick up.

How do I pay parking tickets?
Parking tickets may be mailed to the Police Department by using the envelope provided or you may deliver the ticket to a drop box located in the Police Station lobby.

How do I pay a citation from the DMV?
There is now a new payment option to pay your ticket online through the State of New Hampshire. To pay your ticket online, visit http://www.nh.gov/payticket. There are three items required to be able to pay your ticket online:

  1. A ticket issued WITHIN THE PAST 30 DAYS.
  2. A valid e-mail address.
  3. A valid Master Card or Visa Credit Card.

You can also use your printer to print a receipt once you have paid your ticket. For help, you can call (603) 227-4010.

How do I obtain a restraining order?
An emergency restraining order may be obtained by notifying the Police Department. This service is offered after normal business hours. During business hours, the Dover Circuit Court will provide this service. A victim will file, in person, a written request at the Dover Circuit Court. Restraining orders are issued between parties who have been involved in a relationship.

What is the process to bail someone out of jail? How long does it take?
There are two types of bail :

First is “Personal Recognizance” bail, which is when a Bail Commissioner or Judge releases you on a set amount and you simply sign your name promising you will show up for court at a select date and time. If the person fails to show up to court then that specific amount, i.e. $1,000 P.R., can turn to $1,000 cash bail.

Second is “Cash” bail, which means the person must post a specific amount of cash in order to be released. If the defendant is arrested outside court hours (M-F 8-4) and Cash bail is requested then he/she is transported to the Strafford County House of Corrections where he/she will remain until they are arraigned via video at 1045 hours the following day (Saturday, Sunday and Holidays are excluded).

The only two exceptions to the bail rule are if someone is arrested for Fugitive of Justice OR Violation of an Order of Protection. In both cases bail for the Defendant can ONLY be set by a Judge or Magistrate of the court.

In most instances the defendant is arrested then read an eligibility for request of bail form, which he/she will sign stating he/she requests the services of a Bail Commissioner. Once the BC arrives bail is set and he/she is free to leave. This entire process costs $40 and takes roughly 60 minutes. If the arrest is made during court hours it is done at the 7th Circuit Court Dover-Division and there is no fee.

How can I get fingerprinting done for a background check?
To get fingerprinting done for a background check, you must provide your own fingerprinting card. Somersworth residents pay $10, nonresidents pay $20. Bring the fingerprinting card and money to the police department, and when an officer is available they will bring you back to do the fingerprinting.

How do I pay traffic citations?
Enter your plea on the back of the pink copy of your citation and attach it with the proper fine amount (if pleading Guilty) and send it to the Department of Motor Vehicles in the attached green envelope that was given with the citation.

How can I have my criminal record expunged or annulled?
You must go to the court in which the charge was originally handled. The fee as of July 1, 2013 is $100 PER CHARGE and you must wait 12 months after conviction to annul any Violation, three years for any Misdemeanor, and six years for MOST Felonies. Charges which carry mandatory penalties for subsequent offenses, as in Driving While Intoxicated (Subsequent) carry a ten-year waiting period.

What do I do about bad checks?
When you receive a bad check from someone, you need to provide verification that the check was received in Somersworth. You must deposit the check into your bank despite the fact that it will not be covered.

The next step is to send the writer of the check a certified letter giving them fourteen days to make good on the check. Included in the letter should be your bank fees and a certified letter fee. There is no guarantee you will get these back. The letter should also state that you will only accept cash or a bank check.

If it is not taken care of within the fourteen-day period, you need to turn it over to the Somersworth Police Department. If you hear from the person and out a payment plan, the Police Department can no longer help if they fail to complete the payment plan, as it is a civil suit at that point.

When you come to the PD, you should bring the letter you sent, the certified mail card stating they received the letter, and the letter from the bank – all of these need to be original copies. The PD will then send their own letter to the person who wrote the check giving them another fourteen days to pay what they owe. If it is not paid, the PD will then obtain bank records to determine if this is a pattern. At this point, the case is handed over to an officer who contacts the person. If the money owed is still not paid within a reasonable amount of time, the officer issues an arrest warrant.

How do I obtain a copy of my arrest information if my case is still pending before the court system?
The proper procedure is to obtain a Motion for Discovery from the Dover District Court. Only the arrestee or representative can obtain the copies. Once a motion for discovery is obtained, you may respond to the Somersworth Police Department to receive the appropriate copies. There are fees involved.

How can I recover items seized or recovered by the police department?
If the property is being used in a case for evidence of a crime, in most cases there is a need for a court order to return the property. If you are the finder of property that you turned in, there is a 180-day waiting period before you can claim the property. In any case where you would like to claim or recover property being held by the Somersworth Police Department, please call the Property/Evidence Custodian at (603) 692-3131. This position is currently held by Lieutenant Tim McLin.

