meet the attorneys case results

Santa Fe DUI Lawyers

Knowledgeable Santa Fe DUI Attorneys Ready to Fight For You

Alcohol with car keys and handcuffs.Once upon a time, DUI was considered little more than a traffic offense. Hundreds of thousands of deaths later, it is now considered a criminal offense. In fact, a fourth offense (over your entire lifetime) can be charged as a felony. If you have been charged with DUI, you have a problem – a big one. Even if it is your first offense, you could be looking at jail time, fines, loss of your driving privileges, and more. Call a proven Santa Fe DUI lawyer to discuss your case.

The good news is that the United States criminal justice system is adversarial, which means you have the right to a defense and you have certain legal rights. To avoid a conviction, you have to prove only that there is “reasonable doubt” as to your guilt. To accomplish this, however, you are going to need the assistance of a competent DUI lawyer in Santa Fe, NM. Fear not. At New Mexico Criminal Law Offices, our Santa Fe DUI attorneys have been fighting for DUI defendants for over 20 years.

Criminal Penalties for a Santa Fe DWI

Judges have discretion when considering sentencing for DWI’s in Santa Fe, NM. In fact, judges will typically examine the results of the defendant’s substance abuse screening, the circumstances surrounding the arrest, and the defendant’s DWI history and substance abuse history, if any. However, the judge only has discretion within certain parameters.

First Offense

For a first offense, the judge is allowed to sentence the defendant to a maximum of:

  • 90 days in jail
  • Driver’s license revocation for 6 months to 1 year
  • $500 fine
  • 24 hours of community service, minimum
  • Alcohol and substance abuse screening, treatment if needed
  • DUI school

Second Offense

  • A drunk driver asked by the police to take a Breathalyzer test.Jail time for a minimum of 96 hours and a maximum of 1 year
  • Driver’s license revocation for 2 years
  • $500 – $1,000 fine
  • 2 years of Ignition Interlock Device
  • 48 hours of community service minimum
  • Alcohol screening
  • 28 days of inpatient treatment or its equivalent
  • Up to 5 years of probation

Third Offense

  • Jail time for a minimum of 30 days to a maximum of 1 year
  • Driver’s license revocation for 3 years
  • $750 – $1,000 fine
  • 3 years of Ignition Interlock Device
  • 96 hours of community service, minimum
  • Alcohol and substance abuse screening
  • 28 days of inpatient treatment or its equivalent
  • Up to 5 years of probation

Fourth Offense

  • Jail time for a minimum of 6 months to a maximum of 1 year
  • Driver’s license revocation for life, with court review in 5 years
  • Up to $5,000 fine
  • A lifetime of Ignition Interlock Device, with court review in 5 years
  • Alcohol screening
  • 28 days of inpatient treatment or its equivalent
  • Up to 5 years of probation

Fifth Offense

  • Jail time for a minimum of 1 year to a maximum of 2 years
  • Driver’s license revocation for life, with court review in 5 years
  • Up to $5,000 fine
  • A lifetime of Ignition Interlock Device, with court review in 5 years
  • Alcohol and substance abuse screening
  • Alcohol screening
  • 28 days of inpatient treatment or its equivalent

The penalties stay the same for the 6th and 7th offense, except for the jail time. For the 6th offense, the defendant can get from 18 to 30 months in prison. For the 7th or subsequent offense, the defendant would get between 2 to 3 years in prison per additional offense.

Aggravated Offenses

A DWI is aggravated if the defendant blows a .16% or greater on the breathalyzer, or if driving under the influence resulted in an accident or injury. For a first offense, an additional 48 hours of jail time is mandatory. For a second offense, the mandatory jail time increases by 96 hours, and the third offense gets you an extra 60 days in jail.

Don’t Take Your Chances with a “Buffet” Lawyer

A “buffet” attorney will take any type of case offered to him – and, with the exception of patent law, there is nothing illegal about this. It is dangerous for clients, however, because such attorneys never develop the deep expertise that their clients so desperately need. New Mexico Criminal Law Offices has been practicing criminal defense almost exclusively for decades, and there isn’t much that can happen that our Santa Fe DUI lawyers haven’t seen before. Don’t settle for anything less.

