Domestic and intimate partner violence in Albuquerque affects a considerable portion of the population. Data from the Legislative Finance Committee suggests the number of domestic violence cases has risen steadily in recent years.
Reports of domestic violence are taken very seriously by local law enforcement. If a spouse or significant other calls local authorities to report they are the victim of domestic violence, the police will respond to the scene and question all parties involved. Sometimes the officers who responded to the call will decide it is best to remove the alleged offender from the premises and take them into custody. When this happens, persons accused of domestic or intimate partner abuse can find themselves at the local police station, being questioned further and possibly charged with assault.
In Albuquerque and all of New Mexico, domestic violence is defined by the following actions:
- Assault with the intent to commit a violent felony
- Bodily injury to the alleged victim (at the level of battery or assault)
- Criminal damage to the jointly-owned property
- Criminal trespass
- Harm or threats of harm made to children
- Harassing telephone calls or texts
- Inflicting severe emotional distress to a significant other or child
- Making threats of bodily harm
- Repeatedly driving past a place of employment or residence
For the act to be considered domestic violence, New Mexico law requires it to be committed by one member of the household against another. The law defines a household member as an individual with whom the alleged perpetrator has an ongoing personal relationship. This could be a spouse, a domestic partner, children, siblings, or parents.
Local authorities will conduct a thorough investigation when a complaint of domestic violence is lodged. The initial gathering of evidence occurs at the scene during the first response. Police will speak with the alleged victim and perpetrator separately and any witnesses to the alleged crime. They will collect any evidence from the alleged crime scene and, if deemed necessary, take the alleged perpetrator into custody for further questioning.
If you or a loved one is taken into custody, do not wait until charges are filed to contact a criminal defense attorney. Every second counts when you are facing a serious charge like domestic abuse. The experienced criminal defense lawyers at Cameron & Russell can ensure your rights are protected through the entire process. Depending on the circumstances and initial evidence, we may even be able to get the matter dropped and the client released immediately.
Charges of domestic violence often are difficult to prove, let alone prosecute in a court of law. Incidents that occur without the presence of witnesses often end up as a “he said, she said” scenario in which it is tough to prove which party is telling the truth. Unfortunately, sometimes significant others use the threat of reporting domestic violence maliciously to hurt their partner. It also is not uncommon for some partners to call the police and allege domestic violence over something as simple as an argument. Our attorneys can help sort through the facts of the case to ensure our clients are not facing charges for a crime they did not commit.
Roughly one-third of all domestic violence cases in Albuquerque involve minor children living in the same household as the alleged abuser. New Mexico law also considers charges of child abuse if a child is physically, sexually, or emotionally abused by a household member. The key to physical injury is intent. Accidental injuries to children do not fall under New Mexico child abuse statutes.
Child abuse charges are serious in New Mexico. Individuals who are convicted of child abuse can face jail sentences, followed by parole and probation. If the abuse is sexual in nature, you may appear on the New Mexico Sex Offender Registry.
False accusations of child abuse can ruin a person’s reputation and their entire life. If you are accused of child abuse, do not wait to contact a criminal defense attorney with experience in this area of the law. The team at Cameron & Russell is highly-skilled in this practice of the law and can help ensure your rights are protected.