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Las Cruces DUI Attorney

Las Cruces DUI Attorney

New Mexico recorded 8,419 DWI arrests in 2021, a slight increase from the 8,342 arrests the previous year. Yet, out of that number, the state recorded only 4,666 convictions. As you can see, not every New Mexico DUI charge results in a conviction. In some cases, a valid legal defense applies that defeats an element of the crime. The best way to determine if a legal defense applies is by hiring a Las Cruces DUI attorney to review the facts of your case. A seasoned Las Cruces DUI lawyer can craft a defense strategy that exposes the weaknesses of the State’s case. Then, we will negotiate with the prosecutor to get your charges reduced or dismissed. 

Our team at the New Mexico Criminal Law Offices has more than 30 years of combined experience representing individuals accused of drunk driving. We know what circumstances can convince the district attorney to reduce your charges or dismiss them entirely. Contact our office today to schedule an initial consultation with a member of our team

Drunk Driving Laws in New Mexico: An Overview

New Mexico Statutes Annotated § 66-8-102, prohibits anyone from operating a motor vehicle if:

  • Their driving ability is impaired by the use of drugs or alcohol, or
  • Their blood alcohol concentration (BAC) is at or above .08%.

New Mexico defines aggravated DUI as an individual committing one of the following:

  • Operating a vehicle with a BAC at or above 0.15%,
  • Refusing to submit to a chemical test after a drunk driving arrest, or
  • Causing bodily injury to another due to driving under the influence.

A DUI conviction can result in a jail sentence, steep fines, and the loss of your driver’s license. Additionally, the conviction can increase the cost of your insurance coverage and negatively impact your reputation.

A Las Cruces DUI lawyer can outline the elements of your DUI charge and walk you through the steps of the criminal justice process.

Penalties for DUI in New Mexico

A first-time DUI conviction in New Mexico carries the potential of up to 90 days in jail and a possible fine of up to $500. From the date of your arrest, you have 10 days to protest the revocation of your license and 20 days before your license revocation officially takes effect. If you do not protest the revocation, the Motor Vehicles Division (MVD) will revoke your driver’s license for one year for a first-time DUI conviction.

A second DUI conviction carries the potential of up to 364 days in jail and a possible fine of up to $1,000. The MVD will revoke your driver’s license for two years after your second DUI conviction.

A third DUI conviction carries a minimum sentence of 30 consecutive days in jail and a maximum sentence of 364 days in jail, along with a fine of up to $1,000. The MVD will revoke your driver’s license for three years after your third DUI conviction. 

In addition to these penalties, you may be required to complete community service hours and participate in a DUI school. A DUI attorney in Las Cruces, New Mexico, can outline the penalties associated with your drunk driving charges and explain the benefits of entering a plea agreement for a lesser sentence.

Can a Las Cruces DUI Attorney Help Me Keep My Driving Privileges?

As stated above, you can request a hearing with the MVD to protest the revocation of your driver’s license within 10 days of your arrest. You do this by filing a “Request for Hearing” with the MVD. An experienced DUI attorney will request this hearing on your behalf and appear for the proceeding to contest the evidence against you. In rare circumstances, the MVD will reinstate your driver’s license.

If the MVD proceeds with your revocation, you can apply for an ignition interlock license to maintain your ability to drive. You must present a copy of your current contract with an ignition interlock provider, proof of insurance showing that you are a covered driver, and a notarized Ignition Interlock Affidavit to obtain the license. An ignition interlock license costs $113.00.

The ignition interlock device is wired into the vehicle and requires the driver to provide a clean breath sample. Otherwise, the car will not start. In addition to the license fee, the person convicted of DUI is responsible for installing and paying any maintenance fees associated with the device.

Although installing an interlock device is not ideal, it is a way for you to keep your driving privileges after a DUI conviction in New Mexico.

Valid Legal Defenses to a Las Cruces DUI Charge

Multiple different legal defenses can apply in a DUI case that might defeat an element of the charge and weaken the prosecution’s case. Some common legal defenses used in DUI cases include the following:

  • Law enforcement lacked reasonable suspicion to pull you over, 
  • Another person was driving the vehicle,
  • The breathalyzer used to collect your breath sample was not calibrated regularly,
  • The breathalyzer was not maintained properly, or
  • The officer did not administer the breath test properly.

A legal defense does not apply in every case. Contact a Las Cruces DUI lawyer at New Mexico Criminal Law Offices so we can review the details of your case.

Contact New Mexico Criminal Law Offices to See What a DUI Attorney in Las Cruces Can Do For You

A DUI conviction can negatively impact several facets of your life. A conviction can lead to spending time in jail, losing your driver’s license, losing your positive reputation, and paying costly financial penalties. The best way to minimize the negative consequences of a DUI charge is by hiring a knowledgeable attorney who can advocate for you. We know that our experience and resources can offer critical value to your case.

Our Las Cruces DUI attorneys do not use a “one-size-fits-all” defense strategy for every case. We take the time to meet one-on-one with our clients, answer their questions, and address their concerns. We are confident in our ability to secure a positive outcome for you.

If you or a loved one are facing DUI charges in Las Cruces, New Mexico, contact the New Mexico Criminal Law Offices today. We look forward to hearing from you.