How to Expunge Your Record in New Mexico Under the New Criminal Record Expungement Act

Contact Grano Law Offices, P.C. for an Initial Strategy Session

If you qualify for an Expungement, you have the right to live a life free from stigma related to your past actions. As a former New Mexico prosecutor and current Criminal Defense Attorney with twenty years of experience, I have the knowledge, insight, and confidence you need to assess and implement you’re your desire to clear your criminal record under New Mexico’s brand new Criminal Record Expungement Act.


For the first time in New Mexico State history, it is possible to expunge adult criminal history. Effective 2020, a new law went into effect in New Mexico that will help residents with criminal records expunge them, thereby removing them from public view and most background search results.

Democratic Rep. Antonio Maestas states, “There are probably tens of thousands of New Mexicans that are unemployed or underemployed as a result of a blemish on their criminal history that no longer reflects who they are.”

At a Glance

The new law, known as the Criminal Record Expungement Act, allows people with specific arrests and convictions to petition the court for Expungement. Expungements delete records in public databases, which means that individuals will not have to disclose their previous legal issues to an employer or on a job application.

In This Article

In this post, I examine who can benefit from these new laws, how you can petition the court for an Expungement, and steps you can take to make the process go smoothly.

While the information below is informational, it is best to speak with an Expungement lawyer in Northern New Mexico for specific legal advice.

Who Can Expunge Their Record Under the New Act?

The short answer is that anyone, with a misdemeanor or felony dismissal, acquittal, or conviction, can petition the court for an Expungement. However, there are exceptions to the rule, and there is no guarantee that the judge will grant it.

Let’s begin by examining cases that are not eligible for an Expungement:

Who Cannot Petition the Court for an Expungement in New Mexico?

There are a few types of crimes that are ineligible for consideration under the new law. If you have a conviction for the following types of offensives, you cannot apply for an Expungement, including:

  • DWI offenses
  • Embezzlement schemes
  • Sex crimes
  • Crimes against minors
  • Violent offenses that caused great bodily harm
  • Violent offenses that resulted in another’s death

If you are wondering if your record is eligible for Expungement, you should contact a New Mexico Expungement lawyer for more information. I can assess your situation and let you know how this new law applies to you and if I can help.

When Can You Ask the Court for an Expungement?

Before asking the court for an Expungement, a person must complete his or her sentence, paid all fines and fees, as well as act as a lawful member of society. Individuals, who wish to expunge their records, must participate in a conviction-free waiting period that lasts between two and ten years.

The time required depends on the seriousness of the offense. You must not have any new convictions during the waiting period to apply for an Expungement.

The waiting periods apply to the following offenses:

  • Identity theft: Upon sentence completion.
  • Non-convictions: One year from date of disposition.
  • Ordinance or misdemeanor convictions: Two years from the date of sentence completion.
  • Misdemeanor aggravated battery or 4th-degree felony convictions: Four years from the date of sentence completion.
  • 3rd-degree felony convictions: Six years from the date of sentence completion.
  • 2nd-degree felony convictions: Eight years from the date of sentence completion.
  • 1st-degree felony convictions or a conviction under the Crimes Against Household Members Act: Ten years from the date of sentence completion.

Once you have completed the waiting period for eligible offenses without any new convictions, then the good news is that you can move to the next step in the process. It is at this point that it is practical to explore your options with an Expungement lawyer serving Las Vegas, NM, and surrounding areas.

What District Judges Consider When Deciding Whether or Not to Grant a Petition to Expunge a Criminal Record

Just because you qualify for an Expungement does not mean that you will get and get an Expungement granted by the District Court. There is a considerable amount of preparation regarding the obtaining of appropriate court required records, preparing the petition relative to your case, filing the petition, preparing your case for court, responding to any opposition from the District Attorney’s office who may present evidence in opposition, attending the hearing with you and presenting the case to the court. The District Judge will consider all evidence and if convinced will then grant a final order expunging your criminal record.

The judge assigned to your case considers the following elements when determining if it is in the best interests of justice to order an Expungement:

  • the nature and gravity of the offense in its entirety
  • your age, criminal history, and employment history
  • the amount of time that has passed
  • the negative consequences of denying your expungement
  • the DA’s reasons to deny it, if any

As you can see, there may be opposing forces that do not want to see your expungement happen by the attorney representing the State of New Mexico. Having an unrelenting and tenacious New Mexico Expungement lawyer on your side is advantageous for facing your detractors in court.

How to File an Expungement in New Mexico

After your initial strategy session with an Expungement law attorney licensed to practice in New Mexico, I will assist you and advise you on the preparation of the case prior to initiating the process.

In general, there are eight steps to successfully expunge a criminal record:

  1. Obtain and preserve your law enforcement and court records.
  2. Incorporate the specifics of your situation in the Petition to Expunge according to the governing rules of the court.
  3. Submit your arrest, public, and sentencing records with the petition.
  4. File the petition in the proper district court in compliance with the rules of the civil procedure along with the $132.00 filing fee. (Other electronic fees will apply depending on the specifics of each case.)
  5. Provide proper service of the petition and supporting documents to the district attorney, department of public safety, and the arresting law enforcement agency.
  6. Prepare you and your case for court.
  7. Appear with you in court and present your expungement case to the court.
  8. A successful resolution ends in you receiving an order granting your criminal expungement.

The district court judge has up to 30 days from the date of your hearing to issue a final written order that grants or denies your petition. However, it is possible that he or she can hand down a decision on the day of the hearing.

I will follow-up with all governing agencies to ensure that the Expungement has taken full effect upon a court granting your Expungement.

Contact Grano Law Offices, P.C. for an Initial Strategy Session

If you qualify for an Expungement, you have the right to live a life free from stigma related to your past actions. As a former New Mexico prosecutor, I have the knowledge, insight, and confidence you need to feel like you are leveraging the power of a strategic criminal defense attorney.

You can reach out to my office today for an initial strategy session. Request yours today by calling (505) 587-8649. Or you can complete my convenient and secure contact form.

[Featured image credit link]

Posted in Criminal Defense

Recent Posts