In New Mexico, if you are facing criminal assault or battery charges, you are up against some serious potential penalties. Being accused of a violent crime is a difficult experience for anyone to face, especially if you are facing jail time if convicted.
If you’re accused of assault charges in New Mexico, speak to a criminal defense attorney as soon as possible.
New Mexico Assault Laws
Assault is defined under New Mexico law as one of three different behaviors:
- Attempting to commit a battery upon someone else,
- Threatening or displaying menacing conduct which causes the alleged victim to reasonably believe they will be subject to battery, or
- Using assaulting language to another which might harm his honor or his reputation.
In general, assault is considered a petty misdemeanor and carries a potential 6 months in jail and fines reaching $500.
Far more serious than the offense of simple assault, aggravated assault is defined as doing one of the following:
- Unlawfully assaulting or striking at someone with a deadly weapon,
- Committing an assault (as defined above) while wearing a mask or other facial covering or while disguised, or
- Willfully and intentionally assaulting someone with intent to commit a felony.
Aggravated assault is considered a fourth degree felony charge. This means it generally carries up to 18 months in prison and fines.
New Mexico Battery Laws
Battery, though associated with assault, is quite different. The key difference in battery is that it involves actual physical contact. Under New Mexico law, it’s defined as the “unlawful, intentional touching or application of force” to another person, that is done in a “rude, insolent, or angry manner.”
Simple battery (as defined above) is a petty misdemeanor and carries up to 6 months in jail.
What separates aggravated battery from simple battery is often as simple as the intent. If you touch someone or apply force to them with intent to injure, you can be charged with aggravated battery.
If you commit aggravated battery and it’s determined not likely to cause death or great bodily harm but does result in painful temporary disfigurement or temporary loss or impairment, it’s generally charged as a misdemeanor offense.
However, if you commit an aggravated battery and it results in great bodily harm or you do so with a deadly weapon or in any way which could cause great bodily harm or death, you could face a 3rd degree felony charge. This carries up to three years in prison.
Ref: New Mexico Code Article 3, 30-3-1 through 30-3-7
From the moment you are arrested on suspicion of an assault offense, you should be considering a defense lawyer. Contact us today to be put in touch with a local attorney willing to give you a free consultation on your case.