Albuquerque Sex Crimes Defense Lawyers
Criminal Defense Lawyers Aggressively Fighting Sex Crime Charges for New Mexico Residents
Sex crimes carry a stigma that goes well beyond that associated with many other crimes, and it takes no more than an accusation to destroy your reputation. When you’ve been accused of a sex crime, even if the allegations are false, you will likely find that you are treated as if you were guilty, even in the absence of proof. You will be made to feel that the presumption of innocence does not apply to those who are accused of sex crimes. Contact a sex crimes attorney in Albuquerque, NM if you or a loved one have been charged with a sex crime.
Punishments for convicted sex offenders are considered by many to be draconian. You’re facing prison time, followed by parole if you’re lucky and manage to avoid civil commitment (indefinite incarceration after completing your sentence). Then, you’ll spend the remainder of your life having to register as a sex offender wherever you live. Your name, photo, charges, and address will be published on the Internet. Every time you apply for a job or a lease and they do a background check, your conviction will appear. You will face housing restrictions and limitations on the type of job you can have. You will lose custody of your children and probably visiting rights as well. You will incur additional penalties if the alleged victim was a minor or if a weapon was used.
Types of Sex Crimes in New Mexico
The sex crime accusations we see most frequently in New Mexico include:
- Rape (criminal sexual penetration or CSP)
- Attempted CSP
- Spousal rape
- Sexual assault
- Criminal sexual contact of an adult or minor
- Sexual harassment
- Child molestation
- Sexual exploitation by a therapist
Experience Counts in Defense against Sex Crime Allegations
When you’ve been accused of a sex crime, you need to hire a defense lawyer with extensive experience trying cases involving sexually-related offenses. An experienced Albuquerque defense lawyer that specializes in sex crimes defense will first examine police procedure before, during, and after your arrest to determine if your rights were violated at any point, and will look for grounds to have the charges dismissed. The next step will be to conduct a detailed examination of the evidence and look for weaknesses in the prosecutor’s case.
Because of the nature of a sex crime accusation and the permanency of the penalties and their effect on your life, a plea bargain may be a poor choice, and although it will be your decision if you want to enter into a plea agreement, your sex crime defense lawyer in Albuquerque, NM should be fully prepared for a trial, and should have extensive trial experience.
Particularly in sex crime cases, skill with jury selection is essential. A skilled trial defense attorney will have the ability select jurors who can overcome emotional responses to child sexual abuse allegations and remain open-minded and rational. Your lawyer must be able to call defense witnesses and to effectively cross examine the prosecution’s witnesses and to demonstrate to the jury any possible motivation the accuser may have for making false allegations, in order to create a reasonable doubt that will result in an acquittal. These are abilities that are honed through years of experience, so be sure to hire a lawyer who has done this many times before.
New Mexico Criminal Defense Law Firm
Being charged with a sex crime has got to be one of life’s most distressing experiences. Not only might you face prison time, but you could also face mandatory registration as a sex offender, everywhere you live, for the rest of your life. On top of that, you might find friends and colleagues deserting you as you fight desperately to clear your name. This is not a battle that you need to be fighting alone.
Unfortunately, there is no more effective way to smear someone than to falsely accuse them of a sex crime. At New Mexico Criminal Law, we have seen exactly this situation far too many times. We have also seen situations in which prosecutors sought penalties against guilty defendants that were far out of proportion to the actual seriousness of the offense.
Stand Up for Your Rights
Too much of the time in the media, a defendant is considered guilty until proven innocent when an allegation of sexual misconduct is involved. In a court of law, however, you are innocent until proven guilty. All you need for an acquittal is reasonable doubt. We are New Mexico Criminal Law Offices, and fortunately, establishing reasonable doubt has been our business for the last two decades.
Both of us have appeared in nearly every criminal court in New Mexico. We are also familiar with many of the judges and prosecutors who run New Mexico’s criminal justice system. Although we have many friends who are criminal law judges, we are not nearly as popular with prosecutors. Considering our successful track record of making their lives more difficult, we don’t blame them for not liking us.
Aggressive and Knowledgeable Representation
Two features define the New Mexico criminal justice system – its adversarial nature and its complexity. Consequently, the best criminal defense attorneys share two traits: (i) they fear nothing or nobody, and (ii) they possess a detailed knowledge not only of the law, but of their clients’ cases. We offer you no less than this, because we treat every client’s prosecution as if we were the ones being prosecuted.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
What is the difference between rape and statutory rape?
Rape (known as “Criminal Sexual Penetration” in New Mexico) requires the offender to forcibly penetrate the victim. “Statutory rape” is an informal term that refers to offenses involving sexual contact with a minor below the age of consent. In New Mexico, the age of consent is 17.
How have New Mexico’s sex offender registration requirements been tightened recently?
Several changes went into effect. A convicted sex offender must now register soon after moving into New Mexico from out of state, and he or she must register any names or email addresses used on social networking sites. The state also launched a public website offering easier access to sex offender information.
What is the difference between statutory rape and child molestation?
“Statutory rape” applies to sex with a minor between 13 and 16 years of age, while “child molestation” (known as Criminal Sexual Contact of a Minor) involves sexual contact with a minor under 13. Both can be prosecuted even if the sexual contact was consensual.
Can you be prosecuted for raping your spouse?
Yes. Spousal rape has been a crime in New Mexico since 1991. Although the penalties for spousal rape are the same as the penalties for raping a stranger, in a practical sense it is more difficult for the victim to prove lack of consent in spousal rape cases.
What are some legal defenses to a statutory rape charge?
The most common defenses are:
- The accuser was over 17
- The accuser was married to the defendant
- The defendant was under 18
- The defendant is less than four years older than the accuser
Unfortunately, “I had no idea she was that young!” is not a valid defense.
Our names are Jack Mkhitarian and Kenneth Gleria, and together we are New Mexico Criminal Law Offices. Between the two of us and our astonishingly dedicated staff, we offer you personalized representation that is responsive to your individual needs and concerns. Your case will not be handed off to a junior associate, because there is no such thing at our firm.
Take Decisive Action Today
Criminal cases are ultimately complex fact patterns to which legal principles are applied to reach a particular result. Once we understand your case inside out, we will formulate an aggressive defense strategy that is as unique as your case is. If you are being investigated for a sex crime in New Mexico, or if you have already been charged, call us at 505-375-4765, or fill out our online contact form for a free initial consultation on your case.