New Mexico is automating how it shares info about arrest warrants

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — New Mexico courts and law enforcement began streamlining how they exchange information about outstanding arrest warrants through a new electronic process aimed at improving the criminal justice system.

State Police and court officials said Monday that automating electronic delivery allows law enforcement to know that a person is subject to arrest within minutes after a court issues a warrant.

Any status changes will be shared on a real-time basis with the New Mexico Department of Public Safety, which will also let officers to know immediately when a person has been cleared of an arrest warrant. The real-time updates should lessen the possibility of a person being arrested mistakenly because of out-of-date warrant information, according to authorities.

Under the new process, courts will automatically transmit an electronic warrant after a judge signs it. The new system includes information from magistrate courts, which handle traffic cases and account for many of the warrants issued.

Courts in 26 of New Mexico’s 33 counties will participate in the first phase of the electronic warrant process, along with nearly three-quarters of the state’s magistrate courts.