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New Mexico Warrant Search

It is common for citizens in New Mexico, like in other states, to seek information about outstanding warrants. Such inquiries are performed for various purposes, from individuals checking their warrant statuses to organizations such as potential employers, law enforcement, loan providers, and insurance companies conducting background checks on applicants to determine if they are wanted in a jurisdiction. Regardless of the reason for a warrant search in New Mexico, a researcher can retrieve the following entries:

  • The name and physical characteristics of the individual for whom a warrant was issued 
  • The date and time of issuance 
  • The reason for the warrant

Residents seeking access to active or outstanding warrants can typically obtain the information from a county sheriff's office or police department. Warrant records are also available through the New Mexico Judicial Branch and Department of Public Safety. 

Generally, a warrant is an official order signed by a judge instructing law enforcement officers to carry out an action, such as arrest, search, or seizure. The document is issued when there is probable cause to believe that an individual has broken the law or disobeyed a court order.

Are Warrants Public Records in New Mexico

Yes. New Mexico's Inspection of Public Records Act (NMSA 1978, §14-2-1 to - 12) presumes warrants to be open records unless explicitly otherwise stated. Consequently, individuals can submit queries to agencies that maintain warrant records. 

Nonetheless, the IPRA includes provisions restricting access to certain public records or parts thereof deemed confidential. For example, records related to ongoing investigations are closed to the public. Where confidentiality rules apply, a record may be withheld from the public or redacted before release.

Types of Warrants in New Mexico

The following are common warrants issued in New Mexico, each serving different purposes:

Arrest Warrant: This type of warrant orders the arrest and possible detention of a person suspected of a crime.

Search Warrant: This type of warrant grants an officer or other authorized personnel the authority to search a citizen, residential property, or vehicle and seize any evidence of a crime.

Bench Warrant: Typically issued when an individual fails to appear at a court hearing, neglects to pay a fee, or violates a court order. A bench warrant permits an individual's arrest by default. 

What is a Search Warrant in New Mexico?

A search warrant is a formal authorization by a magistrate or judge that permits police officers to search a designated location, person, or thing in connection with a criminal investigation and seize any relevant item. This legal document allows law enforcement officers to search for criminal evidence based on credible facts.

Per the Fourth Amendment of the United States Constitution, residents are safeguarded against unjustified and unnecessary searches and seizures. This law demands that the police demonstrate probable cause (reasonable grounds) and obtain a search warrant before conducting any search or seizure associated with a crime. Additionally, officers must describe the person or place to be searched in an affidavit and adhere to state and federal laws when executing the warrant.

However, certain circumstances may necessitate a warrantless search. Some of these exceptions include:

  • Consent from the subject of the search or a third party 
  • Properties deemed abandoned, unoccupied, in an open field, or in plain sight 
  • Protective sweeps, inventory searches, or searches before an arrest 
  • Emergencies

Under the New Mexico Rule of Criminal Procedure 5-211, a search warrant is deemed necessary if there is reasonable cause to believe that a property is being utilized or intended for criminal activities. The warrant can also be issued if there is reasonable cause to believe that an illegal weapon, item, or person is concealed at a location. 

Once a search warrant is granted in New Mexico, the police have 10 days to execute it. Search warrants are served between 6:00 a.m. and 10:00 p.m. in New Mexico to protect the rights of citizens and residents.

How Long Does It Take to Get a Search Warrant?

The timeframe for obtaining a search warrant in New Mexico is not predetermined and can vary based on several factors. The process's duration depends on the case's complexity, a judge's availability, and the time taken to demonstrate probable cause for the search. The issuance of a search warrant in New Mexico usually occurs expeditiously once a judge is convinced of the merits of a request. 

What is an Arrest Warrant in New Mexico?

Arrest warrants in New Mexico authorize the arrest of a person alleged to have violated the law. Rule 5-208 NMRA delineates the criteria for obtaining an arrest warrant in New Mexico, as stated below:

  • An arrest warrant may only be granted by a judge or magistrate upon an indictment or affidavit demonstrating probable cause for such issuance. 
  • The warrant must include the defendant's name (or a description of the subject if the name is unknown), the charged offense, and a command to arrest and bring the subject before the court. 
  • Probable cause must be established based on factual and credible evidence, including verbal testimony. 
  • The affiant (the requesting police officer) may be required to appear in person for examination.

