Criminal charges can have serious repercussions on your life, which range from prison sentences to substantial fines. If you have been arrested are facing criminal charges in New Mexico, you need the assistance of an experienced criminal defense lawyer serving Santa Fe.
At FBD Law, we have a great track record when it comes to winning cases as well as appeals. We have decades of experience and work consistently to make sure that the rights of our clients are protected throughout the legal process.
It is our firm belief that the law was designed to protect individuals, which is why we always advocate for our clients and offer them the strongest defense possible. If you require legal representation after facing criminal charges call our criminal defense law firm today at (505) 305-1263. Our team of skilled and experienced criminal defense attorneys can provide the help you need.
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What Rights Do You Have as a Criminal Defendant in New Mexico?
If you have been being investigated for a crime, have been arrested, and or are officially charged with a crime in Santa Fe, New Mexico, you have rights that are specified in both the United States Constitution and the New Mexico Constitution. Defendants should know of these rights under the law to ensure that they are upheld.
Fourth Amendment Rights
The Fourth Amendment protects defendants from unreasonable seizures and searches. Law enforcement officers don’t have the right to search you without justification. And generally, a search of your home requires a warrant. Furthermore, illegally obtained evidence cannot be used against a criminal defendant in a court of law.
Fifth Amendment Rights
The Fifth Amendment protects defendants from self-incrimination. This means defendants have the right to remain silent. Defendants cannot be coerced to testify against themselves in criminal cases or even to speak with law enforcement officers. Defendants must also be made aware of their Miranda rights during a custodial interrogation.
Sixth Amendment Rights
The Sixth Amendment ensures that criminal defendants enjoy the right to legal representation, a speedy trial, and the right to confront witnesses. Defendants must be allowed to cross-examine any witnesses against them. Under the amendment, most defendants also have the right to be tried by a jury of their peers.
Eighth Amendment Rights
Under the Eighth Amendment, a convicted defendant cannot be subjected to cruel and unusual punishment. Incarcerated individuals still have basic human rights while they serve out their sentences. The amendment also states that bail cannot be excessive.
Fourteenth Amendment Rights
The Fourteenth Amendment ensures due process for criminal defendants. It states that all people are entitled to equal protection under the law. The Amendment also prevents the state from denying a person’s liberty, life, or property without due process.
FBD Law will fight to ensure that the rights of our clients are always protected throughout the legal process. The Model Code of Professional Conduct by the American Bar Association states that defendants have the right to zealous representation. We always strive to provide that for all our clients. We are fully aware of the rights enjoyed by our clients under the law and will ensure that they are upheld.
Felony Vs. Misdemeanor
Crimes are divided into different categories under the law. A misdemeanor refers to a crime that carries a potential jail sentence of under one year. A felony, on the other hand, is the most serious type of crime. A felony conviction may carry permanent consequences and can result in a long prison sentence.
Misdemeanors in New Mexico are divided into two categories: misdemeanors and petty misdemeanors.
A petty misdemeanor is the least serious crime that may result in a jail sentence. Examples here include:
- Disorderly Conduct
- Shoplifting Items Valued Under $250
- Simple Battery
A misdemeanor is regarded as a more serious crime than a petty misdemeanor. Examples here include:
- Criminal Trespass
- Shoplifting Items Valued Between $250 and $500
- Battery Against a Household Member
Felonies in New Mexico are classified into 5 categories. The most serious crimes are categorized as capital felonies, while the least serious felonies are classified as fourth-degree felonies. A crime may sometimes be classified as one level of felony for a first-time offender, but a different level of felony for a repeat offender.
Felony crimes in New Mexico include:
- Felony Murder
- Voluntary Manslaughter
- Involuntary Manslaughter
- Premeditated Murder
- Sex Trafficking
- Armed Robbery
- Aggravated Assault
- Drug Trafficking
You need a strong defense no matter the type of crime you have been charged with. Misdemeanor and felony convictions can both have lasting consequences. When you work with FBD Law, we will use our resources and skills to ensure that you receive the defense you are entitled to if you are facing criminal charges. Working with the right team of lawyers can have a significant impact on the outcome of your case.
Should You Speak To The Police Without A Criminal Defense Attorney?
