Even while misdemeanors are less severe than felonies, having one on your record can make it difficult to get employment, rent accommodation, receive a professional license or qualify for some government services. In addition, if you get into problems with the law again, you might face harsher punishment.
For punishment purposes in Albuquerque, the New Mexico law separates them into two categories: misdemeanors and petty misdemeanors. On the other hand, the most severe offenses are categorized as felonies. For certain offenses, the only penalty could be fined.
This blog post teaches the differences between misdemeanors and minor misdemeanors, their normal penalties, why heavier sentencing may be applicable, and why engaging a criminal defense counsel is crucial.
Misdemeanors vs. Minor Misdemeanors
As mentioned above, all types of misdemeanors are less criminally severe crimes than felonies but they are subjected to punishment.
Misdemeanors include the following:
- Minor/temporary injuries due to aggravated battery
- The majority of violations involving game and fishing
- The vast majority of domestic violence accusations
- Second and third offenses of DUI/DWI
The following are a list of minor misdemeanors:
- Use of a deadly weapon in a careless way
- A simple battery
- Theft from a store ($250 or less)
- Public Affray
- Property damage under $1,000
- Disorderly conduct
It is critical to seek an attorney if you have been charged with any of the above offenses. However, the most important takeaway from this post is that “simple charges to beat” do not exist. Misdemeanors, even minor ones, are nonetheless regarded as serious offenses that can have a significant impact on your future.
When misdemeanors become felonies due to previous convictions
If you have one or more previous convictions for the same offense, New Mexico law elevates some misdemeanors as felonies. Consider the following example:
- A first offense of stalking is a misdemeanor, while a second or subsequent crime is a felony.
- Battery against a family member (a kind of domestic violence) is usually a misdemeanor, but after the third occurrence, it becomes a felony.
In New Mexico, what is the maximum sentence for a misdemeanor?
A court will choose the most appropriate penalty for your offense if convicted of any misdemeanor. Hiring a criminal defense lawyer helps guarantee that your rights are preserved by representing you in court during the sentencing phase.
Any kind of misdemeanors in New Mexico are punishable by the following penalties:
- Misdemeanors: Maximum to 364 days in prison and a $1,000 fine
- Minor offenses are punishable by up to 182 days in prison and a $500 fine.
Some offenses carry compulsory minimum prison terms, while others carry maximum punishments less severe than those listed above.
New Mexico probation for misdemeanors
Judges often can impose fines and probation on misdemeanors and minor misdemeanors rather than jail time. However, it’s important to remember that a judge can impose a jail term up to the maximum legally authorized.
Judges evaluate a variety of considerations when considering whether or not to sentence you to probation, including the facts and circumstances of your case, your past criminal record, and whether or not you constitute a public safety risk.
In New Mexico, what is a misdemeanor that gets expunged?
If you are accused of a misdemeanor in New Mexico, your record will remain on your history for the rest of your life. A conviction will appear on background checks available to anybody who searches for them. You’d have to go through separate steps to get a misdemeanor expunged from your record once a certain period has passed.
Although expungements are possible in New Mexico, you will have to wait several years to seek this option, which means your life will be disrupted while you wait. In addition, there are no assurances that your charges will go when it comes to the expungement procedure.
Get legal help if you’re facing misdemeanor charges
Even though misdemeanors are not as severe as felonies, a conviction on your record still has consequences. Furthermore, some misdemeanors, such as DWI and domestic violence charges, have far harsher mandatory jail sentences and secondary effects. As a result, your Second Amendment Gun Rights will be revoked, among other things!
It may be challenging to get work, rent a house, or receive a professional license due to this. In addition, if you are charged with a crime again in the future, you may face harsher punishment.
Until the prosecution can establish you’re guilty, you’re innocent. So, if you are charged with accusations in Albuquerque, consult an Albuquerque criminal defense lawyer for assistance in mounting a plea against the charges.
Make sure you hire someone who can assist you in determining if there are grounds for the charges to be dismissed or devising a plan to achieve the best possible result under the circumstances.