Criminal Defense and DWI Cases:
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Being arrested and charged with a crime is serious and may carry severe consequences. You could face jail, high fines, and employment problems, to say the very least.
Just because they arrested you doesn’t make you guilty!
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Some Basic Information About New Mexico Criminal and DWI Law
Driving While Intoxicated (DWI)
1st Offense (Misdemeanor)
6 months to 1 year license revocation
Up to 90 days in jail and Fine Up to $500
DWI school, alcohol evaluation, one-year ignition interlock, community service
1st Offense (Aggravated) (.16 or higher BAC, and/or Refusal, and/or Serious Accident) 48 hours in jail plus everything above.
2 year license revocation, Up to 364 days in jail, 96 hours mandatory, Up to $1000 fine.
Mandatory: alcohol evaluation, two-year ignition interlock, community service, treatment, Up to 5 years probation,
Aggravated Mandatory: 72 hours in jail
3year license revocation, Up to 364 days in jail,Up to $1000 fine
3 year ignition interlock
Up to 5 years Probation
60 days in jail
4th Offense and Higher (Felony)
· Lifetime license revocation with 5year court review
· Up to $5000 fine
lifetime ignition interlock with 5 year court review
· Time in jail:
4th: 18 months, mandatory 6 months
5th: 2 years, mandatory 1 year
6th: 30 months, mandatory 18 months
7th and subsequent: 3 years, mandatory 2years
In addition, an aggravated DWI charge may escalate your consequences and complicate your DWI defense. A DWI is considered aggravated if you allegedly refused to take a breath or blood test when arrested, have a blood alcohol level of .16 or higher, or caused an accident resulting in serious injuries.
Misdemeanors versus Felonies: What’s the Difference?
Misdemeanors are criminal offenses which are punishable by incarceration up to 364 days and possible fines of up to $1,000.00. Misdemeanor cases are usually heard by Magistrate Courts, Municipal Courts, or in Albuquerque, the Metropolitan Court. Misdemeanors can be petty, full, or traffic depending upon the particular offense. Examples of misdemeanor offenses are First Offense DWI, Possession of Less than an 1 oz. of Marijuana, Disorderly Conduct, Minor in Possession of Alcohol.
Incarceration for misdemeanors is served in the County Jail or Detention Center and/or a Community Corrections Program.
Felony offenses are considered much more serious. Felonies are divided by degrees. The following are possible sentences and fines for Non-Capital (Murder) Non-Homicide (Manslaughter etc.) Non-Sexual basic Felony Crimes (Robbery, Fraud, Assault, Contributing to the Delinquency of Minors etc.)
First Degree: Up to 18 years and fine of up to $15,000.00
Second Degree: Up to 9 years and fine of up to $10,000.00
Third Degree: Up to 3 years and fine of up to $5,000.00
Fourth Degree: Up to 18 months and fine of up to $5,000.00
Incarceration for felony offenses is served in a New Mexico Department of Corrections facility such as the Penitentiary of New Mexico at Santa Fe or if a Federal felony case, incarceration is generally served in a Federal prison.
Probation and/or Parole is generally an added portion of the sentence.
Please note: Certain criminal convictions such as Battery Against a Household Member (Domestic Violence) can result in a life-long loss of rights such as the right to possess firearms. Even Marijuana Possession can keep you from receiving Federal Financial Aid. Felonies can result in loss of voting rights. Crimes such as shoplifting are considered crimes of “moral turpitude” which can hinder employment.