Felony Child Abuse in New Mexico
If you’re being investigated for, or have already been arrested for child abuse in New Mexico, you may be unsure of what to do next. We can help. Our compassionate child abuse lawyers at our New Mexico Criminal Law Office understand that every situation is unique. We can help you understand the charges and legal consequences for child abuse in New Mexico, and guide you to choose the best legal options in your case. Call us today at (505) 375-4672 for a free and confidential consultation, or continue reading for more information on child abuse in New Mexico.
What Is Child Abuse?
According to New Mexico Statute Section 30-6-1, anyone who knowingly, intentionally, or negligently harms a child may be charged with child abuse in New Mexico. Child abuse also includes permitting a child to be:
- In a situation that may endanger their life or health;
- Tortured or cruelly confined or punished;
- Exposed to severe weather;
- Exposed to chemicals and equipment used or intended for use in the manufacture of a controlled substance; or
- Left at a hospital if less than 90 days old
In these situations, a child is anyone under the age of 18. This is regardless of whether that child is biologically or legally yours.
Child abuse may include harm that is physical, emotional, psychological, or sexual in nature. Physical abuse can involve:
- Bleeding or bruising,
- Swelling or other symptoms of harm
Malnutrition can also be a sign of physical abuse. Sexual abuse may also be both physical and emotional in nature. This may include actual touching, or the permitting and encouraging of prostitution-related activities.
Penalties for Child Abuse in New Mexico
Child abuse in New Mexico may be a misdemeanor or felony charge. As a misdemeanor, you may face up to one year in jail and a fine of up to $1,000. However, more serious child abuse could be charged as a felony in the following circumstances:
- First-time offense where abuse does not result in death or great bodily harm (third-degree felony)
- Second or subsequent offense where abuse does not result in death or great bodily harm (second-degree felony)
- Abuse of a child that results in great bodily harm (first-degree felony)
- Negligent abuse that results in death of a child (first-degree felony)
- Intentional abuse of a child between the ages of 12 and 18 that results in death (first-degree felony)
- Intentional abuse of a child under the age of 12 that results in death (first-degree felony)
Criminal penalties for these felonies typically include increased penalties because the victims are children. Penalties include:
- Third-degree felony – Punishable by up to six years in prison and a fine of up to $5,000.
- Second-degree felony – Punishable by up to nine years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000.
- First-degree felony – Punishable by up to 18 years in prison and a fine of up to $15,000. However, where abuse results in the death of a child, this crime could result in up to life in prison.
Collateral Consequences of Child Abuse in New Mexico
Criminal penalties such as prison time and fines are only the tip of the iceberg when considering consequences of a felony charge in New Mexico. If you are convicted of child abuse in New Mexico, you may also face the following:
- A permanent criminal record
- Removal of your right to possess guns
- Restricted voting rights
- Negative reputation with family, friends, and the community
- Restricted child visitation
- Restrictions on foreign travel
- Inability to find employment or loss of professional licenses
It can be difficult to continue your life after a child abuse conviction. If you’ve been charged, it’s best to request the guidance of an experienced child abuse lawyer at Twohig Law Firm. Call today at (505) 375-4672 for a free case evaluation.
False Accusations of Child Abuse
False accusations of child abuse commonly arise due to confusion or a desire for revenge. Children can be encouraged to lie about a situation, confusing people making reports about what actually happened. It is also not unusual (or encouraged) for a parent to make false accusations when trying to gain custody of children or obtain a leg up in a child support or divorce case. Regardless of the situation, it is best to seek the help of an experienced child abuse attorney who understands your predicament and can fight for your rights and reputation.
Contact Us If You Are Being Investigated for or Have Been Charged With Child Abuse in New Mexico
A child abuse conviction could result in years in prison and a significant fine as well as other devastating consequences. To adequately defend yourself, talk to a child abuse attorney with years of experience helping clients overcome similar charges. At Twohig Law firm, we will evaluate every piece of evidence in your case and make sure the prosecutors and court are aware that the allegations against you are baseless. We will work to develop a solid defense and help you make the best legal options in your situation.
If you are being charged with child abuse in New Mexico, contact Twohig Law Firm today for a free and confidential consultation. Call us today at (505) 375-4672 to find out how we can help.
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