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Domestic Violence

Domestic Violence

Domestic Violence

Domestic violence charges can have a lasting impact on your life. Navigating these charges requires a precise understanding of the law and a strategic approach tailored to each unique case. 

At Frechette & Associates, we bring a wealth of experience in dealing with domestic violence cases. Understanding the intricacies of New Mexico law, we’re committed to providing comprehensive legal support and advocacy.

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Understanding Domestic Violence Laws in New Mexico

In New Mexico, “domestic violence” is broadly defined as a crime in which a member of the household (including former household members) or a close family member perpetrates certain acts against another. These acts may include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Causing severe emotional distress
  • Inflicting bodily injury (battery or assault)
  • Threatening imminent bodily harm
  • Harassing via telephone
  • Harming or threatening physical harm to children
  • Engaging in stalking behavior

The state recognizes multiple domestic relationships under this statute, including current or former spouses, family members, and intimate partners. It’s critical to understand that domestic abuse can manifest in many forms, and recognizing the diverse nature of these actions is essential for a comprehensive defense strategy. You do not have to reside in the same home as the victim to have this statute applied to an incident.

This expansive definition aims to acknowledge the complex dynamics in domestic relationships. Our legal team at Frechette & Associates is adept at navigating these complexities, providing counsel and defense tailored to the nuances of each case.

Criminal Laws Governing Domestic Violence in New Mexico

Three of the most important statutes governing domestic violence charges in New Mexico include The Family Violence Protection Act, The Crimes Against Household Members Act, and The Harassment and Stalking Act. 

The Family Violence Protection Act

This act primarily focuses on offering protection to domestic violence victims. It allows for the issuance of protective orders to safeguard individuals from abuse by household members, which can include spouses, intimate partners, or family members. 

The act outlines the legal process for obtaining these orders and specifies the conditions under which they can be issued. It emphasizes the victim’s safety and aims to prevent future harm by establishing clear legal consequences for violators of these protective orders.

The Crimes Against Household Members Act

This statute specifically addresses criminal offenses committed against household members. It defines household members broadly, including spouses, family members, or those in intimate relationships, and categorizes various forms of abuse against these individuals as criminal acts. 

The act includes provisions for charges like battery, sexual assault, and other forms of physical or emotional abuse. The law aims to provide a legal framework for prosecuting domestic violence cases, emphasizing the severity and criminal nature of such acts within the household.

The Harassment and Stalking Act

This act deals with the offenses of harassment and stalking in the context of domestic violence. It defines harassment as a series of acts intended to annoy, seriously alarm, or terrorize another person with no lawful purpose. 

Stalking, on the other hand, is defined as a knowing and willful course of conduct that would cause a reasonable person to feel frightened, intimidated, or threatened. 

The act provides legal grounds for charging individuals who engage in these behaviors, often seen in domestic violence incidents. It aims to protect victims of abuse from ongoing patterns of intimidation and fear, typically associated with stalking and harassment within family or personal relationships.

At Frechette & Associates, we prioritize a comprehensive understanding of these statutes to represent and support our clients facing domestic violence charges effectively.

Potential Criminal Charges and Consequences

Facing domestic violence criminal charges in New Mexico can result in serious legal repercussions. The severity of these charges can vary depending on the extent of any injuries caused and the court in which the case is tried:

  • Petty Misdemeanor: Maximum of six months in jail and a fine of up to $500
  • Misdemeanor: Maximum of one year in jail and a fine of up to $1,000
  • Fourth Degree Felony: Maximum of 18 months in jail and a fine of up to $5,000
  • Third-Degree Felony: Maximum of three years in jail and a fine of up to $5,000

A conviction for domestic violence can have far-reaching implications beyond these immediate criminal penalties. It can impact one’s employment prospects, housing opportunities, and even parental rights in custody disputes. In New Mexico, a domestic violence conviction also entails the loss of firearm rights. 

Understanding these potential outcomes is crucial for anyone facing domestic violence charges. Our team at Frechette & Associates takes great measures to ensure our clients are fully aware of the stakes and the legal avenues available to them. This includes awareness of additional penalties like mandatory counseling or enhanced charges for repeat offenders.

Legal Processes and Defending Against Domestic Violence Charges


The legal process for domestic violence cases in New Mexico is structured and procedural. Following an arrest by law enforcement, the accused will face arraignment, where charges are formally presented. This is followed by pre-trial proceedings and, potentially, a trial.

Effective defense in these cases requires a deep understanding of the legal system and the ability to navigate its complexities. Some of the most commonly employed defenses in domestic violence cases include false accusation, self-defense, and challenging the accuser’s status as a “household member” under New Mexico law.

At Frechette & Associates, we prioritize a comprehensive defense approach. This involves scrutinizing the evidence, exploring all potential defenses, and ensuring our client’s rights are vigorously defended. We understand the emotional and legal challenges our clients face and are committed to providing them with the strongest possible defense.

Choosing Frechette & Associates: Your Trusted Partner in Navigating Domestic Violence Charges

Choosing the right legal representation is crucial when facing domestic violence charges. Frechette & Associates offers a unique blend of expertise, empathy, and commitment that sets us apart in New Mexico’s legal landscape.

At our firm, we understand the deeply sensitive nature of domestic violence cases. We aim to provide a supportive environment where every client is assured of being heard, understood, and effectively represented. 

In a region with numerous criminal lawyers, our firm stands out for our strong advocacy and deep understanding of the New Mexico Courts. We have earned respect within the legal community for our integrity and in-depth familiarity with the legal system. Our reputation among prosecutors and judges in jurisdictions across New Mexico speaks to our commitment to work tirelessly for our clients. At Frechette & Associates, you’re not just hiring a lawyer – you’re engaging a team committed to protecting your constitutional rights and providing the best possible defense.

Secure Expert Legal Representation in New Mexico With Frechette & Associates

At Frechette & Associates, we possess the necessary skills and expertise to handle your case, providing dedicated and empathetic legal support tailored to your unique situation. 

If you or someone you know is facing domestic violence charges in New Mexico, don’t face it alone. With our experienced attorneys, you can confidently navigate this challenging time, knowing that your rights and best interests are our top priority.

Contact us today for a free consultation, and ensure you have the best possible defense and guidance every step of the way.