New Mexico Criminal Lawyer

Call (888) 519-6013 to speak with a criminal defense attorney.

If you have been arrested for a serious crime in the state of New Mexico, you need to hire a criminal attorney. You could be facing serious fines, the loss of your freedom and a criminal record that may restrict your ability to find employment or enjoy certain other privileges.

Criminal law, also known as penal law, is the system by which acts are designated as crimes, prosecuted, and punished. A 'crime' is defined as any act, or omission of an act, in violation of a public law forbidding or commanding it. Though there are some common law crimes, most crimes in the United States are established by local, state, and federal governments. Criminal laws vary significantly from state to state.

Criminal cases should not be confused with civil cases, which involve individuals and organizations seeking to resolve legal disputes. In a criminal case, a state prosecutor initiates the suit, while the victim brings the suit in a civil case. The standard of proof is lower in a civil case than in a criminal case, since in a criminal case the defendant faces the possibility of the loss of liberty. The other major difference between a civil and a criminal case is the punishment involved: persons found liable in a civil case may have to give up property or pay money, but they are not incarcerated.

Crimes include both felonies and misdemeanors. Felonies are more serious; some examples of violent felonies are rape, murder, kidnapping, torture and aggravated assault. There are also non-violent felonies such as embezzlement, tax evasion, fraud, and racketeering. Misdemeanors are less serious offenses. Petty theft, jaywalking, vandalism, trespassing and public intoxication are examples of misdemeanors.

Misdemeanors are also considered crimes generally punishable with incarceration, in a local or county jail, of one year or less. It is unlikely that a first time misdemeanant will face any jail time. Felony convictions may result in a number of punishments, including incarceration of more than one year in a state or federal prison. Fines, community service requirements, or requirements to complete a treatment program for drug or alcohol abuse may also be handed down as sentences. You may also be subject to state supervision in the form of probation or parole.

A lot of people have had a misdemeanor conviction in their past for something they did in their youth. They paid their dues and have moved on with their lives. When you are convicted of a felony, it is much more difficult to do your time and move on. A felony record can affect your ability to find housing and employment. You can lose your right to vote. This is on top of jail time, probation or parole, and fines.

For that reason, you need a criminal attorney if you have been accused of a crime whether or not you are guilty of that crime. In the United States, every individual is innocent until proven guilty. A criminal attorney will help you through every stage of the process, from post-arrest questioning to bail hearing, arraignment, pretrial motions, the trial itself, and sentencing.

A criminal attorney has experience, skill, and extensive education in both state and federal laws. Moreover, he or she has knowledge about legal precedent in New Mexico, as well as familiarity with the local prosecutors familiarity that can help your attorney negotiate a plea deal for you. If your case does go to trial, however, your attorney will prepare a thorough defense and skillfully argue in front of the jury.

If you've been charged with a crime, it's important to hire a lawyer right away. Contact the New Mexico Bar Association for assistance in finding a qualified criminal attorney who can fight to protect your rights and see that justice is served. The ABA website is free to access and features a lawyer locator. Start your search for your attorney now, as your future is dependent on it.