Are Criminal Records Public In New Mexico?
The public may access New Mexico criminal records in compliance with the New Mexico Arrest Record Information Act. The New Mexico Department of Public Safety collates and maintains copies of these records for the state, and issues copies to interested parties. It should be noted that access to arrest records of individuals accused but not charged with a crime and arrest record information that reveals confidential sources, methods, or information is typically restricted.
What Is Included In A Criminal Record In New Mexico?
Criminal records in the state of New Mexico typically contain the following information:
- The full name and date of birth of the subject
- Known aliases of the subject
- A mugshot of the subject
- The subject’s sex and race/ethnicity
- Details of the subject’s physical descriptors, including distinctive marks, tattoos, and scars
- Previous and current indictments against the subject
- The subject’s arrest history
- Outstanding warrants and conviction information on the subject (if available)
How To Look Up My Criminal Records In New Mexico?
Parties that wish to access their criminal records in New Mexico may do so by performing a statewide background check through the New Mexico Department of Public Safety. Requestors will be required to complete an Authorization for Release of Information Form, which should be notarized by a Notary Public and submitted via mail to:
Department of Public Safety
P.O Box 1628
Santa Fe, NM 87504–1628
Note that the authorization forms must be signed by the subject named on the requested record. There is a fee of $15 per record check, which should be in the form of a money order or cashier’s check made payable to the “Department of Public Safety.” Parties that also require a Police Certificate of Good Standing will be charged a fee of $33, which includes the cost of the certification. This is usually needed for immigration purposes. Queries can be directed to (505) 827–9181.
How Can I Get My Criminal Records For Free In New Mexico?
New Mexico does not offer any options for obtaining copies of criminal records free of charge. However, certain criminal court case information may be viewed online via the Case Lookup portal provided by the New Mexico Judiciary.
How To Search Criminal Records Online In New Mexico?
The New Mexico Department of Public Safety, responsible for collating and maintaining criminal records in the state, does not offer online access.
However, interested parties can access criminal court cases online through the New Mexico Judiciary’s Case Lookup website by performing searches based on name or case number. Record availability via this website is dependent on the court case files that have been digitalized, and this varies by court. Also, sealed or confidential case files cannot be accessed via this website.
Records that are considered public may be accessible from some third-party websites. These websites often make searching simpler, as they are not limited by geographic location, and search engines on these sites may help when starting a search for a specific or multiple records. To begin using such a search engine on a third-party or government website, interested parties usually must provide:
- The name of the person involved in the record, unless said person is a juvenile
- The location or assumed location of the record or person involved. This includes information such as the city, county, or state that the person resides in or was accused in
Third-party sites are independent of government sources and are not sponsored by these government agencies. Because of this, record availability on third-party sites may vary.
How To Get Criminal Records Expunged In New Mexico?
According to the New Mexico Criminal Record Expungement Act, expungement is the removal of an individual’s criminal records from access to the general public. These records include notifications of arrest, complaints, indictments, information, guilty pleas, convictions, acquittals, dismissals, and discharge records. Expunctions in New Mexico fall under three categories, namely; conviction, non-conviction, and identity theft expungements.
Individuals may be eligible for criminal record expungements under the following conditions:
- At least one year has passed since the final disposition in cases where an individual was arrested and released without conviction for the violation of a municipal ordinance, misdemeanor or felony. This individual must have no pending charges or proceedings.
- The individual was wrongly identified in arrest or public records as a result of identity theft.
- The individual has completed the sentence imposed for an offense and paid any fees or fines owed for the conviction. Offenders under this category are required to demonstrate that they have fulfilled any victim restitution ordered by the court, and they have no pending charges or proceedings against them anywhere.
- The individual was not convicted of any other crime during the waiting period required before an expungement can be requested. This waiting period, which commences after the completion of the individual’s sentence and is dependent on the crime for which the individual was convicted, is as follows:
- Two years for convictions involving a violation of a municipal ordinance or a misdemeanor
- Four years for misdemeanor convictions involving aggravated battery or fourth-degree felonies
- Six years for convictions involving third-degree felonies
- Eight years for convictions involving second-degree felonies
- Ten years for convictions involving first degree felonies or offenses listed in the New Mexico Crimes Against Household Members Act
- The individual was not convicted for an offense against a child or an offense resulting in great bodily harm or death to another individual
- The individual was not convicted of a sex offense as defined by the New Mexico Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act
- The individual was not convicted for an embezzlement offense as defined by New Mexico Statutes Section 30–16–8
- The individual was not convicted for a DWI/DUI offense
It should be noted that civil cases do not qualify for expungements.
