Las Cruces Domestic Violence Attorney
The role of a Las Cruces domestic violence attorney is an essential component of a well-functioning justice system. While society rightly condemns domestic violence, it is crucial to maintain the integrity of the legal process and ensure that accused individuals have the right to a fair trial. Domestic violence charges and convictions can have long-lasting repercussions that trickle into every aspect of an individual’s life. Defending against and mitigating the impact of these accusations is essential to preserving your rights, your freedom, and your reputation. If you are facing domestic violence charges, contact a Las Cruces domestic violence attorney at the New Mexico Criminal Law Offices.
Domestic Violence Charges in New Mexico
In New Mexico, domestic violence (DV) charges can arise from abuse or violence against a household member. Household members can include spouses, ex-spouses, parents, children, or others who live together or have lived together in a familial or intimate relationship setting. Abuse can be physical, emotional, sexual, or financial, although criminal charges usually focus on physical or sexual abuse.
False Allegations of Domestic Violence
Domestic violence cases inherently involve two people in a close and intimate relationship—either past or present. Given this reality, it is not uncommon for allegations to be exaggerated or even entirely fabricated. For example, one study found that 13% of men and 8% of women responded that they had been falsely accused of a domestic violence crime. People have many reasons to fabricate these claims, but clearly, none are justifiable. Roughly a third of all false DV allegations are made while the couple is involved in a custody dispute.
That said, fabricated allegations are no less serious than factual ones, perhaps even more so. It’s ultimately up to a judge or jury to weigh the evidence and decide if the evidence presented is sufficient to believe you committed the crime. However, an experienced Las Cruces criminal defense attorney will rely on a range of techniques to discredit complaining witnesses. The goal is to demonstrate holes in the prosecution’s case that create reasonable doubt in the minds of the judge or jury.
Types of DV Charges in New Mexico
In New Mexico, domestic violence charges can vary in type and severity depending on the nature of the underlying offense. The most common types include:
- Aggravated assault—assault that involves a deadly weapon or the intent to commit a felony;
- Aggravated battery—similar to simple battery but includes the use of a deadly weapon or results in severe harm;
- Assault—placing another in fear of being subject to immediate battery;
- Battery against a household member—physical violence against someone in the household, typically categorized as a misdemeanor;
- Child abuse—a separate, serious charge involving physical, emotional, or sexual abuse of a minor;
- Harassment—consistent annoying or tormenting behavior aimed at a household member;
- Sexual offenses—rape, sexual assault, or other forms of sexual violence against a household member;
- Simple battery—unlawful, intentional touching or application of force to someone when done in a rude, insolent, or angry manner; and
- Stalking—repeatedly following, surveilling, or harassing a person with the intent to instill fear.
A Las Cruces domestic violence lawyer is familiar with these offenses, how they intersect with a domestic violence allegation, and how to best protect your rights after the government accuses you of such misconduct.
Domestic Violence Penalties
The penalties for domestic violence charges in New Mexico can vary based on the severity of the charge and your criminal history. Consequences can range from fines and probation to imprisonment. If found guilty, you may be required to participate in domestic violence intervention programs or anger management classes.
In addition to legal consequences, domestic violence convictions can elicit various collateral consequences. These consequences could have a long-lasting impact on your life.
- Child custody—a domestic violence conviction could adversely impact child custody arrangements, potentially leading to limited visitation rights or loss of custody;
- Restraining orders—an order of protection may be filed against you, limiting your contact with the victim and possibly other family members;
- Employment opportunities—future job prospects may be limited, as many employers are hesitant to hire individuals with a criminal record;
- Eviction—a domestic violence conviction may result in eviction from your home if you rent;
- Deportation—non-citizens convicted of domestic violence may be at risk of deportation;
- Public perception—a domestic violence conviction can tarnish your reputation, affecting personal and professional relationships; and
- Revocation or denial—some professional licenses may be revoked or denied based on a domestic violence conviction;
Given the wide-reaching implications of a domestic violence conviction, consulting with an experienced domestic violence lawyer in Las Cruces is crucial.
Defenses to Domestic Violence Charges
The strategies and defenses available to you will depend on the facts of your case, the evidence, and the laws in place at the time your case goes to trial. A domestic violence attorney in Las Cruces can help you determine whether one of the following defenses applies.
- Lack of intent,
- False accusation,
- Insufficient evidence,
- Constitutional violations,
- Mental state, and
- Mutual combat.
It’s essential to consult with an experienced Las Cruces domestic violence defense attorney who can evaluate your specific situation and guide you on the most appropriate defense strategy.
Reach Out to an Experienced Las Cruces DV Defense Attorney Today
If you’ve been charged with a domestic violence offense, you’re well aware that a conviction can have devastating consequences: a tarnished reputation, strained family relationships, loss of employment, and even imprisonment. The experienced Las Cruces domestic violence defense attorneys at New Mexico Criminal Law Offices are here to help. We will question the evidence, cross-examine witnesses, and challenge the prosecution’s case, protecting you from the worst consequences of a criminal conviction. Moreover, our attorneys have a nuanced understanding of the emotional and psychological factors that can be involved in domestic violence cases, giving us insight into how district attorneys handle these complex cases. To schedule a free consultation today, contact the New Mexico Criminal Law Offices.