Albuquerque Domestic Violence Lawyer
Domestic violence charges in New Mexico are taken very seriously by all parties involved. If your significant other calls the local authorities to report an incident of domestic violence, the authorities will almost surely question you and potentially take you into custody. However, domestic violence charges are difficult to prove and stick with, if there is no proof and no eyewitnesses. Significant others frequently call the police after a serious argument which does not lead to violence solely to upset their spouse. Contact our experienced Albuquerque domestic violence defense attorneys at the New Mexico Criminal Law Offices for a free legal consultation.
Domestic Violence Laws in New Mexico
The state of New Mexico defines “domestic violence” as any of the following involving one household member committing an action against the other:
- Physical injuries
- Severe emotional distress
- Bodily injury (battery) or assault
- Assault with the intent to commit violent felony
- Threat of imminent body injury
- Criminal trespass
- Criminal damage to property
- Telephone harassment or harassment
- Repeatedly driving past place of work or residence
- Harm or threatened harm to children
New Mexico law defines “household member” as a spouse, family member, or a person with whom the alleged attacker has an ongoing personal relationship.
Domestic violence charges can carry very high punishment ranges, largely depending on any injuries sustained. A petty misdemeanor is the lowest tier of the charges and can result in up to six months in jail and a fine up to $500. A misdemeanor charge can carry up to a one year jail sentence and a fine up to $1,000. A fourth degree felony carries up to 18 months in prison and up to a $5,000 fine, while a third degree felony carries up to 3 years in prison and up to a $5,000 fine. Furthermore, a judge can impose additional stipulations on a punishment for domestic violence charges, such as required counseling or a heightened charge for repeated offenders. For example, if you have earlier convictions of misdemeanor aggravated assault against a household member, you may be charged with a fourth degree felony.
Additionally, a household member alleging domestic violence may seek an emergency court-issued order of protection. In this case, the alleged abuser will not be present at the hearing and a law enforcement officer will tell the judge that the emergency order is needed. The order expires after 72 hours, but after this point the court may additionally issue a “temporary order of protection” in which the alleged abuser will be present during the meeting. An order of protection may cause you to lose temporary custody of your child as well as the ability to go to your residence or speak to your significant other. It is therefore important to contact an experienced Albuquerque criminal attorney as soon as you have received notice of a petition for an order of protection.
Defending Domestic Violence Charges
A domestic violence conviction can have severe repercussions on your family life, future career, and ability to gain custody of any children. A domestic violence charge is often brought out of anger at a household member and it is important to speak with a New Mexico domestic violence attorney concerning the true facts of the case, as well as present any witnesses who were at the scene of the occurrence. A household member may drop charges against the alleged domestic violence attacker, but a prosecutor will more than likely attempt to pressure the household member to move forward with charges.
Albuquerque Domestic Violence Defense Lawyers Free Consultation
If you have a temporary order of protection pending against you after an alleged domestic violence encounter, do not wait until your life has been turned upside down. Contact our law offices (505-200-2982) today to protect your family life and stability. Every side has a story and it is important to not allow only one side to tell theirs in this type of instance.