Defense Against Assault and Battery Charges in the State of New Mexico
If you’re facing criminal charges of assault or battery in Las Cruces, Hobbs, or any other city in New Mexico, the Law Office of W. Shane Jennings can help. Although they may seem interchangeable, assault and battery are different charges with separate penalties. Assault is the threat of violence while battery is actual physical contact.
Don’t handle these cases alone, seek a strong lawyer who can defend your rights. Choose Attorney W. Shane Jennings, today.
Defining Assault in New Mexico
In the state of New Mexico, assault is defined as intentional threats, which may manifest as words or actions, attempts to attack, or verbally insulting another individual’s character. This is what separates assault from battery. The former is an attempt while the latter is actual physical contact. If during an argument with an individual, you attempt to strike them but end up missing, you may still face assault charges. Threats of violence can also constitute as assault, even if no physical harm ever comes to fruition.
Penalties for Assault
Assaults tend to be categorized as petty misdemeanors. What may seem as nothing more than a simple spat of words against another individual can lead to very real assault charges. Convictions of assault in the state of New Mexico can lead to the following penalties:
- Up to six months of jail time
- A fine of up to $500
- Probation of up to six months
Unlike assault, sexual assault charges come about when an individual sexually touches another in an offensive manner. Sexual groping to attempted rape and everything in between can constitute as sexual assault. Penalties for sexual assault differ depending on the degree of the assault or rape. Aggravated rape, first-degree rape, second-degree rape, third-degree rape, and fourth-degree rape are considered felonies. The degree of the felony correlates with the degree of the rape. Aggravated and first-degree rape are both first-degree felonies and can be punishable by up to 18 years in prison and a fine of up to $15,000. Criminal sexual contact is a misdemeanor and can be punishable by up to one year in prison and a fine of up to $1,000.
Domestic Violence — Battery of a Household Member
Applying force may constitute the domestic violence misdemeanor charge of “battery of a household member.” Household members are defined as the following:
- Current or former spouse, stepparent, or parent-in-law
- Grandparent, grandparent-in-law
- Co-parent of a child
- Intimate partner
The more serious charge, aggravated battery against a household member, may constitute as a misdemeanor or a third-degree felony, depending on the extent of the injury. Intentionally touching a household member with the intent to injure and inflicting bodily harm constitutes as aggravated battery. If the injury is not likely to cause death or severe bodily harm, then the crime will be considered a misdemeanor. If the injury causes severe bodily harm or is committed with a deadly weapon, or is committed in a way that can lead to serious bodily harm or death, then the crime will constitute as a fourth-degree felony.
Punishment for Domestic Violence Charges
Since domestic violence charges can range from petty misdemeanors to felonies, the punishments vary. Sentences may be as light as six months in jail to three years in prison. Fines may range from $500 to $5,000, all depending on the severity of the charge.
What You Need to Know About Criminal Battery in New Mexico
At the Law Office of W. Shane Jennings, we take criminal battery cases very seriously and encourage our clients to do the same. During your initial consultation, we will explain the nuances of criminal battery law, including these details:
- Criminal battery is a form of personal injury and is classified as a misdemeanor.
- Battery refers to any intentional and unlawful application of force (that is done in an aggressive manner).
- Conviction of criminal battery can result in jail time.
- Conviction of a criminal battery case can result in immigration consequences.
Our criminal battery lawyer knows the ins and outs of the legal system. He can ensure that your needs are met throughout the process.
Build a Quality Defense Against Assault and Battery Charges
You may have caused injury to a household member, but that does not mean you are guilty of criminal battery. Count on our team to take every detail into consideration and present you with your options. In many cases, we can build a defense based on one or more of these points:
- You responded appropriately to a threat or acted in self-defense.
- The victim consented to physical contact knowing it could result in harm.
- You acted in defense of another person.
If convicted, you could face penalties of jail time, fines, or both – especially if you have a criminal history. Ultimately, you could become financially responsible for the accuser’s medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering. Before you start to imagine the worst-case scenario, give our office a call. We will calmly evaluate your case and create a plan of action. With our team on the case, you can expect to achieve the best possible outcome.
Schedule an Appointment, Today!
If you’re facing charges for assault or battery, you require legal protection. If you would like to speak with our criminal battery lawyer in New Mexico, make an appointment and get started today by contacting the Law Office of W. Shane Jennings. We offer initial consultations over the phone so you can see where your case can go from here. Once you schedule an appointment, you’ll be able to better understand your case better. W. Shane Jennings will represent you to the best of his abilities. With offices in Las Cruces and Hobbs and with over 2,000 cases handled, you can put your trust in the hands of attorney W. Shane Jennings.