New Mexico Felony

Felonies in New Mexico are defined as any crime designated by law or conviction for a sentencing of death or the imprisonment for one year or more. New Mexico has five felony class categories. These categories can be wide and are slightly different from other state jurisdictions. New Mexican law is intricate and has several different variations in its criminal statute for increasing sentences for certain crimes. Crimes related to gangs can have increased penalties, for instance.

New Mexico Felony Classes
The first of the felony classes, and by far the most serious of crimes, is that of a Capital Felony. Capital Felonies can include murder in the first degree and felony murder. This felony is punishable by life imprisonment in a state prison with the possibility of parole or early release. In some cases death is also an possible sentencing.

A First Degree Felony in New Mexico can include manslaughter, kidnapping, robbery while armed with a deadly weapon, arson, rape, and other sexual crimes. First Degree Felonies can have up to eighteen years imprisonment or less depending on the severity of the crime.

Second Degree Felonies can include shooting at or from a motor vehicle that results in bodily harm to another person, robbery, and sexual exploitation of a minor. A Second Degree Felony can have imprisonment time of up to nine years in a state facility.

Third Degree Felonies include voluntary manslaughter, assault with intent to commit a felony, theft, driving under the influence, aggravated battery, and criminal use of ransom. Third Degree Felonies can have up to three years imprisonment in a state prison.

The last of the New Mexican felonies is the Fourth Degree Felony. This felony can include aggravated assault, involuntary manslaughter, and assisting suicide. Up to eighteen months in a prison facility constitutes a Fourth Degree Felony sentencing.

New Mexico Criminal Prosecution
New Mexico sets limitations on statutes when beginning a felony criminal prosecution. No limitations are placed in the case of a Capital Felony or a First Degree Felony. A six-year limitation is set for Second Degree Felonies. And a five-year limitation is set for both Third Degree Felonies and Fourth Degree Felonies.

Statute limitations can be extended for certain crimes. These specific crimes include identity theft and theft and crimes against minors. Because statute limitations can be extended in some circumstances it is important to consult a criminal defense attorney after being charged with a crime. He or she will be able to created an adequate defense and be able to sufficiently inform about possibilities, crime severities, options, and possible sentences.

Expungement of Felony Records in New Mexico
The New Mexico Statute 29-3-8.1A states that expungement of an arrest record is possible for misdemeanor offenses and petty misdemeanor offenses where an arrest was made for a crime of moral turpitude. This means that felony expungement in New Mexico is not possible. Expungement includes the erasure of records, and in New Mexico felonies are viewed as too serious to be erased from an individual's record.

See also:
New Mexico Misdemeanors External link (opens in new window)
New Mexico Expungement External link (opens in new window)
New Mexico Gun Laws External link (opens in new window)