Effective January 1, 2020, the Criminal Records Expungement Act, Sections 29-3A-1 through 29-3A-9 NMSA 1978, took effect.Criminal Record Expungement Act, § 29-3A-1 NMSA 1978; See also Title 10, Part 2 NMAC 10.2.2.2 et al, Expungement of Arrest Records and Related Records
A criminal record can affect someone in profound and unthinkable ways, from driving for the gig economy, to coaching kid’s sports teams, to obtaining or maintaining a hot air balloon license, to working with cash in a casino, obtaining housing, etc.
There is a new law available to those with embarrassing arrests or regrettable convictions for certain crimes. You may qualify for relief under New Mexico’s Criminal Record Expungement Act.
Did you take a quick plea to shoplifting back in the day? This crime is what society refers to as a crime of “moral turpitude.” While the fine might have been less than fifty bucks, the stigma attaches for a lifetime. And the stigma is: “This person can’t be trusted with money.”
This new expungement law distinguishes between arrests and convictions. Depending on your unique criminal history the law may require expungement of your criminal record, it may prohibit expungement, or it may require expungement to be discretionary to the judge. Once a petition for expungement is initiated by the requestor both law enforcement and the district attorney are notified in the event they want to contest the petition for expungement. Thus, it is recommended that you consult with an attorney prior to petitioning
If you were never convicted of a crime, but were nonetheless charged or arrested, and a year has passed, you are eligible to apply for an expungement. On the other end of the spectrum, for example, if you were convicted of domestic violence you may have to wait ten years before applying for expungement.
Whether to choose to move for expungement requires consultation with a skilled and established criminal defense lawyer. For example, sometimes the decision to petition for expungement should be delayed until a statute of limitations has expired. Sometimes that’s not necessary.
If you have criminal charges pending and are contemplating a plea offer, your attorney should be able to advise you how different settlement scenarios affect expungement.
Be ready and be informed when you speak to a New Mexico licensed attorney with criminal defense experience to assist with your petition for expungement. Mr. Klopfer requires you obtain two documents on your own before you may retain him to draft and advocate a petition for expungement of your criminal record.
You must obtain your New Mexico Department of Public Safety (DPS) background report, and your Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) background report. They both can be easily obtained using the below instructions. It is recommended you apply for the FBI report using your electronic fingerprints at participating post offices for the quickest turn around. These reports are incorporated into the petition for expungement.
You may obtain a RAP sheet from the New Mexico Department of Public Safety at https://www.dps.nm.gov/top-links-for-nm-residents/fingerprinting-and-background-checks.
You may request a copy of your FBI background check at https://www.fbi.gov/services/cjis/identity-history-summary-checks.
Call attorney Barry Klopfer today to learn if you are eligible for an expungement. Lay the groundwork to give your background check an employability tune up. A person whose record is expunged may answer “No” when asked if they have ever been arrested or convicted. Invest in such freedom for yourself. You deserve the change. Call Mr. Klopfer today, (505) 722-9331.