Albuquerque Assault and Battery Defense Lawyers
Strong Defense Against Assault and Battery Charges
Assault and battery are often used to describe the same offense, but they are both serious and distinct crimes in New Mexico and carry serious punishments. If you or a loved one has been arrested in Albuquerque for assault or battery, call Raymon Law Group today for a free and confidential consultation at (505) 390-1040.
Assault is defined under New Mexico law as one of the following offenses:
- Attempting to commit a battery on another person;
- Threatening or displaying conduct that another person interprets as believing a battery will occur; or
- Using assaultive language to another which might harm their honor or reputation;
- Assault is generally considered a petty misdemeanor with a punishment range of up to 6 months in jail and up to a $500 fine.
However, aggravated assault is much more serious and involves one of the following offenses:
- Unlawfully assaulting or striking someone with a deadly weapon;
- Committing an assault while wearing a mask or otherwise disguised; or
- Willfully and intentionally assaulting someone with the intent to commit a felony (e.g. robbery, burglary, murder).
Aggravated assault can lead to a fourth-degree felony charge, with a punishment range of up to 18 months in prison and up to $5,000 in fines.
Battery is different from assault in New Mexico because it involves actual touching. Assault typically involves only the attempt to commit a battery or the threatening of a battery. Battery is defined under New Mexico law as the “unlawful, intentional touching or application of force to another in a rude, insolent, or angry manner.” Battery is classified as a petty misdemeanor with up to 6 months in jail and a fine of up to $500.
Aggravated battery is also quite different from both assault and ordinary battery because it is the touching of a person with the intent to injure. If you do commit aggravated battery and it results in great bodily harm or you commit aggravated battery with a deadly weapon or in a way that could cause bodily harm, you could face up to a third-degree felony charge. If you commit aggravated battery that does not cause death or great bodily injury but does result in painful temporary disfigurement or loss or impairment, it is usually charged as a misdemeanor offense.
How Is Homicide Classified in New Mexico?
Homicide occurs when one person causes the death of another. In New Mexico, it is first degree murder if the act was premeditated or committed during the commission of another felony. Homicide is charged as second degree murder when killing was intentional but without premeditation. An unintentional killing that is otherwise unjustified is charged as manslaughter.
What Is the Difference Between Assault and Manslaughter?
Under New Mexico law, a person who kills another without malice in a sudden quarrel or causes someone’s death unintentionally while committing an unlawful act is guilty of manslaughter. This crime is a Class IIA felony. While manslaughter involves the death of a person, assault and battery involves bodily harm or threats. There are different degrees of assault:
- Assault in the third degree: This is the least serious degree of assault. It involves knowingly or recklessly causing bodily harm to another person or threatening someone in a menacing way.
- Assault in the second degree: If a dangerous instrument is used in an assault, it is charged in the second degree.
- Assault in the first degree: This most serious degree of assault occurs when a person knowingly or intentionally causes serious bodily harm to another person. It is left up to the court to decide what constitutes serious bodily harm.
Why you Need a Skilled New Mexico Defense Lawyer.
Both assault and battery can be charged as misdemeanors or felonies in New Mexico and can carry harsh penalties. With an aggressive and accomplished criminal defense lawyer on your side you have a much better chance of getting the charges against you dropped or reduced.
What Are the Defenses Against Assault and Battery Charges?
Defense strategies for assault and battery charges will depend on the specific circumstances surrounding your case. An Albuquerque criminal defense attorney may argue:
- Self-defense – when there was a threat of unlawful force or harm against the defendant, or a reasonable basis for perceived fear of harm
- Mistaken identity -- when the victim was hit from behind or cannot remember the face of the alleged attacker
- Lack of intent – the charges could be reduced if the prosecutor is unable to prove the particular mindset required for any degree of assault. To get a conviction of first-degree assault, the prosecution must prove that harm was intentionally or knowingly caused to the victim. A defense lawyer can argue that the conduct was reckless, but not intentional.
At Raymon Law Group, we never forget that one mistake or misunderstanding can put a person on the wrong side of the criminal justice system. We believe you deserve strong representation to protect your future. If you are facing assault and battery charges in Albuquerque, call an aggressive criminal defense lawyer at to schedule a free consultation. We can explain your options under the law.
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