Understanding Weapons Charges and Assault
As a resident of New Mexico, you know that you enjoy the open carry policy, which means you can not only legally purchase a gun, but you can wear it without requiring a special license.
Also, the Second Amendment to the United States Constitution along with the New Mexico Constitution both give you the right to bear arms.
Despite your rights, there are instances where you cannot carry a weapon and there are places governed by state law prohibiting you from possessing a weapon.
Most importantly, you want to have a full understanding of what could occur if you were to use a weapon, show your weapon, or even carry that weapon along with you while committing a crime.
What Are the Gun Laws in Albuquerque, New Mexico?
Whether you live in Albuquerque or the surrounding cities, you should know the gun laws of the state. All adults over the age of 19 years are allowed to buy and openly carry firearms without a permit. However, if you plan to conceal carry, you are required to obtain a license. Conceal carry is when the weapon is not openly visible on your body.
Guns Are Prohibited around Schools
Children cannot possess guns unless they are target shooting, hunting, or if they are located on private property with adult supervision.
Also, deadly weapons of any kind are strictly prohibited from school grounds, and only security guards and police officers are allowed to enter school property (including universities) with a weapon. Firearms can be stored in a vehicle on school grounds (universities only) as long as the student possessing it is over the age of 19 and does not have the weapon on them.
Convicted Felons Cannot Carry a Gun
Like most states, New Mexico employs the law that anyone convicted of a felony in the state, or outside of the state, is prohibited from owning, purchasing, or carrying a firearm.
Assault Crimes with a Firearm
If you were arrested for assault but you possessed a gun at the time of the alleged crime, you will face enhanced penalties. Instead of assault charges, you are now facing aggravated assault.
Aggravated assault includes:
- Threatening or pretending to injure someone with the weapon
- Threatening with the weapon and concealing your identity
- Intentionally striking or applying force with the intent of committing a felony
Aggravated assault is typically a fourth-degree felony in New Mexico, but depending on the circumstances, you may face additional penalties. For example, if the aggravated assault is with a school employee, you may be charged with a third-degree felony instead.
What Is an Assault with the Intent to Commit a Felony?
Your assault might be in addition to another criminal act, such as robbery. If your assault occurs with that deadly weapon while you are attempting to carry out another felony crime, you will face aggravated assault charges. For example, you are shoplifting and have your open carry weapon on you.
When the manager of the store tries to stop you, you point your weapon at him and threaten to shoot him if he does not leave you alone. At this point, you have now committed aggravated assault.
When a Weapon Is Used during Domestic Violence and Assault
Aggravated assault in domestic violence cases is also charged as a fourth-degree felony. However, you will face substantial fines and imprisonment, especially if you have a history of aggravated assaults.
What Is the Penalty for Assault with a Weapon?
In New Mexico, if you commit aggravated assault, you risk the penalties associated with a fourth-degree felony, which include:
- Up to 18 months in prison
- A fine of up to $5,000
- Up to five years probation
- Restitution to the victim
- Up to one-year parole
You Lose Your Right to Carry a Weapon
Aggravated assault is a fourth-degree felony. Therefore, if you are convicted, you now can no longer carry a weapon, purchase a weapon, or have a weapon in your home in New Mexico. Part of your probation or parole will include home visits, and your parole officer will ensure there are no registered guns in your name and no weapons in your home.
If you were found in possession of a weapon after being convicted of a felony, the penalties are severe. The crime may be charged as a felony itself, which means additional time in prison. If you are already on probation or parole at the time, you will have that revoked and serve the remainder of your sentence along with any additional criminal charges imposed.
Protecting Your Rights
If you have been arrested for assault, it is imperative that you hire a criminal defense attorney quickly. As you can see, being convicted of a felony takes away a fundamental right to bear arms. However, that is not the only thing you risk losing. Being convicted of a felony is very serious, and it will affect you for the rest of your life.
Here are just some of the long-term consequences you face as a convicted felon:
- Unable to obtain housing assistance, and you may disqualify for some landlord applications;
- Limited on employment opportunities, especially those that require a background check and exclude felons from their applicant pool;
- Loss of your job while you serve your prison sentence;
- Be unable to enlist in the military;
- Unable to obtain government assistance, federal aid, and certain loan programs.
Speak with a Criminal Defense Attorney in New Mexico, Now
If you or a loved one has been arrested for alleged aggravated assault, you cannot risk the long-term consequences of a conviction for this very serious crime.
You need a criminal defense attorney with experience handling weapons charges and assault allegations.
The attorneys at New Mexico Criminal Law Offices can assist you with your case. We have over 22 years of experience, and we treat each client as if they are our only case. It is our primary goal to find the best possible outcome in your case.
Schedule a free case evaluation now by calling us or requesting more information online about our legal services.