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New Mexico Assault Defense Lawyers

Thousands of people face assault charges in New Mexico every year. When facing assault charges, you need an attorney with experience handling similar cases. An experienced assault defense lawyer can gather statements from witnesses, request the police report, and negotiate with the prosecuting attorney to secure a positive outcome. 

Contact New Mexico Criminal Law Offices today to schedule a free consultation with an assault defense lawyer. An assault or sexual assault defense attorney at our firm can review the facts of your case and discuss a path forward.

Assault in New Mexico

New Mexico (NMSA 30-3-1) outlines three different definitions of assault:

  • An attempt to commit a battery on another person,
  • Any unlawful act, threat, or menacing conduct that causes another person to reasonably believe they are in danger of an immediate battery; or
  • Any insults towards another impugning their honor, delicacy, or reputation.

Battery is the unlawful, intentional touching or application of force to the person of another, when done in a rude, insolent, or angry manner.

Despite the common meaning of assault, the criminal offense does not involve any physical contact between the suspect and the victim. Making contact and causing harm to another person is considered battery.

Assault and battery are both petty misdemeanor offenses in New Mexico. A petty misdemeanor is punishable by up to six months in jail and a fine of up to $500.

Aggravated Assault in New Mexico

In more serious cases, the prosecutor may file charges for aggravated assault. New Mexico defines aggravated assault as:

  • Committing assault by threatening or menacing another while wearing a mask, hood, robe or other covering on their face, head or body, or while disguised in any manner to conceal their identity;
  • Unlawfully assaulting or striking at someone with a deadly weapon; or
  • Willfully and intentionally assaulting someone with intent to commit a felony.

Threatening to stab someone with a knife or shoot them with a firearm would warrant charges of aggravated assault. New Mexico considers aggravated assault a fourth-degree felony. A fourth-degree felony is punishable by up to 18 months in prison and a fine of up to $5,000. The charge for aggravated assault can increase to a third-degree felony if the crime is committed against a school employee, sports official, or healthcare worker carrying out their official duties.

Aggravated assault with intent to commit a violent felony is considered a third-degree felony. A third-degree felony is punishable by up to three years in prison and a fine of up to $5,000.

Sexual Assault in New Mexico

In New Mexico, sexual assault is called criminal sexual contact. New Mexico defines criminal sexual contact (New Mexico Statutes Annotated 1978, Section 30-9-12) as unlawful and intentional touching of or application of force, without consent, to the unclothed intimate parts of another adult or causing another adult to touch one’s intimate parts. Criminal sexual contact is considered a misdemeanor unless the accused:

  • Was armed with a deadly weapon,
  • Used force or coercion against a victim who sustains an injury, or
  • Was assisted by one or more persons.

If one of these factors is present, criminal sexual contact is a fourth-degree felony. A sexual assault defense lawyer can review the details of your case to determine whether a legal defense applies to your claim. 

Legal Defenses for Assault Charges in New Mexico

A valid legal defense may help you reduce your charge from aggravated assault to simple assault or even convince the prosecutor to drop your charges completely. Defenses that may apply in an assault case include:

  • The assault occurred while acting in self defense;
  • The victim did not have a reasonable fear of an imminent battery;
  • The assault occurred while acting in defense of your property;
  • The victim did not suffer any injuries;
  • Proof your accuser is trying to gain the upper hand in a child custody dispute with their allegations; or
  • The assault occurred while acting in defense of another person.

However, a legal defense does not apply in every case. A criminal defense attorney can review the circumstances of your case and determine whether a legal defense applies. 

Contact a Criminal Assault Defense Lawyer at New Mexico Criminal Law Offices Today

Our team of criminal defense attorneys have over two decades of combined experience assisting clients with different kinds of assault charges in New Mexico. We will take the time to meet with you and discuss the details of your case, then decide the best strategy to bolster the weaknesses in the state’s case against you.

Some people make the mistake of representing themselves against assault or sexual assault accusations. A mistake in the courtroom can cost you years of prison time and thousands of dollars in fines. Instead, leave your case in the hands of an expert. Contact our office today to talk to an assault defense attorney about your case.