Los Lunas Domestic Violence Lawyers
Trusted Los Lunas Domestic Violence Attorneys Ready To Help You
Living in Los Lunas, NM, has its perks. Being just 20 miles away from Albuquerque, the largest city in New Mexico, residents have access to all that the city has to offer while living in a more rural setting. Residents can relax and enjoy local activities like spending time with the family at Tome Hill Park, Los Lunas Museum of Heritage and Arts, or sipping something delicious at the Camino Real Winery.
But domestic violence can happen anywhere. And if you have been accused of this crime, you are going to need an experienced Los Lunas domestic violence lawyer to represent your best interests in court. Having a qualified domestic violence attorney can mean the difference between a term of probation and spending years behind bars.
Understanding How Police Respond to Domestic Calls
It is important to understand just how police respond when they get a call reporting domestic violence. Your future is at stake, and innocent arguments with a spouse or family member can get out of control fast. So understanding some basics may help both before and after a domestic violence call is made.
First of all, whenever a person makes the decision to pick up the phone and call the police claiming domestic violence, they may or may not be aware that this call will almost certainly result in one of the parties going to jail. Accusers often make these calls thinking that they will retain control over the outcome, but that could not be farther from the truth. Let’s look at some common scenarios.
Accuser Calls to Gain Advantage in a Disagreement
When family members argue, the atmosphere can turn heated in the blink of an eye. There are times when people can be engaged in an argument that gets uncomfortable, but before any sort of violence actually erupts, they reach for the phone. This could be because they are actually in fear, or it can be because they are angry and want to gain the “upper hand” during a heated argument. By calling the police, they feel that they are now in more control of the situation, but we’ll discuss in a moment how wrong they actually are.
Accuser Calls Maliciously
This happens more often than most people may realize. There are times when a person is angry at a family member so much so that they maliciously call 911 on that family member. This is a tragic misuse of law enforcement, but it can be very effective in getting the person that they are angry at arrested and in serious legal trouble. Why? Because police officers rarely involve themselves in family squabbles and are very likely to simply arrest the accused and ask questions later.
What Happens when 911 Is Called?
After the police receive a 911 call for domestic violence, a car is dispatched to the scene. The officer or officers who respond are truly not interested in becoming involved in the altercation. They are not there for marriage or parental counseling. So more often than not, the police will talk to the accuser, take their story at face value, and arrest the accused without a whole lot of investigation.
Even if the accuser changes his or her mind after the police arrive, it often does not matter at all. Once the call is made, the accuser loses much of his or her control over the outcome of the call. The police will decide whether or not to arrest, and making the arrest is a safer bet for the officer. This is because, if there was violence and they don’t arrest, they can be seen as responsible if any injuries happen after they leave the scene. So from their point of view, it is always safer to make the arrest and separate the parties.
My Accuser Wants Charges Dropped, So I Should Be OK, Right?
After an arrest, the police will write up a report that will be used by prosecutors to file charges. If charges are filed (and they often are regardless of proof), the case is truly out of the hands of the accuser. Even if the accuser called just to stop a fight and now regret getting the police involved, they may well find that prosecutors won’t even consider dropping the case.
Why? Because it is common for people to try to “drop the charges” after they realize that they have really gotten their loved one into trouble. Accusers can feel this way whether the abuse actually happened or not. And because prosecutors know that even abused spouses will try to drop charges, many have instituted a policy of never dropping domestic violence charges once they are filed. The prosecutor is now in control, and whether or not the alleged victim is cooperating, the prosecution can and often will go forward over the alleged victim’s protests.
Penalties for Domestic Violence Charges in New Mexico
New Mexico law specifically defines certain crimes against household members and assigns the crime as either a felony or a misdemeanor. Felony convictions warrant more severe penalties while misdemeanor convictions warrant less severe penalties. New Mexico considers assault against a family member a petty misdemeanor. A petty misdemeanor carries the potential of up to six months in jail and a fine of up to $500.
New Mexico considers aggravated assault against a household member a fourth-degree felony. A fourth-degree felony carries the potential of eighteen months in prison and a fine of up to $5,000.
Additionally, the court can order defendants convicted of domestic violence charges to complete a domestic violence offender treatment or intervention program. Repeat domestic violence offenders typically face much harsher penalties than first-time domestic violence offenders.
A Los Lunas domestic violence attorney can help explain what potential penalties you’re facing for your domestic violence charges.
Call a Los Lunas Domestic Violence Attorney to Protect You from False Charges
If you find yourself in such a scenario, you need to call an experienced domestic violence lawyer, right away. Our team of Los Lunas domestic violence lawyers at New Mexico Criminal Law can help you navigate the maze of the criminal justice system, defending your rights every step of the way. Call our legal team at New Mexico Criminal Law to schedule a consultation today, or contact us online. We look forward to helping you.