Sex Crimes Charges in Rio Rancho, New Mexico
Rio Rancho Sex Crimes Lawyers
Put bluntly, if you have been charged with a sex crime in New Mexico, you are in serious trouble and you are going to need legal assistance, right away. Contact our Rio Rancho sex crimes lawyers.
The term “sex crime” is a catch-all category that includes many different types of offenses, including but not limited to:
- Indecent exposure
- Sexual assault
- Statutory rape
- Child molestation
- Child pornography
- Child prostitution
The maximum period of incarceration for these offenses ranges from a few months to many years. In addition, the stigma attached to a conviction for a sex crime could follow you around for the rest of your life by making it difficult for you to find work or housing, qualify for loans or a professional license, or even make friends. This is especially likely to happen if you are required to register as a sex offender. At New Mexico Criminal Law Offices, it’s not enough to simply keep you out of prison – we will fight to clear your name as well
Sex Offender Registration
The requirement to register as a sex offender is almost as onerous as a prison sentence, because it can affect your life in decisive ways long after you are released. Although conviction of most sex crimes will require sex offender registration, there are two major exceptions:
- You do not have to register if you were a juvenile at the time the offense was committed; and
- Certain offenses based on adult prostitution are exempt from the sex offender registration requirement.
If you are required to register as a sex offender, you must do so within 10 days of your release from prison and within 10 days after every change of residence. Sex offenders are classified as either Tier I, Tier II, or Tier III, and they require registration for 10 years, 25 years, or life, respectively. Tier II and Tier III offenses typically involve sexual relations with children under 13 years of age.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
What Is the Rape Shield Rule?
The New Mexico Rape Shield Rule bars the submission of any evidence of the accuser’s previous sexual behavior or reputation, unless this information is directly relevant to the case. The Rape Shield Rule often works to the disadvantage of defendants.
Can I be sued for a sex crime in civil court while criminal proceedings against me are underway?
Yes, unfortunately you can be. In fact, due to the different standards of proof between a criminal prosecution and a civil lawsuit, you can even be held liable for money damages in civil court after being acquitted of the same offense in criminal court.
What is “statutory rape”?
You commit statutory rape if you engage in sexual relations with someone under 17 years of age. This is a crime in New Mexico even if your underage partner consents. In fact, it is a crime even if your partner initiated the encounter and aggressively pursued it. There are exceptions, however, for partners who are close together in age. Unlike other states, New Mexico sometimes allows a defense based on a reasonable mistake as to the real age of the underage partner.
The police searched my computer without a warrant and found child pornography. Can I have this evidence thrown out?
It depends on the circumstances. Although the general rule is that the police need a warrant to search, there are many exceptions to this rule. Even if the evidence is not excluded, however, it may be possible to argue that you downloaded this material accidently, that someone else was responsible for its presence on your computer, or that you had no knowledge of its presence for some other reason.
What should I do if I am being investigated for a sex crime?
At the very least, you should observe the following precautions:
- Retain an experienced New Mexico criminal defense lawyer to represent you immediately.
- Do not talk to the police without your lawyer present. This advice applies whether you are innocent or guilty.
- Do not consent to a search of your home, car, belongings, or person. If the police compel you to submit to a search, protest verbally but do not resist physically.
Don’t let the system manhandle you – fight back!
The New Mexico criminal justice system is a mean machine, and it will chew you up and spit you out if you let it. Fortunately, we know how the system works, and we know how to make the prosecutor fight for every inch of ground. After all, that is what our Rio Rancho sex crimes attorneys do every day, all day long. And we’ve been doing it for years.
If you have been arrested or charged with a sex crime in Rio Rancho or if you are under investigation for such a crime, contact New Mexico Criminal Law Offices immediately for an appointment by calling us or by filling out our online contact form. We serve clients from Sara’s Meadow, Diamond Ridge, Enchanted Hills, and elsewhere in Rio Rancho. We can even visit you in jail, if necessary.