A New Mexico arrest warrant is executed when the defendant is arrested. Therefore, if an arrest is not made, the warrant remains outstanding, and the defendant continues to be subject to the consequences of having a warrant until they turn themselves in.

Arrest Warrant Lookup in New Mexico

The NM Department of Public Safety's Law Enforcement Records Bureau (LERB) is the primary source for accessing the state's criminal records, which may include warrant records. However, only authorized individuals may request records through this department.

Typically, since records of arrest warrants are stored at the county level, they can readily be accessed from multiple sources, including courthouses, police departments, and sheriff's offices. These agencies provide online and in-person retrieval methods. 

For example, the Bernalillo County Sheriff's Office has a warrant database for conducting local warrant searches with a name, warrant type, or warrant year. However, in many counties, members of the public may stop by the sheriff's offices to inspect records. The same retrieval protocol applies to courthouses: individuals can search online portals or visit the courthouse to inquire.

Furthermore, individuals can consider third-party sites that offer warrant records lookup services as another means of obtaining warrant information. 

How to Find Out If You Have a Warrant in New Mexico

Anyone wishing to ascertain whether they have a warrant in New Mexico can query local authorities.

Typically, warrants are authorized by a court and executed by law enforcement agencies, thus resulting in the records being maintained by these agencies. Consequently, individuals searching for a warrant in their name may inquire at a courthouse or local law enforcement agency. Some agencies provide a searchable warrants database online, and others offer warrant search services at their physical locations.

Moreover, individuals can obtain their criminal history records, which may include warrant information, from the New Mexico Department of Safety by submitting their fingerprints and a $15 fee. The Department of Safety also accommodates phone inquiries at (505) 827-9181.

In cases where an individual discovers an outstanding warrant, it is advisable to seek legal counsel. This precaution is crucial in avoiding a sudden arrest and determining the next steps to resolve the matter. A lawyer can also oversee one's voluntary surrender at a local court or precinct. Some courts, like Rio Rancho Municipal Court, provide online resources outlining steps individuals can take to address a warrant. 

Free Warrant Search in New Mexico

Persons seeking a free warrant search in New Mexico can access warrant search services provided by the issuing courthouse or local law enforcement agency. Usually, a person does not have to pay to view a record, but a copy request may attract a reasonable fee. 

How to Find Out If Someone Has A Warrant Online

Two avenues are available to individuals who wish to determine someone else's warrant status online. One option entails exploring warrant search resources offered by government agencies, and the other involves leveraging similar services provided on private aggregator websites. Before deciding which to use, individuals should carefully consider their benefits and drawbacks.

Firstly, while accessing warrant information online through courts and sheriff's offices is possible, the option is only available in some counties. Where online access is limited, employing the services of third-party sites may be the preferred course of action.

Secondly, government sites typically offer free access to warrant records online. However, many third-party sites charge a fee to provide information. For those seeking records at no cost, accessing the online database of a local sheriff's office or courthouse—or visiting during business hours—may be preferable.

Lastly, when an individual is unsure of the court that issued a warrant or where a warrant may exist, utilizing an independent site is more beneficial, as these platforms amass warrant records from across the state and are not limited to a jurisdiction. 

Still, whether performing a search on a private or government site, a researcher will require the warrant subject's name to pull up relevant records.

How Long Do Warrants Last in New Mexico

Indefinitely. Except for search warrants that expire after 10 days, most warrants issued by New Mexico courts never expire. They remain active until their underlying demands are fulfilled. Only when that happens is a warrant considered executed and closed.

New Mexico Warrant Search
  • Criminal Records
  • Arrests Records
  • Warrants
  • Driving Violations
  • Inmate Records
  • Felonies
  • Misdemeanors
  • Bankruptcies
  • Tax & Property Liens
  • Civil Judgements
  • Federal Dockets
  • Probate Records
  • Marriage Records
  • Divorce Records
  • Death Records
  • Property Records
  • Asset Records
  • Business Ownership
  • Professional Licenses
  • And More!