The New Mexico Department of Public Safety retains all criminal history records for the state. However, unlike many states, New Mexico does not have a central online site for obtaining criminal records.
What Are Criminal Records?
Criminal records are those that hold all of a person’s criminal history. This can include local, state, and federal criminal information. The record may also include information about the person, such as their address, date of birth, name, any aliases they have, fingerprints, and a photograph.
Your criminal records may include:
- Past arrest information
- Current and pending charges
- Acquitted charges
- Dismissed charges
Any misdemeanors or felonies will also be listed in this report.
How Are Criminal Records Used?
Criminal records can be used in many ways. Usually, they are searched during a background check.
Background checks may happen for several reasons, such as:
- Employment, where a company wants to know about a potential employee
- School admittance, such as when you apply to a college or university
- Property rental
- Security clearance
- Purchasing weapons or firearms, since felons are not able to purchase or own weapons in most cases
- Military service
- Fostering or adopting
- Voter registration
- International travel, naturalization, or immigration
- For law enforcement purposes, like as a part of a criminal investigation
How Can Someone Access Your Criminal Records?
Most of the time, you will need to give consent for another person or organization to access your criminal record. However, law enforcement and those in the government may have open access. You may also have to permit certain kinds of purchases, such as purchasing a firearm. To allow someone to conduct a background check on you, you sign an authorization form. The person mails the form to the Department of Public Safety at the address indicated on the form.
The public can access some criminal records as public records. For example, you can perform a background check and find out more about a person’s public records, such as their divorce or marital history, DUI records, and past addresses. You can also access court rulings as public records via an online lookup.
A criminal record check is more specific and includes information like a person’s arrests, penalties, and convictions. Additionally, a criminal record check may include more information about what they look like, including their height, weight, tattoos, and other defining features.
Sex crimes are one area that is relatively open to the public because of the sex offender registry. Visiting the state’s sex offender website, such as the New Mexico Department of Public Safety Sex Offender Registry, makes searching simple. Some people will remain on this registry permanently, but not all do. Every state treats sex offenders differently.
How Can You Request a Criminal Record?
If you want to request your criminal record or another person’s, then you can do so by filling out the authorization form and having the individual sign it. You can search the sex offender registry and court site without notifying the individual.