As you may be aware, October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month. Many law enforcement agencies and social services organizations are keen on spreading awareness of this crime that affects millions in New Mexico and across the United States every year.
Domestic violence is prohibited in New Mexico under the Crimes Against Household Members Act. Only select individuals are classified as household members.
Who falls into the category of “household members?”
The above-referenced New Mexico law details how the following individuals would be considered household members:
- Former or current in-laws (including grandparents-in-law)
- A co-parent
- Your parents or grandparents
- A current or former spouse
- Someone you’re involved in an intimate relationship with or dating
What actions are prohibited under New Mexico domestic violence laws?
Both threats or menacing that aim to make a household member fear immediate battery and the actual physical battery can lead someone to face domestic violence charges.
New Mexico law describes battery as the application of force or any illegal, intentional touching carried out in anger. State law describes any willful or unlawful assault upon a household member, whether it’s committed with a deadly weapon or the perpetrator does it with the intent to commit a violent felony, as aggravated assault. Both of these offenses are misdemeanors, with the former being a petty one.
Any convicted offenders may be ordered to complete a domestic violence intervention or treatment program. It’s likely that charges could be upgraded to far more serious ones with much stiffer penalties, depending on the seriousness of the allegations, though. The courts may also impose a protective order in your case, prohibiting you from interacting with your victim and other family members. Your charges and potential conviction can stay with you and impact your life for a long time. This is why you should aggressively fight if you are facing charges.