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New Mexico Arrest Records

New Mexico Arrest Records are legal documents containing information regarding a person's apprehension and detention by law enforcement. Unlike criminal records, these records do not serve as proof of conviction.

Arrest records in New Mexico contain a wealth of information that can prove beneficial in various situations. They typically include data such as the full name of the arrested individual, their date of birth, physical description, photographs, fingerprints, and details regarding their arrest.

Furthermore, these records often provide information about the charges brought against the individual, any court proceedings, and the outcome of those proceedings, including convictions, dismissals, or acquittals.

In New Mexico, individuals and organizations use this information to make informed decisions about whom they trust and associate.

Employers, landlords, and others often screen potential employees or tenants using arrest records. Individuals also use them to check the backgrounds of people they consider doing business with.

The state's public records laws mandate the accessibility of New Mexico Arrest Records. The Inspection of Public Records Act (IPRA) of the state establishes the right of the public to access and inspect a wide range of government records, including arrest records.

However, some records, such as juvenile arrest and expunged or sealed records, may be exempt from public access.

What Laws Govern Arrests in New Mexico?

There are existing laws that govern arrests in New Mexico, just like in any other state. These laws are in place to maintain public safety and ensure that individuals who have committed crimes are apprehended and brought to justice.

The New Mexico Statutes, specifically Chapter 31 or the State Criminal Procedure, outlines various laws that govern the criminal procedure and the legal process related to arrests in the state.

This law also provides a comprehensive framework that outlines individuals' rights and law enforcement officers' powers.

In this state, any law enforcement officer can make an arrest. This list includes deputy sheriffs, sheriffs, state police, and local police.

Before making an arrest, law enforcement officers must adhere to strict rules. They must also have probable cause, which means they must reasonably believe that a crime has been committed. Additionally, they must investigate or witness the crime themselves before arresting someone.

In New Mexico, law enforcement officers can arrest someone either with a valid and signed arrest warrant issued by a jury or without a warrant.

Under NM Stat section 31-1-7, law enforcement officers can arrest individuals without a warrant if they are at the scene of a domestic dispute. They may also arrest without a warrant if they reasonably suspect a person has assaulted or battered a family member.

Private citizens in New Mexico also have the power to make arrests under certain circumstances. For instance, if a private citizen witnesses someone perpetrating a crime or knows that someone has committed it, they may use reasonable force to detain that person until they can turn them over to the police.

What Is the Arrest Booking Process in New Mexico?

The arrest booking process in New Mexico is a systematic procedure that occurs after the arrest of an individual. It ensures that law enforcement agencies have accurate information about the arrested person, aids in investigating and prosecuting crimes, and serves as a means of accountability within the criminal justice system.

The booking process varies by state. However, the following are standard procedures in New Mexico:


The first step in the booking process in New Mexico is identifying the arrested individual. This step involves recording their details, such as their full name, date of birth, and physical description.

In this state, recording this information helps to establish a clear and accurate record of the individual's identity.

Fingerprinting and Photographing

After recording personal information, the arrested person will have their fingerprints taken and photographed. These measures establish their identity and create a record for future reference.

Background Checking

As part of the booking process, the law enforcement officer will conduct a comprehensive background check on the arrested individual. They will search for outstanding warrants or other violations in this step.

This step helps ensure that all relevant information is considered during the arrest and booking process.

Medical Screening

A medical professional may examine the arrested person to assess their physical well-being and address immediate medical needs. This screening ensures that the individual's health is considered during custody and addresses immediate medical needs or concerns.


After booking, the arrested person will be placed in jail to await their court appearance. They will remain in custody until they can post bond or bail or until they have an initial hearing before a judge.

It is essential to note that the length of time an individual remains in jail in New Mexico can vary depending on the specific circumstances of their case, the seriousness of the alleged offense, and other factors the court considers.

What Are New Mexico Mugshot Records?

Mugshot records are official images taken at the moment of an arrest and are often found in New Mexico Arrest Records. These records, shot on a gray or brown background, visually document the person's appearance while interacting with law enforcement.

Apart from the visual image of the arrested individual taken at the time of their arrest, these records contain personal information of the arrested individual, arrest details, charges, and booking number. It also often includes the arresting agency, arrest report, and the officer that made the arrest.

In New Mexico, mugshot records are public documents that individuals and organizations can access for background checks. These records are also available to the public to promote public safety and assist criminal investigations.

Interested individuals who want to obtain these records must determine the agency or entity that holds the records. Typically, this would be the law enforcement agency that made the arrest or the detention center where the individual was processed.

After determining the agency, interested parties can find these records, which are available online through the office of the arresting agency.

Alternatively, seekers may contact their local police department or county Sheriff's Office to obtain mugshot records.

How Long Does an Arrest Record Stay in New Mexico?

Having an arrest record in New Mexico can significantly impact an individual's life. It can affect their chances of getting a job, finding a place to live, pursuing education, and maintaining personal relationships.

Therefore, arrested individuals must know how long their arrest record will stay on file in the state.

