New Mexico's Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham signed an important piece of legislation into law on Wednesday. The new bill (HB-370) is aimed at allowing expungement of past criminal convictions. The new bill is likely to reshape some parts of state's existing criminal system as it will allow those with a past criminal conviction to file a petition in the court of law for the expungement of their past criminal records. The new law is likely to take effect on January 01, 2020.
Also referred to as " Criminal Record Expungement Act", the HB-370 authorizes all those who have been convicted of certain felonies, misdemeanors, or violations to approach the court of law and file a petition for the expungement of public and arrest records that are pertinent to that particular violation, felony, or misdemeanor. But, before they could file such a petition they need to make sure to have paid all the relevant fines and have completed their sentence. The law further clarifies that in case of a misdemeanor, the applicant will be required to wait for at least 2 years after completing the sentence, and have no subsequent convictions during these two years, before filing the petition in the court of law. In case of a felony, the petitioner must wait for at least 6 years following completion of their sentence to file such petition. The law also directs the courts to issue a ruling within 30 days, after the hearing on all such petitions.