How do I dispose of unused, expired, or unwanted medications?
Twice a year, in April and October, the DEA runs a program where people can turn in medications on a Saturday between 10 am and 2 pm. To find a turn-in site, you can visit www.dea.gov or call (800) 882-9539.

How can I become a police officer in the state of New Hampshire?
All information needed to become a police officer in the state of New Hampshire can be found on the New Hampshire police standards website.

Juvenile FAQ

What do I do if my child ran away?
First and foremost, if you can’t find your child, your child has run away, or for whatever reason their whereabouts are unknown please contact the police department. Keep in mind younger children have been known to hide in their homes and occasionally fall asleep in the strangest of places such as under beds and in closets.

If your child has actually run away file a report and we will look for them. They also become entered in the NCIC (National Crime Information Center) which is a national database. Should they be contacted anywhere in the nation and their names checked through the system they will be flagged as a missing/runaway/endangered child.

Once the child has returned, either by law enforcement or of their own free will, there are two options:

First Time Runaways: If the juvenile has only run away or been missing once they may qualify for voluntary services for the child and the family under the CHINS (Child in Need of Services) statute (RSA 169D). These services are offered through DHHS (the Department of Health and Human Services) and facilitated by the JPPOs (Juvenile Probation and Parole Officers) Dover office. These services may include: individual and family counseling, the YEES program which provides tracking and mentoring, and services in the community. It is important to note that this service is voluntary and offered prior to court involvement.

Habitual Runaways: If the juvenile has a history of running away and is considered to be a habitual runway petitions may be filed in the court for violating the CHINS statute. This requires appearance before the courts. These juveniles are appointed attorneys and have a right to dispute and fight the charges. Should they plea true or be found true of these offenses they could face the following orders:

  • They could be released home or placed in a foster home, group home, crisis home, or shelter care and face up to 2 years of conditional release (probation).
  • They could be given a fine and/or restitution, community services, ordered to participate in individual and/or family counseling, and other possible services designed to help the juvenile and family overcome the issues they are facing.

For More Information.

What is the age of criminal responsibility in NH?
For the majority of laws in this state the law is very unclear as to exactly what age a juvenile can be criminally responsible in New Hampshire. However, at 13 years of age a minor may be held criminally responsible and transferred to the superior court for a number of serious criminal offenses.

List of Offenses

In juvenile courts the age is not relevant; the juvenile’s competency is what matters. Generally, charges are not brought against juveniles who are less than 12 years old. However, a petition may be brought forth against a juvenile who is younger if the situation warrants court intervention prior to that age and the juvenile is competent.

There are some dates that are absolute dates with respect to certain crimes and/or offenses and are charged in the adult court system as follows:

  • Truancy can be charged as early as age 6
  • Tobacco violations as early as age 12
  • Motor vehicle, aeronautics, fish and game, alcohol, fireworks, and municipal ordinances can be charged as early as age 16

For More Information.

How do I report child abuse or neglect?
Two of the more frequent options that are used are contacting your local police department or DCYF (Department of Child, Youth, Family) who falls under the DHHS (Department of Health and Human Services).

Report Child Abuse Phone                                                                  (603) 271-6562
Report Child Abuse Fax                                                                       (603) 271-6565
Report Child Abuse TDD                                                                     (603) 735-2964
Report Child Abuse Toll-Free (In State Only) (800) 894-5533

By mail:
Bureau of Child Protection Services
Division for Children, Youth & Families
NH Department of Health & Human Services
129 Pleasant Street
Concord, NH 03301

Or e-mail:
CLICK HERE

More Information About Child Protection.

How do I report elderly abuse?
In New Hampshire, adult protection laws require any person who has a reason to believe that an incapacitated adult has been subjected to abuse, neglect, exploitation, or self-neglect to make a report immediately to the BEAS (Bureau of Elderly & Adult Services). They can be contacted by calling (800) 949-0470 or (603) 271-7014Monday through Friday from 8:00am to 4:00pm.

For Nursing or Assisted Living Facilities – Contact the Long Term Care Ombudsman at:
(800) 442-5640 or (603) 271-4375
After hours, weekends or holidays contact the local police or 911.

More Information About Adult Protection.

What do I do if I think someone is sexually soliciting my child online?
First and foremost separate your child from the computer and contact your local police department to let them investigate. If at all possible leave the computer in the state in which you found it so any responding officer will have the ability to see what you saw. If you log out of a site chat logs may be deleted. If they are deleted they can be very difficult to recover – if it is even possible to recover them. There may be other evidence on your computer at the time that will be harder to find once you log out and/or shut down the computer.

What do I do if there is an emergency at my child’s school?
Each school has a different policy on what you should do if there is some kind of emergency at your child’s school. To find out what you should do if an emergency situation you should contact your child’s school directly. You can find contact information for each school on the Somersworth School District website.