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What are Criminal Records in New Mexico?

Criminal records, also known as rap sheets, are official documents pertaining to a person’s criminal activity in New Mexico. Generally, these records describe the subject’s criminal offenses, arrests, indictments, convictions, and incarcerations. The information in a criminal record is assembled from local, county, and state-operated criminal justice agencies.

Criminal records are one of several police records created during a criminal case. Others include arrest warrants, arrest records, incident reports, and activity logs. Of these, criminal records are the most comprehensive. Persons who obtain a criminal record can expect to find the following information: 

  • The subject’s personal information, such as full name, known aliases, and birthdate
  • The subject’s race/ethnicity
  • Fingerprints and mugshots
  • Physical descriptors such as weight, height, eye color, hair color, and body markings
  • All previous and current indictments
  • Arrest records and outstanding warrants
  • Conviction information
  • Post-conviction status

Are New Mexico Criminal Records Public?

Yes. The New Mexico Inspection of Public Records Act allows the public to inspect all government records, including criminal records.

While the processes employed in criminal record collection and management may vary between jurisdictions, most New Mexico state public criminal records are organized in record depositories and maintained by the New Mexico Department of Public Safety (NMDPS).

Criminal records, considered public in the United States, are made available through some third-party aggregate sites. Searching with third-party websites is often easier as the information is not limited to geographic record availability. Information found on third-party websites can serve as a jumping off point for parties searching for a specific record or multiple records. Typically, requesters must provide the following information to gain access to these records:

  • The record subject’s name, unless the subject is a juvenile.
  • The record subjects’ last known location, including cities, counties, and states.

Third-party websites offer these search services, but they are not government sponsored. Availability of records may vary.

How to Obtain Criminal Records in New Mexico?

The NMDPS processes fingerprint-based criminal record search requests from employers, financial providers, and individuals named on the criminal record. Members of the public may perform an unofficial, free public criminal record check through New Mexico’s Courts. Generally, this involves name-based case lookup for on-demand court records. On-demand court records can be obtained online or through law enforcement officers, courts, and public access databases.

What are New Mexico Arrest Records?

New Mexico arrest records are official documents containing details regarding a person’s apprehension and detention by law enforcement. Although law enforcement creates these records following the individual’s alleged involvement in a crime, arrest records are not definitive proof of guilt. Arrest records merely suggest that the subject was detained or questioned for investigation’s sake.

If there is direct or circumstantial evidence of guilt or involvement in a crime, the individual shall be formally charged and processed for a court hearing. Information regarding these processes is detailed on the individual’s criminal record. Persons who obtain arrest records in New Mexico can expect to find the following information:

  • The arrestee’s personal information, including name, birth date, and sex.
  • Date and place of the arrest
  • The name of the arresting officer
  • The address of the detention center or jail
  • Case status

Are New Mexico Arrest Records Public?

Yes. New Mexico arrest records are open to the public per the New Mexico Inspection of Public Records Act. While the NMDPS includes public arrest records in the criminal records, local law enforcement agencies generate standalone records. Interested requesters may contact the local police department or the sheriff’s office for arrest records. Generally, the record custodian will charge a nominal fee that covers the cost of copying the documents. Still, a requester may obtain free arrest records if the record custodian grants a fee waiver.

What are Arrest Warrants in New Mexico?

New Mexico arrest warrants are court orders allowing law enforcement to apprehend and detain individuals suspected of a criminal offense. Active warrants are typically issued by a judge or magistrate upon the district attorney’s request. Following the issuance of the arrest warrant, local or state law enforcement officers shall execute the arrest warrant. A typical New Mexico arrest warrant will comprise the following information:

  • A description of the alleged criminal offense
  • The personal information of the suspect
  • The date and time of the arrest
  • Restrictions on the validity of the warrant
  • Any applicable bail/bond conditions.

Indeed, police officers in New Mexico may arrest criminal suspects without arrest warrants if the officer witnesses the crime or if the individual is suspected of a felony. The officer will create an incident report, arrest record, and other relevant police records in such cases. Meanwhile, persons who wish to see active warrants may conduct a warrant search at the local law enforcement’s office. New Mexico does not maintain a statewide central repository for warrants, but the DEA and the U.S. Marshals do. Interested persons may perform an active warrant search on these agencies’ databases.

What are New Mexico Inmate Records?

New Mexico inmate records refer to all official documents pertaining to persons incarcerated in the state. Jail records are primarily managed by New Mexico's Department of Corrections, which is charged with all corrections-related services of the state. Jail and inmate records encompass information such as jail facility locations and capacity as well as inmate full names and aliases, incarceration date, expected release date, convicted offense, and mugshots. Interested persons may carry out an inmate lookup by searching the online database maintained by the NMDC. An inmate search can be conducted by offender name or unique DOC number.

What is the New Mexico Sex Offender Registry?

The New Mexico sex offender registry is an online database where anyone may obtain information regarding registered sex offenders in New Mexico. These listings are typically managed by the law enforcement agencies of various jurisdictions in the state. Persons who query the sex offender registry can expect to see the sex offender’s full name, known aliases, biodata, and residential details.

