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Category Archives: Criminal Law

As of 2024, in the State of New Mexico, “domestic violence” is legally defined as a crime involving an act committed by one household or close family member against another, including past household members. The prohibited acts encompass a range of behaviors, such as:

  • Inflicting severe emotional distress
  • Causing bodily injury (assault or battery)
  • Threatening imminent bodily harm
  • Engaging in telephone harassment
  • Causing harm or threatening harm to children
  • Stalking

Several key statutes which govern domestic violence charges in New Mexico include:

  • The Family Violence Protection Act
  • The Crimes Against Household Members Act
  • The Harassment and Stalking Act

Comprehending and applying these statutes is pivotal in domestic violence cases. The potential penalties for domestic violence charges vary, based on factors such as the severity of injuries sustained and which trial court handles the case:

  • Petty misdemeanor: Up to six months in jail and a fine up to $500
  • Misdemeanor: Up to one year in jail and a fine up to $1,000
  • Fourth-degree felony: Up to 18 months in jail and a fine up to $5,000
  • Third-degree felony: Up to three years in jail and a fine up to $5,000

Additionally, if convicted, the judge may impose probation conditions, such as mandatory counseling and treatment programs or stricter penalties for repeat offenders. Conviction for domestic violence in New Mexico results in the loss of firearm ownership and carrying privileges.

There are various defense strategies for domestic violence cases and these are dependent on the facts of each case and the information gathered by law enforcement at the time of the investigation. Frechette and Associates will review the case with you in detail, so you can evaluate all your options and make well-informed decisions about how to proceed.

A domestic violence conviction carries significant consequences, impacting various aspects of your life. Frechette & Associates possesses the requisite skills and expertise to support you throughout the legal process. From gathering pre-trial information from the prosecution to interviewing witnesses and formulating the most effective legal strategy, we are committed to advocating for your rights and protecting your interests.

As seasoned practitioners in criminal law, we recognize the importance of providing comprehensive information to you and your loved ones regarding your case. Here, we address some of the most current and common questions about DWI in New Mexico.

What constitutes a DWI, and how does it differ from DUI?

As per NM statute number 66-8-102, it is unlawful for an individual to operate a vehicle while under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs. The legal blood alcohol limit varies based on factors such as age and possession of a commercial driver’s license:

  • Individuals under 21 years old cannot drive with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .02 or higher.
  • Commercial drivers are prohibited from operating a vehicle with a BAC of .04 or higher.
  • People 21 years and older face penalties for driving with a BAC of .04 or higher (impaired to the slightest degree standard), while a BAC of .08 or higher is presumptive evidence of impairment.
  • Driving with a BAC of .16 or higher constitutes aggravated DWI, carrying more severe penalties.

In New Mexico, the terms DUI (Driving Under the Influence) and DWI (Driving While Intoxicated) are used interchangeably, with no distinction between them. Unlike some other states, New Mexico does not recognize a DWAI (Driving While Ability Impaired) offense as a lesser charge.

What are the potential repercussions for a DWI conviction in New Mexico?

A conviction for violating New Mexico’s DWI laws can significantly impact an individual’s life, as it remains 55 years on the driving record and permanently on a criminal conviction record. DWI  conviction and administrative actions may affect the driving privilege, insurance rates, personal budget, career choices, and travel to other countries.

At Frechette & Associates, we recognize the importance of addressing your New Mexico DWI questions in detail. We believe that a consultation with one of our attorneys is the most effective way to provide you with immediate answers. If you are facing DWI charges in New Mexico, rest assured that we will serve as your dedicated defense team, fighting vigorously to protect your rights.