Assault and Battery Charges in Los Lunas, New Mexico
Experienced Los Lunas Assault & Battery Lawyer
The term “assault and battery” can be confusing if you are not a criminal defense lawyer. You can be charged with assault without even touching someone. Cocking your fist, for example, can be considered an assault if it puts the other person in reasonable fear of imminent harm. Actually punch someone, and the assault becomes a battery. These are two separate crimes, and you can be charged with one or both of them. Contact our proven Los Lunas assault & battery lawyers to discuss your case.
Assault and Battery Can Be Charged as a Misdemeanor or a Felony
Assault and battery is treated much more seriously in New Mexico than it used to be. 30 years ago, a bar fight would typically result in disorderly conduct charges as long as no one was seriously hurt. Now it could result in a prison sentence. In many cases, assault and battery are still treated as misdemeanors. That doesn’t mean you can’t go to jail for them, however.
Certain circumstances can be more problematic than others. An assault or battery on a school employee, a sports official, or a health care worker, while they are carrying out their duties, can result in felony charges under circumstances that otherwise would have justified only misdemeanor charges. Domestic violence and sexual assault can also be treated quite harshly. And in the absence of third-party witnesses, a prosecution could easily turn into a “he said, he said” contest.
We Can Help You
The fact that assault and/or a battery can be treated like anything from a petty misdemeanor to a serious felony gives the prosecutor great flexibility in determining the sentence he will ask the judge to impose as well as a lot of latitude in plea bargaining. All of this makes it very dangerous to march into battle alone. At New Mexico Criminal Law Offices, it is our job to make sure you don’t have to.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
What does “stand your ground” mean? Is New Mexico a “stand your ground” state?
More than half of all states have enacted a “stand your ground” law that provides a defense for defendants accused of assault with a deadly weapon as long as they:
- Were engaged in a lawful activity;
- Were not trespassing; and
- Reasonably believed that they were threatened by an assailant.
In “stand your ground” states, such people are under no obligation to retreat before using deadly force (a gun, for example). New Mexico is NOT a “stand your ground” state, however. In the above-described situation, you must retreat before using deadly force if you believe that you can do so safely.
How does a plea bargain work?
A plea bargain is a deal between a prosecutor and a defendant whereby the defendant agrees to plead guilty to one offense (disorderly conduct, for example) in exchange for the prosecutor’s agreement to recommend that the judge dismiss a more serious charge (assault, for example). Although the judge doesn’t have to agree to the plea bargain, he usually does. This is because, once a guilty plea is entered, a costly and time-consuming trial is no longer necessary. If you have questions about a plea bargain contact our knowledgeable and proven Los Lunas assault & battery attorneys.
What are some of the most common defenses against battery charges?
Some of the most popular defenses include:
- Self-defense (a reasonable fear of harm is required for this dense to work).
- Defense of others (a reasonable fear of harm is also required).
- Defense of property (only under limited circumstances).
- Consent: A boxer cannot sue his opponent for knocking him out in a match; likewise, consensual partners in S&M activities cannot sue each other.
- Lack of criminal intent: The contact may have been unintentional, for example, or you may have cocked your fist as a joke.
Someone in Your Corner
You can expect the prosecutor to try to trample you underfoot, but that’s OK. At New Mexico Criminal Law Offices, criminal defense law is what we do and it is all we do. We’ve been dealing with aggressive prosecutors every day for years on end, and the results are undeniable. We have shaved literally thousands of years off of prison sentences that our clients otherwise would have had to serve, and we have won complete acquittals in many cases.
If you have been charged with assault or battery, or if you are even under investigation for one of these offenses, call our Los Lunas assault & battery lawyers or fill out our online contact form to schedule an appointment to discuss your case and go over your options. If you are not at liberty, we can even meet with you in jail. We serve clients from Cypress Gardens, Hillridge, Meadowlake Road, Tome Vista, and elsewhere in Los Lunas.