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New Mexico Criminal Records

New Mexico Criminal Records is an extensive compilation of information that sheds light on an individual's involvement in criminal activities within the state. Generally, these records contain a comprehensive range of data, including the following:

  • The subject's details, such as full name, date of birth, and race or ethnicity
  • Physical characteristics, including weight, height, hair color, and eye color
  • Fingerprints
  • Mugshots
  • Details regarding the individual's criminal charges
  • Conviction records
  • The sentence's penalties, fines, probation, or imprisonment
  • Arrest records and outstanding warrants

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

In New Mexico, many individuals benefit from these data, which help maintain public safety, accountability, and responsibility in the criminal justice system. Since these records offer crucial information, they empower employers, landlords, and individuals to make informed personal safety and security decisions.

Employers, for example, depend on these records to perform background checks on potential employees, ensuring they hire individuals who do not pose a risk to the workplace or the community. 

Similarly, landlords can use these records to examine potential tenants' criminal histories to determine the risk of renting their homes.

The Inspection of Public Records Act (IPRA) is the law that makes criminal records publicly accessible in New Mexico. This statute ensures public access to a wide range of data kept by state agencies and organizations.

Under this law, people and organizations can seek criminal records from government authorities, who must furnish them within a reasonable timeframe. Additionally, it ensures that the process of accessing these records is fair, transparent, and accessible to all.

What Are the Types of Crimes in New Mexico?

New Mexico utilizes a criminal classification system to categorize different types of crimes. The following are some crime categories an individual may see in New Mexico Criminal Records.


Felonies in New Mexico represent the gravest offenses, carrying significant legal and social ramifications. In this state, offenders convicted of felonies may face imprisonment for at least one year and, in some instances, even the death penalty.

This state classifies felonies into five classes, each representing the offense's severity. The types of felonies and their respective consequences are as follows:

Fourth-degree Felonies

In New Mexico, a fourth-degree felony is the least severe type. However, an individual guilty of this crime may face imprisonment for up to 18 months and must pay substantial fines.

Crimes under fourth-degree felony include the following

  • Larceny
  • Forgery
  • Personal possession of some illegal drugs
  • Assault with a deadly weapon
  • Involuntary manslaughter

Third-degree Felonies

In New Mexico, a third-degree felony is punishable by prison terms of three years and hefty penalties.

Even though the potential sanctions remain the same, the maximum basic prison sentences are longer if the felony involved a sexual offense against a child, sexual exploitation of a child, or resulted in death.

In this state, third-degree felony involves offenses such as:

  • Burglary
  • Aggravated battery and sex-related crimes
  • Voluntary manslaughter
  • Property theft
  • Aggravated assault on a healthcare worker

Second-degree Felonies

A person convicted of this felony could receive up to nine years imprisonment and a maximum fine of $10,000. However, if the felony entailed sexual conduct against a child, the term could be up to 15 years in prison and a $12,500 fine.

If the crime involved the sexual exploitation of a minor, the potential sentence is up to 12 years in prison and a $5,000 fine.

In instances where the felony resulted in death, the consequences may vary, but the specifics would depend on the nature of the offense. 

Second-degree felonies in New Mexico include crimes such as:

  • Aggravated assault
  • Arson
  • Production of child pornography
  • Drug trafficking
  • Armed burglary

First-degree Felonies

New Mexico's first-degree felony is the second most serious felony crime. It can lead to lengthy prison sentences, often ranging from 18 to 51 years, plus a possible fine of $15,000, depending on the circumstances of the crime.

The type of offenses under first-degree felony in New Mexico includes, but is not limited to:

  •   Kidnapping
  •   Murder
  •   Sex trafficking of a child under 13
  •   Armed robbery

Capital Felonies

In New Mexico, the most severe felony is a capital felony, for which offenders receive life in prison without parole.

In certain instances, individuals facing a life sentence may be eligible for parole after 30 years. However, the punishment must be life in prison without the possibility of parole if the judge finds that the offense involved certain aggravating factors.

Crimes such as first-degree murder or aggravated forms of sexual assault are examples of offenses classified as capital felonies.


In New Mexico, misdemeanors are less serious offenses compared to felonies. While they may not carry the same weight as felonies, these offenses are typically punishable by fines, probation, community service, or short-term incarceration.

Once an individual is guilty of these crimes in New Mexico, the judge will determine the appropriate sentence within the legal limits for the specific offense. 

For sentencing purposes, New Mexico divides this crime into petty misdemeanors and misdemeanors (regular).

