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Our Criminal Defense Lawyer New Mexico Explains How a Criminal Court Proceeding Works
19 Oct 2015

Our Criminal Defense Lawyer New Mexico Explains How a Criminal Court Proceeding Works

Any attorney trained as a criminal defense lawyer New Mexico will attest that watching crime dramas on television can give a very different impression of what proceeding are really like in court. The following will give you much better understanding of what to expect as your case works its way through the state’s criminal justice system.

Pre-trial Procedures

Initially, a person is investigated by law enforcement and charged with a crime. This leads to a warrant being issued for the person’s arrest and their subsequent incarceration. Afterwards, the person will have their first appearance in court to issue a plea against the charge(s) they face. During this initial court appearance, every person will have the charge(s) against them explained. They will be advised of their right against self-incrimination, and they will be informed of their right to representation by an attorney. It is important to hire a criminal defense lawyer New Mexico immediately upon being charged in order to mount the best possible defense. If the charge is a misdemeanor, a person can issue a plea of guilty or not guilty. The former will allow the judge to impose a sentence immediately or arrange a court date for the sentencing. If the defendant issues a not guilty plea, a court date for the trial will be set. In the event of a felony charge, the judge will either determine the amount of the bail, deny bail and hold the accused in jail pending the trial, or release the accused on their own recognizance. A preliminary hearing date will also be set.

Preliminary Hearing

At this hearing, the judge will make the determination of whether a crime actually occurred and whether the accused is responsible for the crime. If the judge determines that a crime occurred and the accused likely committed it, he will bind the person for a criminal trial. Otherwise, the judge will dismiss the charges and release the defendant. Some jurisdictions in the state hold a grand jury in order to achieve the same result as a preliminary hearing. This importance of this hearing underscores the need to have the representation of a criminal defense lawyer New Mexico.


  1. The first step in the trial is the selection of the jury.
  2. Once the trial commences, the attorneys for the prosecution and defense will offer their opening statements.
  3. Using evidence and witnesses, the prosecution will present their case against he accused.

Likewise, your attorney will question the witnesses’ truthfulness and credibility in what is known as cross-examination. After the prosecution is done, your lawyer will present their defense before the jury. After the defense finishes, both attorneys will offer closing arguments. It is as this point the jury will deliberate the case before them and reach a verdict.

Contact a Criminal Defense Lawyer New Mexico

There are multiple critical junctures during the trial that can affect the livelihood of the accused for the rest of their lives. Twohig Law Firm has the criminal defense lawyer New Mexico residents trust to fight for your livelihood and freedom. Call 505-898-0400 today.


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