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How Long Does a DWI Stay on Your Record in New Mexico?

How Long Does a DWI Stay on Your Record in New Mexico?

A DWI conviction in New Mexico is serious enough in that it can lead to jail time, fines and mandatory license revocations – even for a first-time offense.

A DWI conviction in New Mexico is serious enough in that it can lead to jail time, fines and mandatory license revocations – even for a first-time offense.

However, the long-term consequences of a criminal record can be a lot harder to live with. It may affect employment, housing, travel, immigration status, insurance premiums, and other aspects of your life far into the future.

But how long will it stay on your record in New Mexico? Is it a lifelong record like in some states?

Let’s quickly take a closer look at the penalties, revocations, and expungement laws for DWI convictions in New Mexico…

Penalties for a DWI

New Mexico clamps down hard on DWI offenders with potential jail time, the loss of driving privileges, fines, and more.

The harshness of the penalties depends on whether you have prior convictions and whether there were aggravating circumstances present (such as causing bodily injury or death to another person, refusing to submit to a breath test, or having a blood alcohol content over twice the legal limit), which may upgrade the conviction from a misdemeanor to an aggravated status or even a felony.

A standard DWI is charged as a misdemeanor in New Mexico with the following penalties:

First offense:

  • Up to 90 days in jail
  • A fine of up to $500
  • Mandatory penalties such as an ignition interlock device, DWI school, lost driving privileges, alcohol screening, 24 hours community service, and chemical dependency treatment
  • If the driver refused to submit to a breath alcohol test or had a result that was more than twice the legal limit, a mandatory jail term of 48 hours

Second or third offense:

  • Up to 364 days in jail
  • A fine of up to $1,000
  • Mandatory 96 hours to 30 days in jail
  • Loss of driving privileges
  • If the driver refused to submit to a breath alcohol test or had a result that was more than twice the legal limit, a mandatory jail term of anywhere from 8 to 90 days in jail

Fourth or subsequent offense:

  • Mandatory minimum of 6 months to 3 years in prison
  • Fines
  • Probation, treatment, and loss of driving privileges

License revocation periods in New Mexico

If you refuse a breath or blood test (in violation of the Implied Consent Act) or are convicted of DWI in New Mexico, there is no getting around the revocation of your driving privileges for a period, even if it is your first offense.

This can be confusing because there are both administrative license revocations and criminal revocations and they may overlap. Your DWI defense lawyer can explain in more detail what that mean if you are confused.

The following is a brief rundown of the standard administrative license revocation periods:

  • Adult breath or blood test refusal: one-year revocation
  • Adult first-offense DWI with submission of a test: six-month revocation
  • Adult second or subsequent offense: one-year revocation
  • Juvenile DWI: one-year revocation

Criminal license revocations ordered by the New Mexico courts are as follows:

  • First-offense DWI: one-year revocation
  • Second-offense DWI: two-year revocation
  • Third-offense DWI: three-year revocation
  • Fourth and subsequent offenses: lifetime revocation
  • Refusing a test (over 21 years of age): one-year revocation
  • Refusing a test (under 21 years of age): one-year revocation

For drivers of commercial vehicles, it’s even more serious.  For a first DWI offense, their commercial driver’s license will be administratively revoked if they have a breath alcohol score or .04 or higher or if they refuse to be tested.  In addition, they will be disqualified from driving a commercial vehicle for one year.  In the criminal proceeding, if a person with a commercial driver’s license is arrested while operating a commercial vehicle, the prosecution only has to prove that their breath alcohol score was a .04 or higher rather than the regular .08 or higher or that they refused to be tested.  Again, that person would also be disqualified from driving a commercial vehicle for one year.  It gets worse if the driver was transporting hazardous material, in which case, the driver is disqualified from driving a commercial vehicle for at least 3 years.  If the driver gets a second DWI driving a commercial vehicle, it’s “two strikes and you’re out,” with a lifetime disqualification of your license after that.

Even if a person with a commercial driver’s license is arrested for a DWI while driving a non-commercial vehicle, such as their personal car, if they have a breath alcohol score of over .08, they will be disqualified from driving a commercial motor vehicle for at least one year.

How long does a DWI stay on your record?

If you are convicted of DWI in New Mexico today, it will always stay on your MVD record.

The MVD records include citations, convictions, suspensions, revocations for DWIs, and accidents. It also lists demerit points against your record due to driving infractions.

Can you expunge a DWI in New Mexico?

What makes DWI penalties even more severe in New Mexico is the fact that you cannot expunge the record of the case if you are convicted. They stay on your record for decades.

This means that if an employer, a volunteer organization, a landlord, a credit agency or a professional license regulator conducts a routine background check, the record will appear.

This is likely to disrupt and restrict the future plans of many people – so it generally pays to fight the DWI charge as best you can.

If, however, your case was dismissed, then the case (and the arrest) are eligible for expungement.  It is important to note that if the case was deferred and then dismissed, that will mean that it cannot be expunged.  Rather, the case must have been dismissed prior to plea or trial or by a finding of not guilty at trial.

Have you been charged with DWI in New Mexico?

Because of the long-term consequences of a DWI conviction and the decades-long blemish on your record, it is important to challenge your DWI charge.

Do not leave your case in the hands of an inexperienced attorney or someone who does not specialize in DWI or you could be paying for it for many years.

Discuss your legal options during a free case evaluation with an experienced and skilled DWI attorney at New Mexico Legal Group. Call 505.876.9175.