How to Get a DWI Dismissed in New Mexico
The New Mexico Department of Transportation published a report stating that state law enforcement made 10,376 arrests for driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol in 2019. Despite more than 10,000 arrests, the state recorded only 5,781 convictions for driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol. So you can see that getting arrested for DWI in New Mexico does not necessarily mean that you will be convicted. Hiring a criminal defense lawyer gives you the best opportunity to get your DWI dismissed or reduced to a lesser charge.
Our team of attorneys at New Mexico Criminal Law Offices has decades of combined experience representing individuals facing DUI charges in New Mexico. Contact a lawyer at our office today to schedule an initial consultation.
Getting a DUI Dismissed in New Mexico: An Overview
To obtain a DUI conviction, the prosecutor needs to prove the defendant was operating a motor vehicle:
- With a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) at or above 0.08%, or
- While their driving ability was impaired by the use of alcohol or drugs.
It is the prosecutor’s burden to prove your guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. That means if we can disprove an element of the criminal offense, the district attorney may agree to dismiss your DUI charges or reduce them to a lesser criminal charge. A criminal defense attorney will negotiate with the prosecutor and create a strategy to get your DUI dismissed, reduced to a lesser charge, or to get you the least possible penalty.
Many people consider navigating their DUI charges without an attorney. However, New Mexico imposes harsh penalties for DUI convictions. A first-time DUI conviction in New Mexico carries the potential of up to 90 days in jail, along with a fine of up to $500.
How Can a Lawyer Help with Getting a DUI Dismissed?
Hiring a criminal defense lawyer to represent you may seem like an admission of guilt. Yet, doing so is one of the best ways to protect your rights and reduce or even avoid severe penalties. For example, an experienced criminal defense lawyer can help you:
- Determine the best methods available in your case to challenge your DUI charges,
- Compile facts and evidence to help support your DWI defense,
- Negotiate a favorable plea agreement, and
- Preparing your case to go to trial, if necessary.
In short, having a criminal defense attorney on your side can significantly enhance your chances of getting your DUI charges dismissed or reduced.
Remember, not every DUI charge in New Mexico will be dismissed. Your attorney needs to show the prosecutor they cannot prove your guilt with the evidence they have. Or, your attorney can file a motion to suppress evidence if the police violated your rights. If successful, this suppression of evidence could leave the prosecution lacking enough proof to establish your guilt. Then, your attorney can convince them to reduce your charges or drop them entirely.
Potential Defenses to DWI Charges
A number of legal defenses can apply in a DUI case that might result in the reduction or dismissal of your charges. However, a valid legal defense does not apply to every scenario. Some common legal defenses used in DUI cases include:
- You were not operating the vehicle;
- The breathalyzer used to collect your breath sample was defective or inadequately maintained, thereby making the results inaccurate;
- Law enforcement stopped you without reasonable suspicion; or
- Law enforcement failed to follow proper procedures when collecting your breath or blood sample.
The facts of each case determine whether a legal defense applies. Contact one of our DWI attorneys at the New Mexico Criminal Law Offices to discuss whether a legal defense applies to the facts of your case.
Misconceptions About Getting a DUI Dismissed in New Mexico
I Can Talk My Way Out of It
Some people think the best time to talk their way out of a DUI arrest is during their initial traffic stop. During a traffic stop, police officers will typically ask you questions designed to incriminate you and provide enough probable cause to make an arrest. These questions might include:
- Where are you going?
- Where are you coming from?
- Have you been drinking?
While you should never get combative or refuse to cooperate with the officers, you do not need to answer their questions about your activities. If you think an officer is violating your rights, you can raise those issues with your attorney later in your case. This option is preferable to confronting or arguing with the officer at the scene, as combativeness often yields worse results. For instance, if you don’t cooperate, the officer might charge you with resisting arrest as well as DWI.
Another misconception surrounding DWIs is the accuracy of blood and breath tests collected after your arrest. Under New Mexico’s implied consent law, every person who drives in New Mexico consents to have their blood or breath tested for drugs or alcohol if they are arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence. Several factors can lead to an inaccurate chemical test, including:
- Failure to follow proper testing protocols,
- Human errors,
- Improper maintenance of the machine, and
- Lack of machine calibration.
We have a lot of experience challenging the results of blood and breath tests in these cases.
We can review the details of your DWI charges and determine what options you have moving forward.
Contact New Mexico Criminal Law Offices Today to Discuss How to Get a DWI Dismissed in New Mexico
Our attorneys at New Mexico Criminal Law Offices have focused exclusively on defending the rights of clients facing criminal charges since 1997. We are committed to working with people facing DWI charges and securing favorable outcomes on their behalf.
Even though we have extensive experience defending people against DWI charges, we know that no two cases are the same. We conduct a thorough investigation and prepare an aggressive defense strategy to convince the prosecutor to dismiss or reduce your charges.
If you or a loved one are facing DWI charges in New Mexico, a criminal defense attorney at our office is standing by to help. Contact us today to schedule an appointment with a member of our team.