Sex Offender Registry: Can My Name Be Removed?
Upon conviction of certain sexual crimes, New Mexico requires people to register as sex offenders with the state sex offender registry. Sex offender registration places serious limitations on an offender’s individual rights and can result in unnecessary hardship in many areas of your life. Even though all sex crimes carry a negative stigma, some sex crimes are inarguably more serious than others. For that reason, you can typically remove your name from the sex offender registry after a certain period of time, but the crime you were convicted of will dictate whether or not that is possible in your case. Not every sex crime receives the same treatment.
If you have questions about New Mexico’s sex offender registry, our team of lawyers at the New Mexico Criminal Law Offices can find the answers. Contact our office today to get started.
Sex Offender Registry in New Mexico
In 1994, the U.S. Congress passed the Wetterling Act, which required all states to establish their own sex offender registry. In 1996, Megan’s Law altered the requirements. The new law required states to make certain “relevant” information about sex offenders available to the public. However, each state had to decide which information was relevant for public safety purposes. In 2006, Congress passed the Adam Walsh Act with the goal of improving sex offender registration laws. Title I of the resolution, the Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act (SORNA), establishes a national standard for which crimes should mandate registration and what information should be publicly available.
The stated purpose of SORNA is to provide community members with information about sex offenders to heighten public safety. Additionally, SORNA helps law enforcement keep track of registered sex offenders that live, work, or attend school within their jurisdiction.
Who Needs to Register As a Sex Offender in New Mexico?
New Mexico considers any individual convicted of a sex offense pursuant to state, federal, tribal, or military law to be a sex offender. A sex offense includes:
- Aggravated criminal sexual penetration;
- Any degree of criminal sexual penetration;
- Criminal sexual contact in the fourth degree;
- Criminal sexual contact of a minor in the second, third, or fourth degree;
- Sexual exploitation of children;
- Sexual exploitation of children by prostitution;
- Kidnapping, when committed with intent to inflict a sexual offense;
- False imprisonment, when committed with intent to inflict a sexual offense;
- Aggravated indecent exposure;
- Enticement of a child;
- Incest, when the victim is under 18 years old;
- Child solicitation by electronic communication device; or
- Solicitation to commit criminal sexual contact of a minor in the second, third, or fourth degree.
The attempt to commit any of the offenses listed above also warrants registration as a sex offender.
Information Required for Sex Offender Registration
Sex offenders who reside in New Mexico must register as sex offenders with their county sheriff no later than five business days after their release from incarceration or after arriving in the state. During initial registration, a sex offender provides the following information:
- Legal name and any aliases;
- Date of birth;
- Social security number;
- Current physical and mailing address;
- Address of any place the sex offender habitually lives;
- Place of employment;
- Sex offense the offender was convicted of;
- Date and location of conviction;
- Social networking information;
- Phone number(s);
- Name and address of any school the sex offender is attending; and
- Copies of the offender’s passport and immigration documents.
Additionally, the county sheriff will collect a photograph of the sex offender, the sex offender’s fingerprints, a physical description of the offender, and a DNA sample.
New Mexico utilizes three separate tiers for sex offenders that outline the length of required registration. The tier you land in depends on the offense you were convicted of.
How Long Does Sex Offender Registration Last?
The length of time the sheriff will retain your sex offender registration information depends on the sex offense for which you were convicted. For certain convictions, the state will keep the information forever. Sex offenses that stay on record forever include:
- Aggravated criminal sexual penetration;
- First, second, or third-degree criminal sexual penetration;
- Sexual exploitation of a child;
- Kidnapping, when the victim is under 18 and the offender is not a parent of the victim; or
- Fourth-degree criminal sexual contact.
For other sex crimes, the state will keep the registration information for 10 years following your release from prison, probation, or parole, whichever comes last.
How to Remove a Name from the Sex Offender Registry in New Mexico
After you have complied with the applicable statutory period for sex offender registration, you can file a written motion to have your information removed from the registry. You need to ensure that the offense you committed is eligible for removal. Additionally, ensure that at least 10 years have passed since your release from incarceration, probation, or parole. Once you comply with these requirements, you can petition the court to remove your information from the registry. Remember, this will not make your criminal conviction disappear. In most cases, your criminal conviction will remain on your permanent record unless you qualify for expungement.
Still Have Concerns About New Mexico’s Sex Offender Registry? Contact Our Office Today
We understand the difficulty caused by sex offender registration requirements. Thus, we know that getting your name removed from the sex offender registry is likely a top priority in your life. Our team is committed to conducting a thorough investigation, listening to your concerns, and presenting you with information about getting your name removed from the sex offender registry in New Mexico.
With over 30 years of combined experience representing criminal defendants in New Mexico, we have a detailed understanding of the sex offender registry requirements in New Mexico. If you or a loved one have questions about the sex offender registry, contact our attorneys online to schedule a free initial consultation.