What Goes on a Criminal Record?
After you have been accused of or arrested for a crime, you may wonder what will appear on your “criminal record.” Unfortunately, the answer is not as simple as it may seem. The information that appears on a criminal record will depend on the circumstances of your arrest.
What Criminal Records Could Reflect
New Mexico has a criminal justice system that has one primary goal: To deter future crime. The state looks for opportunities to minimize consequences of criminal activity and look for opportunities for reform; but, that does not mean that, if you are arrested or convicted, you would not face consequences.
New Mexico is a retributive state. This means that the state seeks to punish criminals – not reform them. Therefore, if you are arrested and convicted, the state does not look for opportunities to reform your actions.
Juvenile convictions are different. While some juvenile records may be sealed, a juvenile is not free from persecution or a criminal record. In some cases – depending on the crime – there are instances where young people will have a permanent criminal record that affects their ability to get a job, or even attend school.
The Purpose of a Criminal Record
While a criminal record may seem scary, it was not designed to be so. If you are not convicted of a crime, your criminal record would reflect what occurred. It would state whether charges were filed, dropped, or if you were found not guilty at trial. Also, if you were convicted of a crime, your record would reflect, in detail, how your conviction occurred. It would not simply state “guilty” or “not guilty.”
Errors do occur in criminal records as well, which is why it is important that your criminal attorney review your record for accuracy. Errors are easily corrected. Most importantly, you should have your record examined for positive notations. If the court clerk failed to file the positive resolution of your criminal charges, your attorney may petition the court for an accurate record.
Speak with a Lawyer to Reduce What is Seen on a Criminal Record
While you may have been arrested, failing to hire counsel could result in a negative criminal record. An attorney can assist you not only with your defense, but also help to reduce the impact that your criminal record has on the rest of your life. A criminal record is permanent; it will show up on background checks for housing, school, military enlistment, and employment.
If you have been arrested for a crime, do not wait. Contact an expert New Mexico criminal defense attorney at New Mexico Criminal Law Offices today. Schedule your consultation at 505-375-4661, or fill out our online contact form with your legal questions.