When Does Domestic Violence Become a Felony in NM?
Defense Attorneys Fighting Domestic Violence Felony Charges in New Mexico
Domestic violence charges are especially complicated because they involve family members and, often, rely on one person’s word against another. These charges have heightened emotions, and cause extreme stress on all parties involved.
When individuals face domestic violence charges, they could have a criminal record that will permanently affect their lives. Being convicted of domestic violence means that you would give up your right to carry or own firearms. Additionally, there are instances when your case could move from a misdemeanor to a felony.
Understanding NM Domestic Violence Laws
Domestic violence typically involves assault and battery against a loved one. The “loved one” does not have to be a spouse, but is a family member or live-in partner. The assault could include physical, emotional, or mental violence toward the victim.
Issues that Arise During These Cases
When you are arrested for domestic violence, you are likely to have multiple questions, such as:
- How can you defend yourself against someone’s word?
- What happens if the victim says that he or she does not want to press charges?
- Will you be able to contact the alleged victim?
- What will be your conditions if released and awaiting trial?
- What penalties will you face?
Domestic Charges Are Not Dismissed Because the Victim Requests it
After you have been arrested for domestic violence, even if victims tell the police or prosecution that they do not wish to charge you, they have no say. Instead, it is up to the prosecutor handling the case to determine if the state brings charges or not. He or she will weigh the evidence and facts of the case to determine if you are innocent, or if the victim is requesting no charges because he or she is a victim of constant abuse.
Most first-time offenders of domestic violence will be charged with a misdemeanor. These penalties include anywhere from six months to one year in jail and numerous fines. If you are accused of a felony, you could face up to three years in prison.
When Does a Domestic Violence Charge Become a Felony?
The circumstances of the violence will determine if you are charged with a felony or not. If you intentionally cause bodily harm, and that harm is severe, you are likely to face felony charges versus a simple spat that got out of hand. Also, if you are a repeat offender, the prosecutor is more likely to charge you with a felony, especially if the violence was severe.
When you meet with an attorney, you can discuss the appropriate defense strategy. There are instances where domestic violence allegations are entirely false – especially in these cases, you need a lawyer to protect you.