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Expungement Legislation Passes in New Mexico

April 13, 2019

Expungement Legislation Passes in New Mexico

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.

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