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Arrest Records in New Mexico

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Need more information? Check out our guides to New Mexico background checks and New Mexico public records.


New Mexico has a population of 2,096,829, which makes it the 37th most populated and the 45th most densely populated state. The state’s capital is Santa Fe, however, its largest city is Albuquerque, which has a population of 558,545. There are 33 counties in New Mexico, with the largest by population being Bernalillo County and the smallest by population being Harding County.

With a 2018 violent crime rate of 8.57 per 1,000, New Mexico has a much higher rate of violent crime than the United States, nationwide. The state’s most dangerous city is Gallup, which has a violent crime rate of 15.38 per 1,000. New Mexico also experiences a high density of arrests: the state’s arrest per capita rate is the 3rd highest in the nation. 

New Mexico Arrest and Crime Statistics

  • New Mexico logged 74,786 arrests in 2018, as reported by 59 law enforcement agencies. 3,203 arrests were made of minors under the age of 18.
  • The state had 4,232 arrests for violent crimes, including 425 for robbery, 103 for rape, and 67 for murder and nonnegligent manslaughter. 
  • ‘Other assaults’ was the leading identified cause of arrest, resulting in 8,588, followed by driving under the influence with 6,464, and larceny-theft with 5,993.
  • 5,375 arrests were made in New Mexico for drug abuse violations.
  • There are 3,208 registered sex offenders residing in New Mexico. 

Sources: FBI: 2018 Crime in the United States, New Mexico Sex Offender Registry


What is a public arrest record?

An arrest record is a report produced by a law enforcement entity after the arrest or apprehension of an individual which contains the details of the incident, the individual’s personal information, and occasionally includes additional information about the individual’s criminal record.

An arrest record is often a key document in a criminal case and may play a significant role in an ensuing trial. The arrest record may remain in the public record for a long time regardless of whether the suspect is ultimately convicted of the crime(s) for which they were initially arrested. This means that it can be accessed by the general public.  

What is included in a public arrest record?

  • Description of the incident: An arrest record will include a chronological account of the alleged crime produced by the arresting officer that may utilize information provided by first-hand witnesses and/or victims of the alleged crime. 
  • Date and location of the arrest
  • Physical description: The height, weight, hair color, sex, and race of the arrested person, along with other distinguishing characteristics such as tattoos, scars, or birthmarks. 
  • Personal information: The name, age, date of birth, phone number, address, social security number, and other contact information of the arrested individual, as well as any other names the person may go by.
  • Photographs
  • Fingerprints
  • Criminal charges filed
  • Classification of the crime: Whether the alleged crime is a felony or a misdemeanor.
  • Bail
  • Court date
  • Police interrogation details

What are the types of charges that may appear on an arrest record?

Generally, charges are classified into three main categories:

  • Infraction – An infraction is a minor violation of the law that is regulated at the state level. Punishment for an infraction is typically a fine or a written warning, rather than a jail or prison sentence. Examples of infractions include minor traffic violations, public nuisance offenses, and littering. 
  • Misdemeanor – A misdemeanor is a crime that is more serious than an infraction, but less severe than a felony, and generally punishable by a term of imprisonment of less than a year, or a term of probation. An individual convicted of a misdemeanor is more likely to serve time in a county or local jail than a federal or state prison. Examples of misdemeanors include driving under the influence, most drug abuse violations, and petty theft.
  • Felony – A felony is the most serious type of crime and generally results in a term of imprisonment of more than one year in a state or federal prison. Having a felony on one’s record may result in limitations of employment and the acquisition of specialty licenses. Examples of felonies include rape, murder, and arson.  

Who can access arrest records?

As in most other states, arrest records (also known as arrest reports) are public records in New Mexico and can be accessed by anyone upon request to a law enforcement agency, and may come up during a routine background check. 

Other examples of New Mexico public records include:

  • vital records such as birth and death certificates
  • marriage licenses
  • mugshots
  • court records
  • voting records
  • property records 

Where are physical copies of arrest records kept in New Mexico?

Arrest records are typically held by the law enforcement agency responsible for the arrest, usually a local police department or county sheriff’s office. They also may be kept in the archive of a state government agency, or circuit court. However, there is no official repository for arrest records. 

Why can’t I access an arrest record in New Mexico?

There are a number of reasons why you may not be able to access an arrest record. Although the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requires federal agencies to release arrest records and other public records, records that fall under certain exemptions can be withheld from the public.

The FOIA includes nine exemptions that allow agencies to withhold documents, such as arrest records, and not release them to the public. They are:

  1. The information is classified to protect natural security. 
  2. The information focuses on the internal rules and practices of the agency.
  3. Another federal law prohibits the release of the information.
  4. The information includes confidential trade secrets and/or commercial and financial information. 
  5. The information includes privileged, confidential communicative exchanges between two agencies. 
  6. The information could pose a danger to another person’s privacy if released.
  7. The information is reserved for law enforcement purposes in a court case or an investigation or could reveal a confidential source. 
  8. The information includes confidential information about financial institution supervision. 
  9. The information includes geographical information about wells.

