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Expungement Attorney New Mexico

A criminal record can affect multiple facets of your life, from your job to your reputation. Even if the charges get dismissed, an arrest record remains visible on a basic background check.  Luckily, you can remove some of the information on your criminal record from public view with an expungement. When a record is expunged, prospective employers and other third parties will not see the conviction or arrest when they run a background check.

Contact New Mexico Criminal Law Offices today if you want to know how to get your record expunged. An expungement attorney can review the circumstances of your criminal charges and determine whether you qualify.

What Is an Expungement in New Mexico?

New Mexico defines expungement as “the removal from access to the general public of a notation of an arrest, complaint, indictment, information, plea of guilty, conviction, acquittal, dismissal or discharge record, including a record posted on a publicly accessible court, corrections, or law enforcement internet website.” Although an expungement does not officially destroy information on your criminal record, it makes it impossible for members of the general public to see proof of it. Law enforcement and government agencies can still see criminal records even if they were expunged.

New Mexico Expungement Laws

In New Mexico, expungements fall into one of two categories: arrest record expungements and conviction expungements. 

Arrest Expungements

When you get arrested, the arrest automatically goes on your criminal record. The arrest record is visible even if you are not convicted of the charged offense.

For example, if the District Attorney charges you with assault but later decides to dismiss the charges against you, the arrest will still appear when someone checks your background. An arrest record presents issues for people seeking employment or secure housing. In New Mexico, you must wait at least one year after the date of the arrest before filing the expungement petition. Additionally, you cannot have any open criminal charges against you when you file.

Conviction Expungements 

A conviction expungement seals the criminal record of an official criminal conviction. A conviction can occur when you enter a plea agreement with the prosecutor’s office or go to trial and receive a guilty verdict.

You cannot expunge convictions for the following offenses in New Mexico:

  • Any offense resulting in great bodily harm,
  • Any offense resulting in death,
  • Sex crimes,
  • Crimes committed against children,
  • Embezzlement, and
  • Drunk driving and related offenses.

For other criminal offenses, New Mexico permits expungement after completing the sentence, payment of fines, and completion of a waiting period. Our team explains the requirements in more detail below.

How Long Do I Have to Wait Before Filing for Expungement?

You must meet multiple obligations before you can successfully receive an expungement. First, you need to complete the necessary waiting period. The length of the waiting period depends on the category of offense for your conviction. The waiting periods are described below:

  • Eligible misdemeanor and ordinance conviction: two-year waiting period;
  • Misdemeanor aggravated battery conviction: four-year waiting period
  • Fourth-degree felony conviction: four-year waiting period;
  • Third-degree felony conviction: six-year waiting period;
  • Second-degree felony conviction: eight-year waiting period;
  • First-degree felony conviction: 10-year waiting period; and
  • Any domestic violence-related conviction: 10-year waiting period.

During the waiting period, the petitioner must remain free of criminal accusations. 

Will the Court Grant My Expungement?

The court must find that granting your expungement will serve the interests of justice. When making this determination, the court considers things like the:

  • Amount of time that has passed since you committed the crime;
  • Nature and gravity of the underlying offense;
  • Consequences of the inability to obtain an expungement;
  • Amount of time that has passed since you completed your sentence;
  • Petitioner’s age, employment history, and prior criminal history; and
  • The prosecutor’s objections, if any.

An expungement lawyer can review the details of your case to determine whether any factors may cause the court to deny your expungement.

Contact an Expungement Lawyer at New Mexico Criminal Law Offices Today to Discuss Your Case

A conviction on your criminal record can severely limit your job opportunities, housing prospects, and ability to move forward with your life. Instead of letting your criminal record dictate every aspect of your day, see if you qualify for an expungement. An attorney at New Mexico Criminal Law Offices can help you apply for an expungement and give you the fresh start you need.

Our New Mexico Criminal Law Offices team has over two decades of experience representing individuals facing criminal charges. We have helped numerous clients expunge their arrest and conviction records in New Mexico. An experienced expungement lawyer can walk you through the expungement process and tell you what to expect. Contact our office today to talk to an expungement lawyer.