Besides these, sex offender registries feature the offender’s home, work, school addresses, along with relevant criminal histories and current compliance status. New Mexico maintains the sex offender registry per Megan’s law, the federal legislation requiring states to provide the public with information on registered sex offenders.

What is a DUI in New Mexico?

A DUI in New Mexico is a serious traffic violation that involves operating a motor vehicle under the influence of alcohol or similar drugs. New Mexico’s DUI laws make it illegal for adults to operate vehicles with a blood alcohol content (BAC) of 0.08 or more. Generally, the police will perform a traffic stop if a driver shows signs of drunk driving and subject the driver to field sobriety tests. The police will arrest any person whose ability to carry out instructions is impaired or has a BAC above the legal limit. The driver shall face administrative and court-imposed penalties, including license suspension, jail time, fines, and community service.

What are Misdemeanors in New Mexico?

New Mexico misdemeanors are non-indictable offenses that are generally considered to be less severe than felonies. In New Mexico, misdemeanors are divided into two categories—petty misdemeanors and misdemeanors. While the penalty for misdemeanors generally depends on the class, the punishments are not likely to exceed one (1) year in jail, a $1000 fee, or in some cases, both.

Petty Misdemeanors:

  • Shoplifting of items no more than $250
  • Property damage to the tune of $1000 or less
  • Simple battery
  • Disorderly conduct

Misdemeanors:

  • Trespassing
  • Possession of drug paraphernalia
  • Theft of items (worth at least $250 but no more than $500)

What are Felonies in New Mexico?

New Mexico felony offenses are crimes that are punishable by a jail sentence of at least one year and by death in some cases. There are five classes of felonies in New Mexico, from capital felonies and first-degree through fourth-degree felonies. A capital felony is the most serious crime in New Mexico, while the first-degree felony is the second most serious felony crime. Fourth-degree felonies are the least serious felony. The penalties applied to each felony class ranges from capital punishment or a lifetime in prison to a minimum of 18 months of jail time and a fine. Some examples of felonies in New Mexico include:

  • Capital Felonies: Premeditated murder and aggravated sexual assault.
  • First-degree Felonies: Murder, sexual assault (of a minor), and robbery with a deadly weapon.
  • Second-degree Felonies: Robbery, production of child pornography, and drug trafficking.
  • Third-degree Felonies: Aggravated battery and sex-related crimes.
  • Fourth-degree Felonies: Involuntary manslaughter, aggravated assault, and burglary.

What are New Mexico Parole Records?

Parole records are documents that provide information regarding the release of inmates prior to the completion of their maximum sentence. These records are generally managed by the New Mexico Parole Board, which is tasked with granting, denying, or revoking parole in the state.

If granted parole, the prisoner will be under strict supervision and pay a designated monthly fee for supervision. Furthermore, the prisoner will be required to submit to drug tests and occasional, unannounced visitations. The prisoner must also stay away from any acts that put them in a space for parole violation.

The board may also impose any conditions of parole it deems appropriate in order to ensure the best interests of the prisoner and the citizens of New Mexico are served. All information pertaining to New Mexico paroles may be obtained by querying the parole board or the Records Information unit of the board.

What are New Mexico Probation Records?

New Mexico probation records refer to official documents that indicate that a convicted criminal may serve their sentence outside detention as an alternative to doing so in a correctional facility. This usually requires that the prisoner complies with probation conditions imposed by the judge, the probation office, and the probation officer, which may vary depending on the crime and the criminal history of the offender.

Probations are issued in proportion to the crime and may differ based on the type of supervision required. Intensive probation is a form of very strict probation that has conditions that emphasize keeping the offender from committing crimes while in the community.

New Mexico Juvenile Criminal Records

New Mexico Juvenile records refer to documents about the criminal activity of minors who have gone through the juvenile justice system. If proven guilty of the criminal offense, a juvenile will not be considered a convict but adjudicated delinquent. Records of these adjudications, including arrest records, juvenile detention center records, and juvenile court records, are confidential. The records remain up for selective access unless the individual submits a petition to expunge. Still, persons found adjudicated delinquent to a criminal offense may not respond “yes” if asked whether they have ever been convicted of a crime unless probed regarding adjudicated delinquency.

What are New Mexico Conviction Records?

New Mexico conviction records are official documents indicating that a person was found guilty of a criminal offense following their indictment and a court hearing. These records typically feature the personal information of the convict as well as details of the charges and sentences. It is typically also indicated whether the individual pleaded guilty or pleaded nolo contendere against criminal charges. Conviction records also indicate adjudications of the subject, dishonorable discharges, probation, fines, and paroles. However, details of convictions or sentences which have been reversed or annulled are usually excluded from these records.

History and Accuracy of New Mexico Criminal Records

The accuracy of criminal record data depends on the recordkeeping and technological capabilities of the jurisdiction where the record was assembled and later digitized. Criminal records archives usually tend to go back as far as the 1970s when criminal and arrest data started to be centralized and compiled into an organized database much like we use today. Accuracy was more commonly affected by human error in the past, but the quality and accuracy of recordkeeping have improved exponentially with technology. 

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Results are based upon available information from state, county and municipal databases, and may not include some or all of the above details.

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