Parties that wish to request for a criminal record expungement may do so through the following steps:
- Gather all the necessary records, including records related to the charges the individual wishes to expunge, records related to sentences received for these charges, and records from any other convictions, sentences, or pending charges. Most of these records can be obtained from the New Mexico Department of Public Safety and from the New Mexico court where the case was heard. Court contact information can be obtained through this online directory.
- Depending on the type of expungement being requested, complete any of these forms:
- Petition to Expunge Arrest Records and Public Records (Conviction),
- Petition to Expunge Arrest Records and Public Records (Release without Conviction)
- Petition to Expunge Arrest Records and Public Records (Identity theft)
Parties that wish to expunge records from different court cases should use a different petition form for each court case. In the upper left corner of the form where it says "in re,"” the individual requesting for expungement should enter their full name as the petitioner. When filling these forms, parties are advised to provide specific information that shows why the expungement request should be granted. This may include hardships suffered as a result of the criminal records and efforts made towards rehabilitation. Affidavits from individuals supporting this information may also be included.
- With the same information used for the petition forms, complete any of these forms:
- Notice of Hearing (Expungement of Records—Conviction)
- Notice of Hearing (Expungement of Records—No Conviction)
- Notice of Hearing (Expungement of Records Due To Identity Theft)
Make sure that every agency entitled to receive this notice is indicated. Leave the time, date, and location for the hearing blank.
- Fill an Order on Petition to Expunge Arrest Records and Public Records (Conviction), Order on Petition to Expunge Arrest Records and Public Records (Release without Conviction) or Order on Petition to Expunge Arrest Records and Public Records (Identity theft). When filling these forms, parties are required to enter only their full name, the District Court, and the county in the caption section (upper left corner of the form). The court will complete the other sections.
- Make copies of these documents and sort them out according to the title. It should be noted that even though district courts do not need every single document related to a case, documents submitted should provide relevant case information, including the final disposition of the matter.
- File these documents at the appropriate district court. This should be done at the office of the Court Clerk. Parties are also required to provide a self-addressed stamped envelope.
- Once the petition has been filed, make copies of the file-stamped petition and send them to every agency entitled to receive the notice indicated in the Notice of Hearing form. These copies should be sent via certified mail.
- Immediately after sending the copies to the agencies involved, complete a Certificate of Service form and file this with the court. This is to certify that the notice has been served to the appropriate parties. (This step is not required for parties that are requesting for expungement due to identity theft). It is important to note that serving copies of the petition is the individual’s responsibility to seek an expungement. A copy of the petition is also filed with the District Attorney, the New Mexico Department of Public Safety, and the arresting law enforcement agency, each of these parties has the right to object to the petition.
Individuals that wish to request criminal record expungements are required to pay a filing fee of $132 at the district court. Parties that are unable to pay this filing fee may be granted a waiver by completing an Application for Free Process and Affidavit of Indigency form.
Once this has been done, the District Court will review the petition and notify the petitioner when a hearing date is set. This is usually done via mail using the self-addressed stamped envelope that was submitted at the Court Clerk’s office. The district court may summarily dismiss petitions that are considered incomplete, and no further action will be taken.
Parties interested in the case may be present during the hearing, including the victims of the crime. At the hearing, the judge queries the petitioner and considers objections filed by these interested parties. After the hearing, the court has a period of 30 days to file a written order granting or denying the petition for expungement. This may also be done on the day of the hearing.
If the petition is granted, the expungement order will stipulate a period during which the criminal records must be expunged. If the petition is denied, the matter is considered closed. However, the petitioner may decide to appeal the denial in the New Mexico Court of Appeals.
Persons granted an expungement are advised to follow up with all agencies holding their records to ensure that expungement has taken proper effect.
How To Get Criminal Records Sealed In New Mexico?
The New Mexico Criminal Record Expungement Act defines expungement as the removal of criminal records from access to the general public. This includes records posted on publicly accessible law enforcement, correction department, or court website.
Who Can See My Expunged/sealed Criminal Record In New Mexico?
New Mexico criminal records that have been expunged are not destroyed, but they will no longer be available to the general public. If a request for an individual’s expunged criminal record is made, the agency that receives the request must reply that the requested record does not exist. However, courts, law enforcement agencies, and criminal justice agencies may still access expunged records under several circumstances, including:
- Criminal proceedings
- Applications or queries regarding employment or association with a financial institution regulated by the Securities and Exchange Commission or any financial regulatory authority