HOUSE BILL 496
56th legislature - STATE OF NEW MEXICO - first session, 2023
RELATING TO CRIMINAL RECORDS; PROVIDING EXPUNGEMENT OF A PERSON'S NONVIOLENT FELONY RECORD UPON PETITION TO A COURT AND A COURT'S FINDING THAT THE PERSON HAS NO SUBSEQUENT CRIMINAL CONVICTION, HAS NO OTHER CRIMINAL CHARGE OR PROCEEDING PENDING, HAS FULFILLED ALL COURT-ORDERED RESTITUTION AND EITHER THIRTY YEARS HAVE PASSED SINCE COMPLETION OF THE SENTENCE OR THE PERSON IS AT LEAST SIXTY YEARS OF AGE AND TEN YEARS OR MORE HAVE PASSED SINCE THE PERSON COMPLETED THE SENTENCE.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF NEW MEXICO:
SECTION 1. Section 29-3A-2 NMSA 1978 (being Laws 2019, Chapter 203, Section 2) is amended to read:
"29-3A-2. DEFINITIONS.--As used in the Criminal Record Expungement Act:
A. "arrest records" means records of identification of a person under arrest or under investigation for a crime taken or gathered by an official; "arrest records" includes information gathered from the national crime information center or another criminal record database, photographs, fingerprints and booking sheets; except "arrest records" does not include:
(1) driving while intoxicated citations maintained by the taxation and revenue department;
(2) computer-aided dispatch information; or
(3) log books relating to breath alcohol testing equipment;
B. "expungement" means the removal from access to the general public of a notation of an arrest, complaint, indictment, information, plea of guilty, conviction, acquittal, dismissal or discharge record, including a record posted on a publicly accessible court, corrections or law enforcement internet website; [and]
C. "nonviolent felony" means a felony conviction for an offense that did not cause actual physical harm to a person or a threat of physical harm to a person and excludes murder, manslaughter, battery, assault, sexual assault or a sex offense, kidnapping, arson, robbery or another offense when the nature and resulting harm of the offense are such that a court judges the crime to be a violent offense for the purposes of the Criminal Record Expungement Act; and
[C.] D. "public records" means documentation relating to a person's arrest, indictment, proceeding, finding or plea of guilty, conviction, acquittal, dismissal or discharge, including information posted on a court or law enforcement website; but "public records" does not include:
(1) arrest record information that:
(a) reveals confidential sources, methods, information or individuals accused but not charged with a crime and that is maintained by the state or any of its political subdivisions pertaining to any person charged with the commission of any crime; or
(b) is confidential and unlawful to disseminate or reveal, except as provided in the Arrest Record Information Act or other law;
(2) the file of a district attorney or attorney general maintained as a confidential record for law enforcement purposes and not open for inspection by members of the public;
(3) a record maintained by the children, youth and families department, the human services department or the public education department when that record is confidential under state or federal law and is required to be maintained by state or federal law for audit or other purposes; or
(4) a record received pursuant to a background check as authorized by law."
SECTION 2. A new section of the Criminal Record Expungement Act is enacted to read:
"[NEW MATERIAL] EXPUNGEMENT OF NONVIOLENT FELONY--PROCEDURE.--
A. Notwithstanding the provisions of Section 29-3A-5 NMSA 1978, a person convicted of a nonviolent felony may petition the district court in which the person was convicted for an order to expunge arrest records and public records related to the conviction, and the court shall issue an order to expunge the arrest records and public records if the court finds that:
(1) the person was convicted of a nonviolent felony;
(2) the person has not been convicted of a criminal offense subsequent to the nonviolent felony;
(3) the person has no other criminal charge or proceeding pending against the person;
(4) the person has fulfilled all victim restitution ordered by a court in connection with the nonviolent felony conviction; and
(a) thirty years have passed since the person completed the sentence for the nonviolent felony conviction; or
(b) the person is sixty years of age or older and at least ten years have passed since the person completed the sentence for the nonviolent felony conviction.
B. Expungement pursuant to this section applies to court or agency records involving only a nonviolent felony and requires destruction of the records.
C. A court ordering expungement pursuant to this section shall cause a copy of the order to be delivered to all relevant law enforcement agencies and courts. The order shall prohibit all relevant law enforcement agencies and courts from releasing copies of the records to any person, except upon order of the court."
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