A misdemeanor is generally defined as a crime with the punishment of less than one year in county jail or a fine. In New Mexico, there are a series of crimes that are considered misdemeanors. For example, larceny is considered a misdemeanor in the state.
Larceny is defined as stealing anything of value that belongs to another individual. It is a misdemeanor because the property stolen has a value ranging up to $500. Regardless of whether an individual committed larceny or another misdemeanor crime, it’s important to understand that defenses are available to fight the charge.
What is a Defense in a Misdemeanor Charge?
A defense is a way a defendant can fight the charge and challenge the prosecutor’s claim they are guilty. A prosecutor must prove beyond a reasonable doubt the defendant is guilty. This means leaving no doubt in the jury’s mind of the defendant’s guilty. A strong defense strategy seeks to weaken the prosecutor’s argument and create doubt. Enough doubt can return a not guilty verdict.
Types of Misdemeanor Defenses in New Mexico
Innocence is one common defense. It is the simple defense that the defendant did not commit the crime. To use this defense, evidence is presented to show the defendant’s innocence such as witness testimony.
An alibi is another common defense. The defendant tells their misdemeanor defense attorney albuquerque nm they didn’t commit the crime because they were somewhere else at the time. For example, the defendant was at work at the time the larceny was committed at an Albuquerque store. Their attorney will present evidence like witness statements or surveillance video of the defendant at work at the time of the crime.
There are defenses to a misdemeanor which admit some sort of guilt while maintaining innocence. For example, a person can claim self-defense. Self-defense occur when a defendant commits a crime such as an assault to defend themselves from an attack. The defendant must use the same amount of force as their assailant.
Involuntary intoxication is another type of crime where the defendant admits guilt, but has a justified reason. Involuntary intoxication occurs when the defendant unknowingly ingests a substance such as alcohol or drugs. Being under the influence caused the defendant to commit the misdemeanor crime.
What is a Defense Strategy in a Misdemeanor Charge?
A defense strategy is way to fight the criminal charge. It includes one or more defenses to prove the defendant isn’t guilty or committed the crime for a justified reason. The strategy varies from defendant to defendant. This means two defendants accused of the same misdemeanor may use different defenses to prove their innocence.
Contact a Defense Attorney for Help with a Misdemeanor Charge
A misdemeanor is not as serious as a felony. A felony crime in New Mexico involves more than a year in state prison. Although a misdemeanor crime doesn’t involve years in prison, it’s still important to fight the charge. Any time behind bars is too much time to be incarcerated. Contact a defense attorney about the specific defense that can be used in a misdemeanor charge.