Client Testimonial

“I hired Jack because I had nowhere else to turn. My other lawyer had refused to help me and said that I couldn’t possibly get my unsupervised probation dismissed and my rights granted back to me early. I had been on supervised probation for 5 years without any violations and wanted to get off of my unsupervised probation so I could resume my life without any further complications.  Jack got the job done and my life is back to normal. New Mexico Criminal Law Offices are the only place people need to contact if they get into trouble with the law. I can’t thank them, Jack specifically, enough for helping me with my case.” – Aleks M.

Other Types of Cases We Handle

Our Santa Fe DUI lawyers at New Mexico Criminal Law focus exclusively on defending those charged with crimes. Below are some related charges that we typically handle:

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Should I just accept a plea bargain and get it over with?

A man taking a breathalyzer test.That depends on your situation. If the case against you is weak, you might want to refuse a plea bargain and hope for an acquittal at trial. If the case against you is stronger, you might want to plead guilty to a lesser offense to avoid a trial. If the case against you is strong enough, the prosecutor probably won’t even offer you a plea bargain.

And here is something to keep in mind when “just getting it over with” is your motivation. While that sounds great, and all people accused of crimes certainly want to move on with their lives as soon as possible, you must realize that taking a plea does not necessarily “end” anything for you. A first-time DUI can result in a year of probation, which is certainly better than jail, but not true freedom either. Probation involves checking in with your probation officer on a regular basis, paying monthly supervision costs, taking multiple classes that you must pay for, hours of community service may be required, and your probation officer must always know where you are – so you must get permission to even leave the city.

So as you can see, entering a plea does not necessarily “get it over with” the way you might think. But it may be the best way to go in your case. The only way to know is to talk to one of our Santa Fe DUI attorneys as soon as possible. They can help you assess your case, let you know about any strategies that might get the case dismissed or dropped to a lower charge, and ultimately guide you into making the best decision for your life and case.

Can I be convicted of DUI even if my BAC is lower than 0.08?

Yes, you can:

  • If you test at 0.08 BAC or above, you are automatically guilty of DUI. Nevertheless, you can be convicted of DUI at lower than 0.08 if you are intoxicated at all and your driving or behavior indicates that you were impaired.
  • If you are under 21, you can be convicted of DUI for a BAC as low as 0.02.
  • If you were driving on a commercial license, you can be convicted of DUI for a BAC as low as 0.04.

What happens if I refuse to take a Breathalyzer test?

Under almost any circumstance, you can refuse to take a Breathalyzer, blood, or urine test. Your refusal will have two consequences, however:

  • It will be used against you in court to suggest that the reason you refused is that you knew you were intoxicated; and
  • You will lose your driving privileges for one year (first offense) based on your refusal alone, even if you were not intoxicated at the time.

You can be convicted of DUI as a separate offense based on other evidence, such as the officer’s evaluation of your driving or behavior. That would leave you with two convictions: DUI and refusal to submit to sobriety testing.

The Clock Is Already Ticking…

Police officer preparing to test a driver in a highway.Deadlines matter in criminal law. In fact, missing a critical deadline, or waiting so long that you cannot prepare to adequately defend yourself, could make the difference between a conviction and an acquittal or a conviction and an advantageous plea bargain. The time to call an attorney is NOW. At New Mexico Criminal Law Offices, we don’t offer a buffet of services – drafting wills one day and suing for defamation the next. Criminal defense is what we do, and it is all we do. Contact an experienced Santa Fe DUI lawyer now.

Contact a Skilled DUI Attorney Today

If you are being investigated for DUI, or if you have already been charged with this offense, call New Mexico Criminal Law Offices at 505-200-2982 or complete our online contact form to schedule a meeting to discuss your case. Our proven Santa Fe DUI attorneys serve clients throughout Santa Fe, NM.