New Mexico DWI/DWI laws make it illegal for any driver to operate a vehicle while under the influence of alcohol or drugs. This makes DWI a criminal offense that can result in penalties such as jail time, educational programs, fines, and the installation of an ignition interlock device on your vehicle. These penalties have the potential to negatively impact your quality of life and make it difficult for you to maintain employment and meet other life obligations. Because of the seriousness of a DWI offense and the severity of the offense, having a New Mexico DUI attorney on your side is the only way you will be able to get through your case successfully. Since DUI law is a specialized area of the law, having a skilled DUI lawyer with the training and experience needed to defend DUI charges can help you to beat the charges or minimize the penalties imposed against you if you are convicted.
New Mexico DUI Arrests
You may be arrested for DUI in several cases. One is if you exhibit suspicious driving patterns and you are pulled over by a law enforcement officer. Another is if you cause an accident and the responding officer suspects that alcohol was involved. No matter the reason you were arrested, you will be facing serious penalties. Nevada is one of the states where a DWI arrest will result in two separate cases against you. One is a criminal case where you will face criminal DWI charges and a prosecutor will try to prove that you were guilty of driving under the influence. The second is an administrative case within the New Mexico Motor Vehicles Division. When you are arrested for a DWI offense, you will be prosecuted under one of two theories. The first is a traditional or common law theory of driving under the influence. In this type of case, the prosecutor will try to show that you were impaired as a result of consuming alcohol prior to driving. The prosecutor will try to show your level of impairment by introducing evidence such as your driving patterns, any accidents you caused, field sobriety test results, and information about your appearance at the time of your arrest. You can also be charged with DWI if you submit to a chemical test that yields a result of a 0.08% or greater blood alcohol concentration. In this type of case, the prosecutor does not introduce any information about impairment. The prosecutor simply must prove that you were operating a vehicle while you had an unlawful blood alcohol concentration level. Hiring a skilled New Mexico DUI attorney can help you in both types of cases. An experienced New Mexico DUI lawyer will know how to handle the evidence in each type of case. If you are arrested for a DUI in New Mexico, you will have the right to a jury trial, so having a New Mexico DUI attorney on your side can help you immensely.
DUI Criminal Penalties in New Mexico
The penalties for a DWI conviction in New Mexico increase with each offense you have been convicted of and can be very harsh depending on the circumstances. For a first DWI offense, you can face penalties of up to 90 days in jail, a $500 fine, and $200 in court costs. Other penalties can include participating in a DWI school program, attendance at a victim impact panel, and probation. If your first offense is considered an aggravated DWI offense, you will be sentenced to a mandatory minimum of 48 hours in jail. Driving with a BAC of twice the legal limit, causing bodily injury or death during a DUI offense, and chemical test refusal are all grounds for classifying an offense as an aggravated offense. A second DWI offense can result in a jail term of 3 to 364 days, $250 in fees, fines of $500 to $1,000, probation, community service, and a license revocation period of one year. If your second offense is an aggravated offense, 7 days in jail are mandatory. If you accumulate a third DWI offense, you will face a mandatory 30 day jail sentence and a fine of $750 to $1,000. If it was the third offense within a ten year period, your license will be revoked for a period of one to ten years. If your third offense is considered an aggravated offense, you will be incarcerated for a mandatory minimum of 90 days. A fourth or subsequent DWI offense within a ten year period is considered to be a felony. The penalties include 18 months in prison and the other penalties imposed for a third offense. If you are convicted, you may lose your right to vote or bear arms.
New Mexico Administrative License Penalties
There are also driver’s license penalties associated with a DWI offense in New Mexico. If you have refused to submit to chemical testing, your license will be suspended for one year and you will not have the opportunity to get a work permit or other restricted license. If you do take a chemical test and fail, the penalties through the Motor Vehicles Department will increase with each offense. The penalty for a first offense is a 90 day suspension of your driver’s license. If you have previously had your license revoked for a DWI offense, the penalties for subsequent offenses are increased. For a second or subsequent offense, the suspension period is one year. You will not have the opportunity to apply for a work permit or a restricted license. Because not having driving privileges can make it difficult to meet your family obligations or maintain employment, it is important for you to have a New Mexico DUI lawyer to help you save your license and avoid having your reputation tarnished.
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