Other Charges You Could Face in Addition to Domestic Violence
Rarely is a criminal defendant in court for a single charge.
Instead, prosecutors add additional crimes to the docket so that they can ensure a conviction of some sort.
This practice is common, and it is not illegal. While it is indeed unfair to the defendant, the state sees it as a win-win. Because even if they are unsuccessful at the main charge, one of the additional charges might result in a conviction.
For you, the defendant, this means a slew of criminal charges read to you during the arraignment, including some you didn’t know were possible.
When it comes to domestic violence, there is a multitude of charges associated with it – and you will most likely hear them at your arraignment if you were arrested for domestic violence.
What Is Domestic Violence in Albuquerque Courts?
In New Mexico, domestic violence is a serious criminal allegation. It involves any violent act by a household or family member against another.
All it takes to start a domestic violence investigation is an accusation by the victim or outside party. Once the allegation is made, law enforcement acts quickly to investigate and arrest the perpetrator – innocent or not.
Most cases of domestic violence involve repeated abuse in physical and psychological form. However, you could be arrested and convicted for a single violent act.
Some states do not use domestic violence as the crime itself. Instead, they may use various other criminal charges to constitute domestic violence. New Mexico has laws specific to domestic violence, but you can still be charged with additional crimes.
Furthermore, the state has three primary laws addressing domestic violence:
- Family Violence Protection Act
- Crimes Against Household Members Act
- Harassment and Stalking Act
All these laws are important to note. Because when you are arrested of domestic violence, prosecutors will see which areas of these laws you have violated and add further charges to the record.
Think You Are Just Charged with DV? Here’s Other Charges You Could Face, Too
Rarely do you see someone in court facing just one criminal charge.
If arrested and charged with domestic violence, here are just some of the other charges you could face, too:
Domestic Violence in the Presence of a Child
When the violent acts are in front of minors, you may face additional penalties. The child’s witnessing of the violent acts could result in child abuse charges – even if you did not physically abuse the child.
Child Abuse or Endangerment
You might face charges related to child abuse if you conducted spousal and child abuse at the same time. Furthermore, you could face child endangerment charges if the prosecutors feel that the child’s physical or mental safety was at risk during the violent acts.
Violation of a Protective Order
One of the first steps after an accusation of domestic violence involves a protective order. These orders are issued by the court and prohibit you from going within so many feet of the victim, children, or the residence.
If you were to violate the terms of that protective order, you would also face criminal charges for doing so. If you were to harm the victim while a protective order is in place, then the penalty may enhance.
Manslaughter, Homicide, or Murder
If the family member dies as a result of the domestic violence acts, then you could face homicide, murder, or manslaughter charges as well.
Sometimes, domestic violence results in sexual assault, including rape or other violent sexual crimes. You may face additional charges for those acts, which also result in a sex offender registry requirement if you are convicted.
Aggravated Battery – or Battery with a Deadly Weapon
When a weapon (including a gun or other physical object) is used to harm another person, you have now entered aggravated battery, which is a serious felony charge. When using a deadly weapon, the penalties are enhanced and you face years of imprisonment.
If you followed your spouse, monitored their activities, or did any act that resembles stalking, you might also face stalking charges.
Sometimes domestic violence charges include kidnapping, and these kidnapping charges can become federal charges if you were to force the victim across state lines. You do not have to physically tie the victim down or lock them in a room to constitute kidnapping. Instead, kidnapping takes many forms. But any physical restraint or restriction of the victim’s freedom could result in a kidnapping charge.
Prosecutors Push for Harsher Sentences
To avoid repeat offenses, prosecutors will work hard to punish those accused of domestic violence. This includes seeking maximum sentences, and you may notice the penalties are harsher than two strangers engaging in assault against one another.
You might also have special protections put in place that permanently bar you from seeing the victim or coming within so many feet of that victim.
Furthermore, you have long-term consequences to consider any time you face a domestic violence charge.
Your custody and visitation rights for any children you have may be permanently suspended, or you may be unable to see your child without monitored supervision. You may also be required to go through counseling and treatment programs, serve a lengthy prison sentence, and you will lose your right to possess a gun, if convicted.
If any of your convictions involve felonious acts, you may be unable to vote, receive government aid, or even qualify for specific jobs.
You Need Legal Representation
A situation that might start as a minor dispute can become serious when it involves family members. Once police are involved, they cannot stop their investigation – even if the victim recants his or her story. Allegations of abuse, even without a conviction, have long-term effects for any defendant.
If you are charged, you need an attorney that has experience handling domestic violence cases.
Contact an attorney from New Mexico Criminal Law Offices today to explore your options.
We are here to fight for your rights aggressively, and we want to find the best outcome possible in your case. Furthermore, we ensure your rights are upheld, regardless of what charges you hear in arraignment.
Schedule a free case evaluation with a defense attorney now at 505-375-4661 or contact us online to get started.