Additionally, the state's laws outline the type of offenses and general penalties for these crimes as follows:

Petty Misdemeanors

For petty misdemeanors, the sentence typically involves a jail term of less than six months and a fine of up to $500. Offenses under petty misdemeanors are the following:

  •  Shoplifting of items no more than $250
  •  Possession of a moderate amount of marijuana
  •  Larceny
  •  Simple battery
  •  Firing a gun into a car or building
  •  Disorderly conduct

Misdemeanors (Regular)

For misdemeanors, the punishment can range from more than six months but less than a year in jail and a fine of $1,000.

In New Mexico, the following are examples of crimes under this misdemeanor category:

  • Trespassing
  • Harassment
  • Possession of drug paraphernalia
  • Theft of property worth more than $250 but no more than $500

How Does Probation Work in New Mexico?

Probation in New Mexico is a legal alternative to incarceration that allows individuals convicted of a crime to serve their sentence within the community under certain conditions and supervision.

The New Mexico Corrections Department (NMCD) is the government agency tasked with managing the state's adult and juvenile probation systems. This department collaborates with courts, law enforcement agencies, treatment providers, and other stakeholders to support individuals on probation in the state.

In this state, once an individual is sentenced to probation, the court appoints a probation officer to monitor the probationer's compliance with the imposed conditions. The probation officer will also provide guidance and support to facilitate the individual's successful reintegration.

When placed on probation, an individual must follow various conditions specific to the probation period. These conditions can vary depending on the nature of the offense, the individual's criminal history, and other relevant factors. 

However, the common probation conditions in New Mexico include the following:

  • Attending counseling or treatment programs
  • Regular check-ins with the probation officer
  • Avoiding contact with specific individuals or locations
  • Abstaining from drug and alcohol use
  • Maintaining steady employment

When a probationer violates these conditions, judges have significant discretion in determining how to punish the violation. Even if the entire sentence was suspended as part of a plea agreement, the judge could revoke the probation and sentence the individual to the remaining time in jail or prison.

Furthermore, the court in New Mexico determines the length of probation as part of the sentencing process, and its duration can vary depending on the offense and the circumstances surrounding it.

For misdemeanors, probation typically lasts a shorter period, from six months to two years. On the other hand, felony probation can extend for a longer duration, typically lasting between two and five years.

However, if a probationer fails to comply with the conditions or commits additional offenses, probation may be extended beyond the initially prescribed period.

Additionally, it is worth noting that probation holds in New Mexico can be terminated early if the probationer demonstrates compliance with the conditions and makes significant progress in their rehabilitation.

In this situation, the probationer can request a modification or early termination of probation, and the court will assess their performance and consider the input of the probation officer before making a decision.

How Does Parole Work in New Mexico?

Parole in New Mexico is a legal process that allows individuals incarcerated for criminal offenses to be released under specific conditions before serving their complete sentence.

The New Mexico Parole Board (NMPB), composed of professionals in the field of corrections, evaluates and decides whether an inmate is eligible for release on parole.

Individuals must meet specific criteria to be considered for parole in New Mexico. First and foremost, they must be serving a sentence in a New Mexico correctional facility. 

Furthermore, they must have completed a significant portion of their prison term, typically called the "minimum parole eligibility date." It is crucial to note that certain offenses, such as capital felonies, are generally ineligible for parole.

To begin the parole process in this state, an inmate must apply to the NMPB. Before granting parole, the board will conduct interviews with eligible offenders, during which they gather information regarding their progress, plans for post-release supervision, and overall readiness for reintegration. 

Subsequently, the board evaluates all available information and makes an informed decision based on the principles of public safety, risk assessment, and rehabilitation.

Upon release, parolees in New Mexico are subjected to close supervision by the NMCD's Probation and Parole Division. Assigned parole officers monitor and assist parolees throughout their reentry process. These officers play a crucial role in ensuring compliance with the conditions set forth by the NMPB.

Conditions of parole may vary depending on the individual case, but they commonly include mandatory check-ins with the parole officer, drug testing, and participation in rehabilitative programs. Parolees may also be required to maintain stable employment, attend counseling sessions, and avoid associating with certain individuals or visiting specific locations.

If they fail to do so, the NMPB will take appropriate action, including parole revocation or returning the parolee to prison for the remainder of their term.

How Does Expungement Work in New Mexico?

Expungement in New Mexico is a legal process that allows individuals to erase or seal their criminal records, effectively removing them from public view. It serves as a crucial mechanism to provide individuals with a fresh start by clearing their past convictions.

