In New Mexico, juvenile records are usually open to public inspection, so it may be to your benefit to ask that your record be officially sealed. If your juvenile record is sealed, it can be viewed only by court order in very limited circumstances -- for example, by a clinic, hospital, or agency that is treating you. Generally, a sealed juvenile record is treated as though it never existed, and you are not required to disclose information about it to anyone. Note, however, that if you are later adjudicated delinquent for or convicted of another offense, your record may be unsealed.
Does Your Juvenile Court Record Qualify for Sealing?
If you were not adjudicated delinquent. If you were the subject of law enforcement or court proceedings as a juvenile and the court found that you were not, in fact, a delinquent offender, your files and records should have been automatically sealed at the end of the proceedings. If they were not, you may file a motion with the court asking that the records be sealed.
If you were adjudicated delinquent. If you were found delinquent and you are now at least eighteen years old, your record may be sealed if:
- at least two years have passed since you were released from custody or supervision, or from the entry of any other judgment against you
- you have not been adjudicated delinquent or convicted of a felony or of a misdemeanor involving moral turpitude during the two years before you make your request, and
- no delinquency or criminal proceedings are pending against you.
Your record may be sealed before you turn eighteen if you can prove to the court that there is a good reason to seal your record early.
(New Mexico Statutes § 32A-2-26.)
How to File
To seal juvenile court record, you must file a motion in the district court that handled your case. Contact the court clerk’s office for more information.
Getting Legal Help
Clearing a juvenile record can be complicated. If you are not sure whether your record qualifies for sealing in New Mexico -- or for help completing the necessary paperwork and presenting your case to the court -- you should contact a qualified criminal law attorney. A good lawyer can guide you each step of the way.