In New Mexico, a felony is defined as any crime defined by law or conviction for a sentence of death or imprisonment for one year or more. There are five types of felonies in New Mexico. These categories can be broad and differ slightly from other state jurisdictions. New Mexican law is complex, with several variations in its criminal statute for increasing sentences for specific crimes. Crimes involving gangs, for example, may carry harsher penalties.
Felony Classes in New Mexico
- Felony Classes in New Mexico
- Is manslaughter a felony in New Mexico?
- Criminal Prosecution in New Mexico
- Can Felony Records Be Expunged in New Mexico?
In the state of New Mexico, felony crimes can be broken down into four distinct classes – 1st degree, 2nd degree, 3rd degree, and 4th degree. Each crime carries a unique set of associated penalties, depending on its severity and the circumstances.
First Degree Felony
The first felony classification, and by far the most serious, is that of a Capital Felony. Murder in the first degree and felony murder are examples of capital felonies. This felony carries a life sentence in state prison with the possibility of parole or early release. Death is a possible sentence in some cases.
These are the most serious crimes in New Mexico and can result in life imprisonment and fines of up to $20,000. Examples of first-degree felonies (capital felonies) include murder, kidnapping, aggravated battery with a deadly weapon, gross sexual imposition, and drug trafficking.
Second Degree Felony
Second-degree felonies carry lesser punishments than first-degree felonies but still remain quite serious. Those convicted of second-degree felonies face up to nine years in prison and may be fined up to $15,000. Examples of second-degree felonies include voluntary manslaughter, rape, burglary of a home, arson involving an inhabited structure, and possession of controlled substances with intent to distribute.
Third Degree Felony
Third-degree felonies are less serious than the two higher classes and consist of charges like bribery, vehicle theft, fraud, aggravated assault without a deadly weapon, child abuse, and contributing to the delinquency of a minor. Punishment for these crimes may include a sentence of not more than three years in prison and fines up to $5,000.
Fourth Degree Felony
Fourth-degree felonies are the least serious felony class and are punishable by up to eighteen months in prison. Other possible sanctions may also include probation or house arrest. Examples of fourth-degree felonies include larceny from a private dwelling or property valued at over $250 but less than $2,500, unlawful possession of a firearm by a felon, abuse of an elder or disabled adult resulting in economic damages, and criminal sexual contact with someone aged 13 to 16.
When facing felony charges in New Mexico, it is important for defendants to understand which class of felony they have been charged with. Knowing the corresponding punishments can help them make informed decisions about how to proceed.
Is manslaughter a felony in New Mexico?
Manslaughter is a serious crime in New Mexico and can be classified as either voluntary or involuntary manslaughter. The penalties for conviction vary depending on which type of manslaughter is committed, with voluntary manslaughter being the more severe charge.
Voluntary manslaughter – 3rd Degree Felony
Voluntary manslaughter, assault with intent to commit a felony, theft, driving under the influence, aggravated battery, and criminal use of ransom are all third-degree felonies. Third-degree felonies can result in up to three years in state prison.
Voluntary manslaughter occurs when an individual kills another person intentionally, but without malice or premeditation. This may include situations where someone kills another person in the heat of passion or during a fight. In these cases, the person accused will most likely face felony charges. These charges are punishable by up to 18 years in prison, plus a fine of up to $15,000.
Voluntary manslaughter – 4th Degree Felony
Involuntary manslaughter, on the other hand, is accidental killing due to negligence or recklessness. It occurs when someone causes another’s death through reckless or criminally negligent behavior. Depending on the severity of the actions that caused the death, this charge can range from a misdemeanor to a third-degree felony. If convicted of a third-degree felony in New Mexico, people may be sentenced to up to three years in prison as well as a fine of $5,000.
Manslaughter is a serious crime in New Mexico and can be classified as either voluntary or involuntary manslaughter. Depending on the severity of the case and whether the accused was reckless or criminally negligent at the time of the killing, they could face anywhere from a misdemeanor to felony charges. If convicted of the more serious charges of voluntary manslaughter, people could face a maximum of 18 years in prison and a fine of up to $15,000. When faced with allegations of manslaughter, it is important to seek experienced legal counsel right away.
Criminal Prosecution in New Mexico
When a felony criminal prosecution is initiated in New Mexico, statutes are limited. There are no restrictions in the case of a Capital Felony or a First Degree Felony. Second-degree felonies are sentenced to six years in prison. Third and fourth-degree felonies are both sentenced to five years in prison.
Certain crimes have statutes of limitations that can be extended. Identity theft, theft, and crimes against minors are among the specific crimes listed. Because statutes of limitations can be extended in some cases, it is critical to consult with a criminal defense attorney after being charged with a crime. He or she will be able to build an adequate defense and adequately inform about the possibilities, crime severity, options, and potential sentences.
Can Felony Records Be Expunged in New Mexico?
According to New Mexico Statute 29-3-8.1A, an arrest record can be expunged for misdemeanor and petty misdemeanor offenses where an arrest was made for a crime of moral turpitude. This means that felony expungement is not an option in New Mexico. Expungement includes the erasure of records, and felonies are considered too serious in New Mexico to be erased from an individual’s record.