The expungement process varies from state to state. However, in New Mexico, the process is as follows:

  • Obtain criminal records from the NMDPS
  • Complete the forms that can be found on the website of the New Mexico Courts
  • Examine every judicial case
  • Provide arrest records, court filings, and sentencing information with the petition
  • Make copies of all materials
  • Submit the petition to the appropriate court that filed the case
  • Pay the required expungement fee
  • Distribute copies of the petition and all appendices to all interested agencies

Once the petitioner files the expungement, the court will schedule a hearing. During this hearing, the court may ask the petitioner questions regarding their request for expungement and address any objections that may have been filed.

Following the hearing, the court has a 30-day window to decide whether to grant or deny the petition.

Once granted, an individual criminal record will not be publicly accessible and no longer appear on background checks. However, District Attorneys and specific employers who require security clearance may still have access to expunged records.

In addition to the expungement process, an interested individual who wishes to expunge their New Mexico Criminal Records must understand that the state has specific requirements that they must meet to qualify for expungement.

Eligibility Requirements for Expungement of a Criminal Record in New Mexico

New Mexico has specific requirements that individuals must meet to be eligible for expungement. Generally, these requirements include sentence completion (including probation or parole) and a waiting period after the conviction.

In this state, the waiting period for expungement varies based on the severity of the crime. For misdemeanors, the waiting period typically ranges from two to ten years, while for felonies, it can range from four to ten years. Individuals must also demonstrate good conduct during this waiting period and provide evidence of rehabilitation.

Additionally, it is crucial to note that certain offenses, such as murder, driving while intoxicated (DWI), embezzlement, sexual offenses, and other crimes involving child abuse or exploitation, are typically not eligible for expungement.

How To Obtain a Criminal Record in New Mexico

Obtaining New Mexico Criminal Records involves specific methods and requirements that individuals must fulfill. In this state, the NMDPS is the one who organizes and maintains these documents in record depositories.

In New Mexico, there are two primary methods to obtain a criminal record: name-based and fingerprint-based criminal record searches.

For name-based criminal record searches, interested individuals may visit the New Mexico Courts website. This website provides a name-based case lookup service allowing individuals to search on-demand judicial records.

This search tool is helpful for unofficial public criminal record checks. On this website, interested individuals must provide pertinent information about the individuals they are searching for to access on-demand court records.

The NMDPS, on the other hand, offers a fingerprint-based criminal record search. However, this service is only available to employers, financial institutions, and criminal record subjects seeking detailed criminal record information.

To begin a search, the requester must provide fingerprints of the individuals they are searching for in the criminal record.

Lastly, they must provide accurate identification, state the purpose of the search, complete the required application forms supplied by the NMDPS, and pay the applicable fee for conducting the New Mexico Criminal Records search.

What Are the Criminal Background Check Laws in New Mexico?

Like other states, New Mexico has its own set of criminal background check laws that govern how employers can use criminal records in hiring. These laws establish guidelines and procedures to ensure compliance with legal requirements and protect individuals' privacy rights.

In addition to federal laws such as the Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), specific state laws apply to pre-employment background checks in the state.

One notable law in New Mexico is the "Ban-the-Box" law, which applies to both public and private employers. According to NM Stat section 28-2-3, public employers are prohibited from requesting criminal history information during the initial stages of the application process. They can only consider convictions after applicants have been selected as finalists for the positions.

New Mexico also implemented this law for private employers in recent years, outlined in NM Stat section 28-2-3.1. This law prohibits private employers from inquiring about convictions on initial job applications. However, they can consider an applicant's convictions once they have become finalists for the positions.

Employers in New Mexico must comply with and know the laws that regulate criminal background checks. Failure to do so may result in legal consequences and penalties, depending on the type and severity of the violation and regulatory authorities or affected parties' actions.


Counties in New Mexico

Police Departments and Sheriffe Office in New Mexico

Bernalillo County Sheriff's Office415 Silver Ave SW, Albuquerque, NM
Sandoval County Sheriff's Office1500 Idalia Rd, Bernalillo, NM
Valencia County Sheriff's Office543 Luna Ave SE, Los Lunas, NM
McKinley County Sheriff's Office300B Nizhoni Blvd, Gallup, NM
Chaves County Sheriff's Office1 St Mary's Pl, Roswell, NM
Lea County Sheriff's Office1417 S Commercial St, Lovington, NM
Otero County Sheriff's Office3208 N White Sands Blvd, Alamogordo, NM
Eddy County Sheriff's Office1502 Corrales Dr, Carlsbad, NM
Curry County Sheriff's Office700 N Main St #4, Clovis, NM
Taos County Sheriff's Office599 Lovato Pl, Taos, NM