Additionally, some state laws limit the availability of arrest records due to the fact that they are perceived as one-sided documents that do not include the arrested person’s account of the incident. 

What is the difference between an arrest record and a criminal record?

Compared to an arrest record, a criminal record is a more thorough document that details an individual’s entire criminal history, including arrest warrants, arrests, third party complaints, convictions, and even dropped cases. 

What is the difference between an arrest record and an arrest warrant?

An arrest warrant is a document issued by a judge or magistrate that grants law enforcement the authority to arrest an individual suspected of a crime or to search and seize the individual’s property, whereas an arrest record is a document of an arrest that is only created after an arrest or apprehension has already occurred.  

In order for a judge or magistrate to issue an arrest warrant, they must conclude that there is probable cause for an arrest. Probable cause must be backed by sworn testimony or an affidavit that provides sufficient information supporting the need for an arrest. An arrest warrant must also specify one individual that should be arrested, rather than a group of individuals or a rough description of a suspect. 

How many Americans have been arrested?

While crime has steadily dropped in the United States over the past several decades, arrests have gone up, particularly for younger age groups. Typically, law enforcement makes around 10 million arrests each year. Here are some key statistics on arrests in the United States:

  • In 2018, around 10.3 million arrests were made nationwide.
  • 73% of arrested persons in 2018 were males.
  • The more recent an American was born, the greater the likelihood that the individual has been arrested at least once. The following is the percentage of Americans in various age groups that have been arrested: 
    • 6.4% of Americans  born before 1949
    • 10.7% of Americans born between 1949 and 1958
    • 13.8% of Americans born between 1959 and 1968
    • 18.7% of Americans born between 1969 and 1978
    • 23% of Americans born between 1979-1988

Sources: Federal Bureau of Investigation, RAND Corporation

How to search for Arrest Records in New Mexico

Individuals may obtain copies of their new Mexico arrest records and other criminal history information through the New Mexico Department of Public Safety by the submission of an Authorization for Release of Information form. However, requesting the records of individuals other than oneself is not permitted.

Follow these steps to obtain copies of New Mexico arrest records and criminal history information:

  1. Fill out your personal information on the Authorization for Release of Information form. Sign the form and write out your address.
  2. Have the form notarized by a notary public.
  3. Prepare a cashier’s check or money order for $15 payable to “Department of Public Safety”
    1. If you also wish to request a “Police Certificate of Public Standing”, make note of it on the form, and include a cashier’s check or money order for $33 rather than $15.
  4. Mail the form and enclosed payment to:

Department of Public Safety

P.O. Box 1628

Santa Fe, NM 87504-1628

Expect to wait 7-15 working days for the request to be processed upon receipt. 

How can I search for a New Mexico arrest record on the internet using a background check service?

Since tracking down physical copies of arrest records can prove challenging, searching for them online is a viable option. There is a wealth of online services that allow you to search and access New Mexico arrest records and other public records via numerous government agency databases in exchange for a fee. 

However, despite the fact that users must pay to obtain an arrest record from an online service, it’s nevertheless a convenient means of getting these documents. The offices of government agencies are often marred by inconsistent service and take a long time to process requests to view documents. 

Sometimes it’s worth it to pay a fee to use an online background check service, rather than endure the extended delays typical of government offices.  

What can I do if my arrest record has a mistake?

Challenging incorrect or inaccurate information on a New Mexico arrest record is a relatively painless process. Follow these steps to proceed with a challenge:

  1. Highlight the incorrect or incomplete information on a copy of the arrest record or criminal history document.
  2. Gather any supporting documents that provide proof that the information is inaccurate, including arrest reports or final court dispositions.
  3. Contact the New Mexico Department of Public Safety Law Enforcement Records by calling (505) 827-9181 and ask for information on how to submit the challenge.

