Though domestic assault is typically charged as a misdemeanor in New Mexico, the consequences are severe and last long into the future. In addition to possible jail time and hefty fines, you may find yourself dealing with the long-term collateral consequences of domestic violence. Those include difficulty finding gainful employment, loss of gun rights, immigration issues, custodial issues and more. Time is of the essence in these types of cases, as the sooner you act, the better the chance you have of defending yourself and protecting your future.
When Assault Becomes “Domestic”
Domestic violence refers to assault and/or battery committed against a family or household member. New Mexico considers those who would harm a close friend or loved one as a unique threat to society and, as a result, has criminalized domestic violence in the Crimes Against Household Members Act. Per the act, “household members” do not necessarily need to live together. Rather, they share a certain type of relationship:
- Spouse or former spouse
- Current or former parent-in-law
- Current or former stepparent
- A child’s co-parent
- A former partner
What Constitutes Domestic Assault
Domestic assault is essentially the same as simple assault, except that the victim shares a unique relationship with the offender as outlined above. Simple assault is an attempt to cause physical harm against another person and/or an unlawful threat, act or menacing behavior that causes a person to believe he or she is in danger of being injured. Simple assault, as is simple domestic assault, is a petty misdemeanor.
Aggravated domestic assault occurs when a person assaults or strikes out a household member with a deadly weapon or when a person intentionally commits assault for the purpose of committing a violent crime. Aggravated assault is a fourth-degree felony.
Both simple domestic assault and aggravated domestic assault come with the possibility of jail time and fines. A conviction of either will also carry long-term collateral consequences.
When To Contact an Attorney
If charged with domestic assault, you should contact an Albuquerque domestic assault defense lawyer right away. The state takes domestic violence accusations very seriously and is likely to come down hard on you regardless of your claims of innocence or mistake. Moreover, even if the accuser withdraws his or her accusations, the prosecutor will continue to pursue the case, as most districts have strict policies against dismissing domestic violence accusations. An experienced attorney will review the circumstances surrounding the accusations, gather evidence in your favor and help you build a strong case designed to either achieve a reduced sentenced or obtain a dismissal altogether. For the skilled representation your case needs, contact Simon A. Kubiak, Attorneys At Law, PC today (505) 998-6600.