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Second Chance Measure Signed Into Law

on April 6, 2019 - 7:11am
NMDP News:
SANTA FE Thursday, Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham signed the Criminal Record Expungement Act into law. House Bill 370, sponsored by Rep. Antonio “Moe” Maestas (D-Albuquerque), would allow certain individuals to petition the court to remove their criminal record from public view.
This will allow people, years removed from their last arrest, the opportunity to get a job or a better job.
Under House Bill 370, expungement will not be granted to a person who was convicted of homicide, an offense against a child, an offense that caused great bodily harm, a sex offense, a DWI, or embezzlement.
“New Mexico went from being the last state without expungement to having the best expungement law in the country,” Rep. Antonio “Moe” Maestas (D-Albuquerque) said. “Empirical studies have shown a 25 percent increase in wages for those who obtain expungement. It is time for hundreds of thousands of New Mexicans to contribute to and move up in our state’s labor force, expungement will do just that.
House Bill 370 develops three situations in which a petition for expungement might be granted by the district court.
  1. Identity theft: this would apply to individuals wrongfully arrested, indicted, charged or identified in an arrest or public record as a result of identity theft.
  2. Release without conviction: this situation would be applicable if a person was charged with a crime, but the case was later closed and the person was never convicted of that crime.
  3. Upon conviction: under certain circumstances, a person who was convicted of crimes may petition the court for expungement if that person has completed their sentence and paid all fines or fees owed to the state including victim restitution. If a judge finds that justice would be served by granting the expungement the person would be given a second chance.
New Mexico has become the 50th state in our nation to have an expungement law.