New Mexico Courthouse and Sheriff Information by County

Bernalillo CountyBernalillo County Metropolitan Court401 Lomas Blvd NW
Albuquerque, NM 87102
505-841-8151Bernalillo County Sheriff Department400 Roma Ave NW
Albuquerque, NM 87102
Catron CountyCatron County Magistrate Courthouse100 Main St
Reserve, NM 87830
575-533-6474Catron County Sheriff101 Main St
Reserve, NM 87830
Chaves CountyChaves County Magistrate Court400 N Virginia Ave
Roswell, NM 88201
575-624-6088Chaves County Sheriff's Office1 St Mary's Pl
Roswell, NM 88203
Cibola CountyCibola County Magistrate Court114 Mcbride Rd B
Grants, NM 87020
505-285-4605Cibola County Sheriff Department114 Mcbride Road
Grants, NM 87020
Colfax CountyColfax County Magistrate Court333 Savage Ave
Raton, NM 87740
575-445-2220Colfax County Sheriff's Department1413 S 2nd St
Raton, NM 87740
Curry CountyCurry County Sheriff700 N Main St #4
Clovis, NM 88101
De Baca CountyDe Baca County Court HouseFort Sumner, NM 88119575-355-2601DeBaca County Detention248 Ave C
Fort Sumner, NM 88119
Dona Ana CountyDona Ana County Detention Center1850 Copper Loop
Las Cruces, NM 88005
Eddy CountyEddy County Probate Judge101 W Greene St # 221
Carlsbad, NM 88220
575-885-4008Eddy County Sheriff's Office1502 Corrales Dr
Carlsbad, NM 88220
Grant CountyGrant County District Court Clerk201 N. Cooper Street, 1st Floor
Silver City, NM 88061
575-538-3250, Ext. 2Grant County Sheriff101 W Broadway
Tyrone, NM 88065
Guadalupe CountyGuadalupe County Sheriff Department2617 N Guadalupe St
Seguin, TX 78155
Harding County, New MexicoHarding County Courthouse35 Pine St
Mosquero, NM 87733
575-673-2927Harding County Sheriff35 Pine St
Mosquero, NM 87733
Hidalgo CountyHidalgo County Sheriff213 E 2nd St
Lordsburg, NM 88045
Lea CountyLea County District Court100 Main St #6C
Lovington, NM 88260
575-396-8571Lea County Sheriff Office1417 S Commercial St
Lovington, NM 88260
Lincoln CountyOld Lincoln County CourthouseUS-380
Lincoln, NM 88338
575-653-4372Lincoln County Sheriff300 Central Ave
Carrizozo, NM 88301
Los Alamos CountyLos Alamos County Magistrate Ct2500 Trinity Dr
Los Alamos, NM 87544
505-662-2727Los Alamos County Sheriff2500 Trinity Dr
Los Alamos, NM 87544
Luna CountyLuna County District Court855 S Platinum Ave
Deming, NM 88030
575-546-9611Luna County Sheriff2462 J St SE
Deming, NM 88030
McKinley CountyMcKinley County Courthouse207 W Hill Ave
Gallup, NM 87301
505-863-1400Mckinley County Sheriff's Office300A Nizhoni Blvd
Gallup, NM 87301
Mora CountyMora Magistrate Judge518 Main St
Mora, NM 87732
575-387-2937Mora County SheriffState Road 518 Mile Post 29
Mora, NM 87732
Otero CountyTwelfth Judicial District Court Otero County1000 N New York Ave # 208
Alamogordo, NM 88310
575-437-7310Otero County Sheriff3208 N White Sands Blvd
Alamogordo, NM 88310
Quay CountyQuay County Magistrate Court122 W Center St
Tucumcari, NM 88401
575-461-1700Quay County Sheriffs Office309 S 3rd St
Tucumcari, NM 88401
Rio Arriba CountyRio Arriba County Clerk's Office1122 Industrial Park Rd
Española, NM 87532
505-753-1780Rio Arriba Sheriff Department410 N Paseo De Onate
Española, NM 87532
Roosevelt CountyRoosevelt Sheriff's Office1700 N Boston Ave
Portales, NM 88130
San Juan CountySan Juan County Sheriff’s Office211 S Oliver Dr
Aztec, NM 87410
San Miguel CountySan Miguel County District Judge500 W National St
Las Vegas, NM 87701
505-425-3900San Miguel Sheriff's Office1224 Railroad Ave
Las Vegas, NM 87701
Sandoval CountyThirteenth Judicial District Court- Sandoval1500 Idalia Rd
Bernalillo, NM 87004
505-867-2376Sandoval County Jail1100 Montoya Rd
Bernalillo, NM 87004
Santa Fe CountySanta Fe Magistrate Court2056 Galisteo St
Santa Fe, NM 87505
505-984-9914Santa Fe County Sheriff35 Camino Justicia
Santa Fe, NM 87508
Sierra CountySierra County Magistrate155 West Barton St
Truth or Consequences, NM 87901
575-894-3051Sierra County Sheriff's office2501 S Broadway St
Truth or Consequences, NM 87901
Socorro CountySocorro County Courthouse200 Church St
Socorro, NM 87801
575-835-0050Socorro County Sheriff Office200 Church St
Socorro, NM 87801
Taos CountyTaos County Sheriff's Department599 Lovato Place
Taos, NM 87571
Torrance CountyTorrance County District Court903 5th St
Estancia, NM 87016
505-384-2974Torrance County Sheriff205 S 9th Ave
Estancia, NM 87016
Union CountyUnion County District Court200 Court St
Clayton, NM 88415
575-374-9501Union County Sheriff25 Air Park St
Clayton, NM 88415
Valencia County13th Judicial District Court1835 NM-314
Los Lunas, NM 87031
505-865-4639Valencia County Sheriff's Office543 Luna Ave SE
Los Lunas, NM 87031


If you’re worried that someone you know or love has a criminal record and maybe hiding it from you, run a quick background check online with Thanks to public records laws, almost all New Mexico arrests, criminal and civil records are available online, as well as comprehensive background checks and secret data. You can even find New Mexico marriage records, secret divorce records as well as birth and death records.

Violent Crime rate 

Property Crime rate 

Murder Crime rate 

Forcible Rape rate 

Robbery rate 

Assault rate 

Burglary rate 

Theft rate 

Motor Vehicle Theft rate