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When Intimate Partner Violence Meets Same Sex Couples


Most states are still trying to catch their laws up to same-sex marriages. Domestic violence can and does occur between same-sex couples, and a person can be wrongly accused of same-sex domestic violence just as they can in a heterosexual relationship.

Domestic violence laws in New Mexico are not based on the sex of the couples; instead, they are based on the domestic partnership. The state does recognize that spouses, domestic partners, and couples living together can all be involved in domestic violence acts.

Law enforcement can react to a domestic violence allegation between a same sex couple just as harshly as they would a heterosexual couple. You may find yourself facing false allegations of domestic violence from a vindictive partner, and your entire life can be turned upside down.

Domestic violence allegations start with someone accusing you of physical, sexual, emotional, or the threat of violence. From there, you may be arrested by law enforcement, detained, and have a temporary protection order filed against you.

What Happens When a Partner Falsely Accuses You of Domestic Violence?

Typically, the first step is filing a police report. A domestic partner may file an allegation of domestic abuse, and law enforcement will likely prompt them to seek a protective order. Sadly, New Mexico does not require a hearing for an emergency protective order. Instead, the victim can petition the court and receive one. You will only receive notice once the order is in place.

However, that order could remove you from your home, prevent you from contacting your partner, and even disrupt your everyday life. If you have joint custody of children in your partnership, you may be barred from seeing them until you have a hearing. Furthermore, you could be arrested, put in jail, and find yourself facing allegations of domestic violence – a very serious crime to be accused of.

In New Mexico, domestic violence is serious. You may be accused of assaulting a partner, committing battery, threatening them, or making the victim fear their safety.

The Consequences of a Domestic Violence Conviction Are Very Serious

If you were convicted of domestic violence in court, just some of the criminal penalties you face include:

  • Being forced to take mandatory anger management or domestic violence education courses – all paid out of your own expenses
  • Paying monetary fines for your conviction
  • Spending up to six months in jail if convicted of a misdemeanor, and spending as long as 3 years in a state prison if you are convicted of a felony
  • Spending time on court-ordered probation or parole

The biggest consequences come long after you get out of jail or prison. In fact, a conviction will affect you the rest of your life, including:

  • Taking away your right to own, possess, or purchase firearms
  • Removing your ability to receive some forms of government aid
  • Barring you from certain jobs – and may mean a complete career change, depending on what you did before your conviction
  • Dealing with the social stigma of being a convicted felon
  • Losing friends and family who think you are guilty of violence
  • Having difficulty obtaining housing, especially if convicted of a felony
  • Losing your right to see your children if you have adopted any as part of your domestic partnership

Falsely Accused? You Have Defense Options

If you were falsely accused of domestic violence, you need a defense team ready to mount a strong defense for you. These are some of the hardest cases to defend and even to prosecute. They are highly emotional and personal, and sometimes a victim’s testimony is all it takes for a judge or jury to convict you. Even if the victim recants their story later, the state may continue with their charges – assuming the victim only changed their mind out of fear and not because they falsely accused you.

You have defense strategies at your disposal, but the only way to find the right one for your case is to contact a knowledgeable defense attorney immediately.

The Charges Will Not be Dismissed Just Because Your Partner Wishes So

Once the false allegations are made, it is hard to stop the prosecution from moving forward. Even if you were able to convince your partner that they have filed false allegations against you and they tell the prosecution, it is unlikely the state will stop their case. Instead, they will continue searching for evidence and looking for ways to convict.

Prosecutors deal with victims recanting their story in these cases all of the time. Therefore, out of instinct, they assume that the victim is doing it out of fear rather than truth.

A prosecutor will not blindly dismiss charges when a victim changes their story. And if you are solely resting on the defense that your partner has falsely accused you and the system will work it out, you may find yourself convicted of crime you didn’t commit.

Let the Team at New Mexico Criminal Law Offices Help

If you were falsely accused of domestic violence against your partner, now is the time to act. You have limited time to start mounting your defense, and the sooner you get a trusted attorney involved, the better. Even if the victim still alleges violence, you can get a more favorable outcome with a professional by your side. A knowledgeable attorney knows what it takes to fight against false allegations of abuse, and they may be able to negotiate with the prosecution for a more favorable plea.

To explore your legal options and to protect your rights, contact the highly skilled defense team at New Mexico Criminal Law Offices by calling our office directly. You can also inquire about our legal services by completing the online contact form, and someone will be in touch with you as soon as possible.