NEW MEXICO CRIMINAL LAW
Criminal law in New Mexico is an area of law that encompasses many different legal and procedural issues. Offenses can range from small infractions to felonies carrying severe prison sentences. Penalties and sentences are assigned based on the state's guidelines, the circumstances surrounding the offense and a variety of other factors. By reading further you will encounter a general overview of some common topics in New Mexico criminal law and procedure. If you or someone you know is facing a criminal charge in this state, contact a New Mexico criminal defense attorney who can help you understand the criminal laws of New Mexico.
Drug Possession in New Mexico
New Mexico classifies certain drugs as controlled substances, arranging sentence lengths and fines around the severity of the drug and amount possessed. It is unlawful for a person in New Mexico to intentionally possess a controlled substance unless it was obtained by a valid prescription or by a medical practitioner's orders.
If you are convicted of possession of one ounce or less of marijuana and it is your first offense, you will be guilty in New Mexico of a petty misdemeanor punishable by a fine of $50-$100 and imprisonment for up to fifteen days. For the second and subsequent offenses, you will be guilty of a misdemeanor with fines between $100 and $1,000, and/or jail time of up to one year.
Possession of one to eight ounces of marijuana in New Mexico is also a misdemeanor punishable by the same fines and jail terms. Possession of eight ounces or more of marijuana is a fourth degree felony punishable by up to eighteen months in prison.
Possession of other controlled substances is punishable by a fine of between $500 and $1,000, and/ or by imprisonment for up to one year.
For more information on drug possession in New Mexico and the sentences or fines it carries, contact a New Mexico criminal defense attorney.
Assault in New Mexico
Criminal assault is the intentional causing of physical injury to a person. New Mexico recognizes several different types of assault classified according to factors such as severity of the injury and the type of victim involved. The two broadest categories are Assault and Aggravated Assault.
Assault - a petty misdemeanor punishable by up to six months in jail, and consists of either:
Aggravated Assault - a fourth degree felony that carries a prison sentence of up to eighteen months. Consists of either:
If you have been charged with a form of assault in New Mexico, it is a good idea to retain the services of a New Mexico criminal defense attorney.
New Mexico Drunk Driving – DWI
Drunk driving is on the rise in New Mexico. If you have received a DWI in New Mexico, you should be aware of the potential consequences, including suspension of your driving license, fines, and/or imprisonment. The best defense for your DWI in New Mexico can be discussed with a New Mexico DWI attorney.
Right to a Jury in New Mexico
New Mexico guarantees criminal defendants the right to a trial by an impartial jury, in the county or district in which the offense is alleged to have been committed. There are potential advantages and disadvantages to waiving this right; speak with a New Mexico criminal defense attorney to learn more about them.
Trial Date in New Mexico
In New Mexico, criminal defendants have a constitutional right to a speedy trial. If defendants are not brought to trial within 182 days of their arraignment, the charges against them must be dismisses with prejudice; this is known as the six month rule. You can waive this protection of your rights if you so choose. It is advisable to discuss your options with a New Mexico criminal defense attorney before choosing to file the waiver.
Sentence Review / Appeals in New Mexico
People who have been convicted and sentenced for a crime in New Mexico, can make appeals asserting that the sentence violated the laws or constitution of New Mexico or the United States; that the court was without jurisdiction to impose such a sentence; or that the sentence was in excess of the maximum authorized by state law. If the defendant's appeal is successful, the court may vacate, set aside or correct the sentence. To ensure you are prepared and file the motion for an appeal properly, contact a New Mexico criminal defense attorney as soon as possible