Twohig Law Firm
In this article, Albuquerque assault lawyers provide information concerning the laws in place in New Mexico that govern simple assault and battery.
Definition Of Assault Under New Mexico Law
If someone shakes a fist at you and tells you that he is going to strike you and you believe that he means it, that individual has committed assault. It is not necessary to actually touch or strike the intended victim. The demonstration of intention to harm is enough for an assault charge to be made. Such actions as trying to shove, hit or otherwise physically abuse someone, threatening or menacing actions or words that convince another person that physical harm is imminent and use of language that impugns the integrity, reputation, character or honor of another individual are all forms of assault. (NMSA 1978, § 30-3-1.) The last form is the subject of some contention, as there are those who believe that it may infringe upon free speech.
Penalties For Assault
Assault or battery in which no weapon is involved is a petty misdemeanor under New Mexico law. The involvement of a deadly weapon or the intent to perpetrate a crime of violence in conjunction with the assault escalates the crime to felony status. Penalties for petty misdemeanor assault include fines, jail time or probation upon conviction.
Unlike assault, in which words will suffice, battery charges result if the attacker physically contacts the intended victim by angrily or aggressively striking, shoving or hitting the victim with something. For battery to be charged, the intention to do harm must be shown. Bumping into someone on the street is not battery, nor is jokingly clapping someone on the back. There must be a genuine threat to the degree that the intended victim believes that further physical harm will be done. A battery conviction carries penalties of fines not to exceed $500 and a possible six months of jail time or probation. (NMSA 1978, §31-19-1.)
In order to mount a defense against charges of assault and battery, you and your Albuquerque assault lawyers must be able to demonstrate that either no harm was meant by your actions or that you had a justifiable reason for them. Perhaps you felt forced to defend yourself or another innocent person. Perhaps you did not realize that what you were saying or doing was harming another person or could be seen as harmful. Perhaps you were accused mistakenly and actually did nothing wrong at all. Your lawyer will be able to evaluate your situation and determine what type of defense will be appropriate in your case.
Make the Call Now to Albuquerque Assault Lawyers
A misdemeanor conviction can have repercussions that can haunt you all your life. Contact the Albuquerque assault lawyers at the Twohig Law Firm by calling (505) 898-0400 today, and protect yourself and your future.