Domestic Violence Crimes in New Mexico

Domestic violence, unlike other types of violence, is often continuing, pervasive, and difficult to escape. It is rarely an isolated incident. It deserves special attention with laws devoted exclusively to it. Domestic violence is most considered as violence against a spouse or intimate partner. However, under New Mexico law, domestic violence crimes are violent acts committed against any household member.

Under the applicable law, a “household member” is defined as “a spouse, former spouse, parent, present or former stepparent, present or former parent in-law, grandparent, grandparent-in-law, a co-parent of a child or a person with whom a person has had a continuing personal relationship. Cohabitation is not necessary to be deemed a household member…”

The types of acts that fall under Domestic Violence crimes include, but are not limited to, the following:
• Physical injuries or threat of bodily injury
• Verbal abuse/threats
• Emotional distress
• Trespass
• Damage to property
• Stalking
• Harassment by phone/email/social media
• Harm/threats of harm to children

New Mexico law has certain violent offenses classified as domestic crimes; however, this does not limit what a defendant can be charged with. For instance, there is no “domestic violence homicide” but if a partner was killed during the course of a domestic violence incident that person would still be charged under the homicide statute.

The domestic violence crimes in New Mexico are:
Assault against a household member. This is a petty misdemeanor. Physical contact is not required. This is an attempt to commit a battery.
Battery against a household member. This misdemeanor occurs when a person intentionally touches or applies force to a household member a misdemeanor.
Aggravated battery against a household member. This is the above crime plus the intent to injure the victim. If the injury unlikely to cause death or great bodily injury but does result in painful temporary disfigurement or temporarily impairment of using a part of the body, the crime is a misdemeanor. If the offense results in great bodily harm, is committed with a deadly weapon, or is committed in such a way great bodily harm or death can result, the crime is a third-degree felony.
Aggravated assault against a household member. This fourth-degree felony is committed by assaulting or striking at a household member with a deadly weapon, or by intentionally assaulting a household member with the intent to commit a felony.
Assault against a household member with the intent to commit a violent felony. This third-degree felony is committed when a person assaults a household member with the intent to commit murder, mayhem, robbery, kidnapping, false imprisonment, burglary, or sexual penetration in the first, second, or third degree.

Victims of domestic violence crimes are entitled to court-issued orders of protection during the pendency of the case, and usually well after – such orders are generally conditions of plea agreements and/or convictions.

However, if you are a victim of domestic violence but do not have an active case in the court system do not wait, you can still get an order of protection in most cases. Go to your local district court or visit http://domesticviolence.nmcourts.gov/faq-s.aspx for more information on how to obtain an order of protection.

To consult with an attorney today call the most experienced criminal and family law practitioners in New Mexico, Lightning Legal Group. We are here to help you and your loved ones navigate the family court process. Schedule a free consultation now by calling 505-247-2390.

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