FAQs and RESOURCES
What is the difference between a Civil and Criminal matter?
A Civil case is a compensation of a loss. A Criminal case is a violation of a State Statute where the violator will be punished for wrongful acts.
Can I report a crime directly to the DA’s Office?
In general a citizen should first report a crime to the local police agency which may be the local police department, the county sheriff’s office or the New Mexico State Police.
I am a victim/witness in a case. How will I be informed on the case?
Where there has been a Felony, DWI, and/or Domestic Violence crime committed, a Victim Advocate will coordinate with you. The Victim Advocate will call or send a notice to inform you about the case. If you are a victim of these types of crimes there are a variety of community and state resources which could include restitution of funds in some cases; the Victim Advocate will have information available for you. In other cases the DA’s office will notify you by subpoena. Victims should always notify the DA’s office with a change of address and/or phone number.
I am a victim in a domestic violence case, can I drop the charges?
A decision to drop the charges can only be made by the prosecutor assigned to the case. The prosecutors will make every effort to prevent further abuse, which may include moving a prosecution forward. The victim’s wishes will be considered in that decision.
Can I obtain legal advice from the DA’s Office?
The staff of the district attorney cannot give out legal advice. They also cannot take legal action in Civil Matters. You must seek legal representation through a private attorney or Legal Services.
How can I contact the District Attorney’s office?
The District Attorney’s office is open Monday through Friday 8:00 AM to 5:00Pm (closed for lunch 12-1 PM) exclusive of State Holidays. Each county office has its own phone number and fax. Please call the appropriate county office to make an appointment pertaining to a case if you are a victim or witness. If you are a defendant please contact your lawyer.
County Addresses and Phone Numbers can be found here.
What is Cyber Bullying?
The intentional harassment though the internet via email, social networking sites, instant messaging or cell phones. Examples include:
Hacking or stealing a password to a personal online account with the intent of posting or sending compromising information, pictures or videos.
Rumors spread through social networking sites, email or text messaging.
The doctoring of photographs to make the subject appear to be in a humiliating, compromising or uncomfortable situation. www.pacer.org/bullying/info/cyberbullying/
What is a Gang?
A gang is a group of individuals that is generally involved in delinquent or criminal activities. The group includes: core members, regulars and peripheral members. The leadership, or core members, determines the nature, level and goals of gang activity. Some characteristics attributed to gangs include: group organization, leadership, violent behavior, territory, recurrent interaction, violent behavior and use of symbolism. A link exists between youth gang members and later adult crime. Gangs typically engage in illegal money-making activities such as drug and firearms trafficking.
What is Elder Abuse?
Elder Abuse is the intentional or negligent causing of physical or emotional pain, bodily injury or general harm or preventing an elder from essential services, or the use of elder finances or property to the benefit of another.
Adult Protective Services
What is Stalking?
According to New Mexico law stalking is the intentional pursuit of a pattern of conduct (defined as at least two or more acts in which the accused stalker “by any action, method, device or means, directly, indirectly or through third parties, follows, monitors, observes, surveils, threatens or communicates to or about a person or interferes with a person’s property".) not authorized by law enforcement that is directed at an individual that would lead that individual to fear for their well-being or the well-being of a household member.
In New Mexico, stalking is considered a misdemeanor. The second or multiple convictions are considered a fourth degree felony.*
*N.M. STAT. ANN. §30-3A-3. Stalking; Penalties. (2009)
What is Sexual Assault?
Sexual assault can take many forms such as: rape, or attempted rape or any unwanted sexual contact. Typically, sexual assault occurs when, without the person’s consent, someone touches their body in a sexual way. The types of sexual acts that would be considered sexual assault include: forced sexual intercourse (rape), sodomy, child molestation, incest, or inappropriate touching of private/sexual parts without mutual consent and attempted rape. Assailants could be anybody: acquaintances, strangers, friends or family members. Assailants typically commit sexual assault by way of violence, threats, coercion or manipulation.
What is an Active Shooter?
An “active shooter” is an individual who is engaged in killing or attempting to kill people in a confined and populated area. In most cases, active shooters use firearms and there is no pattern or method to their selection of victims.
Is skipping school illegal?
Yes. New Mexico law requires parents to send children to school. A history of
unexcused absences will result in criminal charges.
Where does New Mexico stand in regard to drinking and driving?
New Mexico continues to rank among the worst states for drunk driving. Only the Dakotas, Wyoming, North Carolina and Mississippi rank worse than NM. According to the U.S. Drug Test Centers, New Mexico has approximately 460 DWI arrests per 100,000 residents – the sixth worst rate in the country. New Mexico has been in the top 10 every year since 2009.
What is Telemarketing Fraud?
It can be difficult to tell the difference between a legitimate business that uses the telephone for marketing purposes and fraudulent telemarketers who scam their victims out of identity, money and time. It is important to understand the warning signs of fraudulent telemarketers to avoid becoming a victim of this crime.
What is considered child abuse?
There are four major categories of child abuse. They include: neglect, physical abuse, emotional abuse and sexual abuse. Child abuse is a felony offense in the State of New Mexico.
Is domestic violence a crime?
Domestic violence is often defined broadly to include “all acts of physical, sexual, emotional, psychological or economic violence” that may be committed by a family member or intimate partner. A person can be charged with a variety of criminal charges resulting from domestic violence.
LEGAL FACS/Free Legal Services
United Way of Central New Mexico’s 2-1-1 Hotline
United Way's core mission is to tackle systemic problems affecting the children and families of the four-county area. We have a very wide network of resources, initiatives, donors and volunteers that all work together to address the problems of the community.
Project Know – Understanding Addiction
ID Theft Help
New Mexico State Public Defender
New Mexico Case Lookup
13th Judicial District Courts
New Mexico District Attorneys
New Mexico Corrections Department Offender Search
New Mexico Corrections Department Victim Services
The nations’ most reliable and confidential source for updated custody status and criminal case information.