Understanding Penalties if You Are Convicted of a DUI in New Mexico
In the state of New Mexico, it is estimated that 40 percent of all fatal motor vehicle accidents are caused by alcohol. To thwart this statistic, New Mexico has implemented harsh penalties for those convicted of a DUI – including first-time offenders. The hope is that with harsher penalties, people will be less likely to drink and drive, or at least less likely to repeat offend. If you have been arrested for a DUI, you could face harsh jail sentences, fines, and other penalties. It is important to understand these potential penalties, and to hire a criminal defense attorney as soon as possible. While the state imposes harsh sentences, you do not want to become an example of their mission to stop drunken driving.
The Penalties for a DUI Conviction in New Mexico
You will notice that penalties for DUI convictions in New Mexico become increasingly harsh – and the more offenses that you have, the more that the mandatory fines and imprisonment sentences also increase. Note, mandatory time means that you must serve those mandatory days and pay the mandatory amount – regardless of any deal that you have made with the prosecution.
- 1st Offense – Charged as a misdemeanor. Could face six months to as much as one-year license revocation, up to 90 days in jail, and a mandatory one-year ignition interlock, as well as DWI school. Community service could be required.
- 2nd Offense – Charged as a misdemeanor. Could face a two-year license revocation, up to 364 days in jail with 96 hours mandatory, up to $1,000 in fines ($500 mandatory), alcohol evaluation, community service, and an ignition interlock for up to two years. You may be sentenced to five years probation, too.
- 3rd Offense – Charged as a misdemeanor. Could face a three-year license revocation, up to 364 days in jail (30 days mandatory), up to $1,000 in fines ($750 mandatory), alcohol evaluation, community service hours, ignition interlock for up to three years, and up to five years probation.
- 4th Offense – Charged as a felony in the 4th degree. Includes a lifetime license revocation with a five-year court review; up to 18 months imprisonment (six months mandatory); up to $5,000 in fines; and alcohol evaluation, treatment, and ignition interlock (if you are granted your license).
- 5th Offense – Charged as a felony in the 4th degree. Includes a lifetime license revocation with a five-year court review; up to two years imprisonment (one year mandatory); up to $5,000 in fines; and alcohol evaluation, lifetime treatment, and an IID for up to five years.
- 6th Offense – Charged as a felony in the 3rd degree. Includes a lifetime license revocation, up to 30 months imprisonment (18 months mandatory), and up to $5,000 in fines and other penalties.
- 7th or More – Charged as a felony in the 3rd degree. Includes lifetime license revocation, up to three years imprisonment (two years mandatory), and up to $5,000 in fines and other penalties.
There are additional penalties that can be added, based on the circumstances of your DUI. For example, if you injured a person in your DUI, then you could be charged with Aggravated DWI. Even if it was your first DWI, you will encounter a mandatory two days in jail for your first offense. Also, if you are charged with a DWI while driving with a revoked driver’s license, then you could face an additional one-year revocation, up to one year in jail (with seven days mandatory), and up to $1,000 in fines.
Speak with a New Mexico DUI Attorney to Avoid the Harsh Penalties
Whether it is your first offense or third, it is imperative that you speak with a criminal defense attorney. An attorney can not only advise you of your rights, but potentially lower the penalties that you will face, so that judges do not use their discretion to impose long-term prison sentences and high fees. To get started, have your case evaluated by the team at New Mexico Criminal Law Offices. We are here to help you win your case. Schedule an appointment online, or call us now at 505-375-4767.