You should never talk to the police without first consulting a criminal defense lawyer, even if you have not been arrested or charged with a crime. Law enforcement officers have been trained to seek confessions and admissions of guilt. Even if you are innocent, nothing prevents police from trying to use inconsistencies in your statement as evidence against you.
People often fear looking guilty if they decline to speak to the police without their lawyer being present. However, you should always keep in mind that the right to an attorney is enshrined in the constitution. Law enforcement officers, prosecutors, as well as judges know about all these rights. Exercising your right to remain silent cannot be used against you in a criminal proceeding.
If a law enforcement officer wants to question you about a particular crime, you need to invoke your right to stay silent and ask for a lawyer. Your lawyer will essentially act as a buffer between you and the officers. If either you or a member of your family is being questioned by law enforcement officers, you need to enlist the services of a criminal defense attorney near Santa Fe, New Mexico without delay.
Once you have formally retained a criminal defense lawyer, your attorney may get in touch with law enforcement officers directly. A lawyer may arrange for their client to speak with law enforcement officers while they are present or relay information from a client to the investigators.
If you are innocent, you might assume that there’s no harm in speaking with law enforcement officers, but that is not necessarily true. Talking to law enforcement officers without a lawyer present can pose significant risks. Get in touch with FBD Law today to enjoy legal representation throughout the investigative process. Family members can also get in touch with FBD Law to hire a lawyer for their family member who is facing criminal charges.
The Habitual Offender Law in New Mexico
In New Mexico, the habitual offender laws provide for mandatory enhancements if a person who had previously been convicted of a felony is later convicted of another felony. These enhancements can result in lengthy mandatory prison sentences.
All people deserve the best possible defense whether they are facing criminal charges for the first time or they are repeat offenders. Working with experienced criminal defense attorneys is the best way for defendants to avoid the harsh penalties that may impact them for the remainder of their lives.
How Can FBD Law Help?
Established over four decades ago, our firm has successfully represented many different clients over the years. Our team has a strong knowledge of criminal defense and has handled many high-profile cases representing clients such as Dr. Wen Ho Lee and Chelsea Manning.
We are experienced in criminal cases of all types and have a record of winning trial cases as well as appeals. We utilize a variety of defense methods to protect our clients and work to build the strongest defense possible. We give all cases our all and work hard to ensure that the rights of defendants are protected throughout the process.
Our lawyers act as experienced negotiators on behalf of a client. Whether the goal is to negotiate a plea deal or to have the charges dismissed, our team of lawyers will work to achieve the best outcome possible. Plea bargaining and case negotiation are an important part of criminal defense. If you work with FBD Law, you can be sure that careful and skilled negotiators will be working for you.
Besides our practice in Sante Fe and throughout New Mexico, we have an active national and international criminal practice, which allows us to consult with leading lawyers across the globe. Our lawyers have a lot of experience in both federal and state courts and have been practicing criminal defense in Sante Fe, throughout New Mexico, other state and federal courts, and internationally for decades.
FBD Law will first investigate the facts and circumstances of your case thoroughly to build a robust defense. We will then work hard to ensure that any evidence that was improperly obtained is suppressed, search for any procedural errors, and challenge evidence, including witness testimony when appropriate. We also provide guidance to clients throughout the legal process and make sure that their rights are always protected.
Contact Our Santa Fe Criminal Defense Lawyers Today
Criminal charges can have serious consequences in your life, which is why you require a trusted criminal defense attorney in Santa Fe if you are facing criminal charges. At FBD Law, it is our firm belief that all defendants are entitled to the best representation possible. We give our all to every case we take on and are very good at what we do.
We have managed to obtain not guilty verdicts, dismissals, and favorable pleas for many of our clients. Since our legal team is highly experienced in many types of criminal cases, you can expect us to provide the best defense to all our clients. Our firm can provide legal representation whether you are facing misdemeanor or felony charges.
If you are facing criminal charges in Santa Fe, New Mexico, you require the support of an experienced criminal defense lawyer. Contact FBD Law today at (505) 305-1263 to either schedule a consultation or request the services of a lawyer. We always strive to obtain the best outcomes possible for our clients, which is why you can and should trust us with your case.