In New Mexico, arrest records will stay on file indefinitely. However, individuals who were arrested but not convicted of a crime and meet the state's requirements for expungement can apply to have their records expunged.

Once an individual's arrest or case is expunged in this state, the court clerk will remove the public record from their office and the court's website. It means that the information will no longer be visible to the public, and it will also be inaccessible during background checks.

How To Expunge an Arrest Record in New Mexico

Expungement proceedings in this state involve a series of steps that individuals must follow to request the removal of their New Mexico Arrest Records. The process typically starts with filing a petition in the court that filed the arrest.

In the expungement process, the petitioner, usually through legal representation, must provide a compelling argument for why their arrest record should be expunged based on their eligibility and adherence to the requirements set forth by state law.       

Before, only individuals who had been arrested but not convicted of a crime could expunge their arrest records in New Mexico. But in recent years, the state has expanded the opportunity for individuals to expunge their arrest records.

The enactment of the Criminal Record Expungement Act (CREA) has made it possible to expunge most arrests, dismissed cases, and certain conviction records, except for the most severe crimes.

Under this law, individuals whose cases were dismissed can now expunge their records after a waiting period of one year as long as no new charges are pending against them.

Additionally, the act allows for the expungement of cases with a conviction after the waiting period of two to ten years, subject to the nature of the underlying charges.

However, it is worth noting that certain crimes are not eligible for expungement in this law, such as:

  • Sex crimes
  • Violence against children
  • Violent crimes that cause serious physical harm or death
  • Driving while intoxicated (DWI)
  • Embezzlement

Expungement Process in New Mexico

The expungement process varies from state to state. However, the first step in New Mexico is to obtain the individual's arrest records from the relevant agency.

Once the arrest records are obtained, the individual must complete the necessary forms the New Mexico Courts provided.

Alongside the form, the individual must provide all relevant supporting documents and submit them to the court where the arrest or accusations were initially filed.

To proceed with the expungement process, the individual must pay the specified expungement fee and copy the expungement petition and supporting documents. After that, the individual must distribute these vital documents to all relevant agencies, including law enforcement agencies and prosecuting attorneys.

After filing the petition, the court will schedule a hearing to review the expungement request. During the hearing, the court may interrogate the individual regarding their request and address any objections concerned parties have filed.

Following the hearing, the court has a designated time frame, typically 30 days, to decide whether to deny or grant the expungement petition.

If the petition is granted, the individual's arrest record will no longer be publicly accessible, providing them with a fresh start and alleviating the negative impact of their record.

Aside from expungement, clemency or pardon is another option for removing an arrest record. To be eligible for this proceeding, the person seeking it must have served their term and demonstrated that they are a reformed, law-abiding citizen.

In New Mexico, the governor has the exclusive authority to grant clemency or pardon.

How To Search New Mexico Arrest Records

In New Mexico, there are three major agencies that can provide arrest records: the New Mexico Department of Public Safety (NMDPS), the New Mexico State Police (NMSP), and the New Mexico Department of Corrections (NMDOC).

These agencies keep all criminal justice information, which includes arrest records, in a single repository. As a result, interested individuals who want to obtain New Mexico Arrest Records must approach one of these agencies.

But for the most reliable method for accessing arrest or criminal records in New Mexico, it is advisable to use the fingerprint-based criminal record search of the NMDPS. To use this service, individuals must provide the fingerprints of the individuals they are searching for in the record.

Additionally, accurate identification must be provided, along with a clear statement of the purpose of the search. The NMDPS delivers the required application forms that individuals must complete. Furthermore, interested individuals must pay an applicable search fee.

It is important to note that this service is primarily available to employers, financial institutions, and individuals seeking detailed arrest or criminal record information for personal use.

Another option to get these records is to go to the Sheriff's Office in the region where the arrest happened and ask for copies of the relevant documents. Each county in New Mexico has its own Sheriff's Office, which is generally where reports and records from local law enforcement agencies are transmitted.

Interested individuals must fill out a public records request form to get copies of these records from the Sheriff's Office. After completing the form, they must send it online, by mail, or in person.

For the contact details and other relevant information about the Sheriff's Offices in New Mexico, use the County Sheriffs Directory of the New Mexico Sheriffs' Association.

Counties in New Mexico

Jails and Prisons in New Mexico

Bernalillo County NM Metropolitan Detention Center100 Deputy Dean Miera Drive SW, Albuquerque, NM
Sandoval County NM Detention Center1100 Montoya Rd., Bernalillo, NM
New Mexico Men’s Recovery Academy1000 W. Main St., Los Lunas, NM
Valencia County Detention Center436 Courthouse Road, Los Lunas, NM
McKinley NM Adult Detention Center255 South Boardman Avenue, Gallup, NM
Chaves County NM Juvenile Detention Center119 East Fourth Street, Roswell, NM
Chaves County NM Detention Center3701 South Atkinson Avenue, Roswell, NM
Roswell Correctional Center - RCC578 W. Chickasaw Road, Hagerman, NM
Lea County NM Detention Center1401 South Commercial, Lovington, NM