New Expungement Law!
Just last month, New Mexico passed a new expungement law. The law essentially allows a person to erase arrest and criminal records. This is exciting news for many people in New Mexico, who struggle with criminal records. I will go through everything we know about the new law so far, hopefully, to give you a better sense of whether expungement is right for you.
A Lot of Unknowns. To begin with, the law is so new that we don't know very much about it. The law doesn't go into effect until January 1, 2020. New Mexico hasn't even developed rules for implementing the law yet! For example, we don't know all of the steps and procedures to start and finish the expungement process. The point I want to drive home is that you should be very careful with any info, articles, etc., that you find online. (Yes, this even applies to the article you're reading right now!) Everyone is using incomplete information to report on the new law.
On the other hand, we know the basic outline and structure of the law. We also know some key points, which I discuss below.
Start Date. As I said, we know the law goes into effect on January 1, 2020. On that date, we can begin filing expungement petitions in court (a petition is just a fancy way of saying a request). I should warn you that, come January, there may be a flood of cases. Even though you can't file yet, you may want to contact an attorney and start working on your case. If you get to work now, you might be able to avoid long wait times. However, you should first determine if expungement is right for your particular situation.
Meeting the Requirements. Do you qualify for an expungement? We don't know all of the requirements, so we can't answer that question. But, the law is very clear about what disqualifies you from getting an expungement.
You cannot get an expungement if:
(1) You haven't completed your sentence.
(2) You haven't paid all of the fines and fees owed to the state for your conviction.
(3) You haven't fulfilled court-ordered victim restitution for your conviction.
(4) You have a criminal charge or criminal proceeding pending against you.
(5) You were convicted of any other crime within the past 2 years (misdemeanor or municipal ordinance violation), 4 years (fourth degree felony or misdemeanor aggravated battery), 6 years (third degree felony), 8 years (second degree felony), or 10 years (first degree felony or any crimes that fall under the Crimes Against Household Members Act).
Number 5 is a little bit hard to understand, so here are some examples: If you want to expunge a misdemeanor, you can't have any other criminal convictions within the past two years. If you want to expunge a third degree felony, then you can't have any other criminal convictions within the past 6 years.
Exclusions. You cannot expunge certain crimes--below is a list:
(a) any crime committed against a child
(b) any crime that caused great bodily harm to another person
(c) any crime that caused the death of another person
(d) most sex crimes
(f) DWI and DUI
After reading this article, I hope that you have a better sense of whether expungement is right for you. If you have questions about expungement, you can schedule a free consultation with us at Salcedo & Company. We offer our services for a very competitive flat fee. Please fill out a contact form here or call us at (575) 993-2676. If you qualify, we would like to help you clear your criminal record so you can start afresh!
In the meantime, I will be posting more articles on the new expungement law. So please be on the lookout for more articles like this one!
**Disclaimer: This post is intended for informational and educational purposes only. Nothing in this post is intended to be legal advice. Nothing in this blog post should be read or construed as legal advice. By issuing this blog post, Isidro Salcedo, Esq., and Salcedo & Company, LLC, are not acting as your attorney nor creating an attorney-client relationship with you. By reading, relying on, or using the information in this blog post, you acknowledge and affirm that Isidro Salcedo, Esq., and Salcedo & Company, LLC, are not acting as your attorney and are not subject to any attorney-client relationship with you. Each case is different, so using general information to make decisions regarding your legal issues, such as the general information found in this blog post, is not advisable. If you have specific legal questions or issues, please consult an attorney or other licensed legal service provider.**