Ask Grant: Can any misdemeanor or felony charge be expunged from a record?

Remember this segment is meant to help and educate you if you ever have a similar type of question but is not meant to be legal advice. If you have any additional questions or desire more information contact or call us at 505.235.6777. This weeks question covers misdemeanors and/or felony charges on your record.

New Mexico has a very tough expungement law. Generally, if you make a criminal mistake this state, it is on your record for the rest of your life. With regards to expungement, what you will be able to accomplish depends on quite a few factors.

If you were a juvenile and the case was not adjudicated, the Symbol of law and justice, law and justice concept, scales of justice. ** Note: Slight graininess, best at smaller sizescourts records can be sealed upon motion to the court showing that you are not a delinquent offender. If the case was adjudicated, a motion can be filed to seal records after two years depending on the circumstances of the case. Arrest records of moral turpitude, such as DUI, are not eligible for expungement regardless of disposition.

If you were an adult at the time of the incident, things become more complicated. According to New Mexico law, if you are arrested for a misdemeanor or petty offense and not convicted, it may be possible to have your record expunged if no final disposition can be found. If there is anything such as a dismissal, a referral to a diversion program, or even a decision not to file charges, the record isn’t eligible for expungement. If you have a conviction, you will likely not qualify for an expungement, yet if a conviction is reversed, you can petition to have state DNA records expunged.

It’s important to note that if you have been charged with a felony and it is your first offense, there are options for a positive outcome. Ask your attorney about the benefits of a Conditional Discharge. Regarding expungement, these are complicated matters that are granted under very limited circumstances in New Mexico. Your best course of action is to consult a qualified attorney that can help you explore your legal options. As New Mexico is one of the more oppressive states with regards to these matters, please also contact your local representative and Senator and ask them to sponsor or support an expungement bill.


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