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Scope of De Novo Appeal from New Mexico Magistrate Court Not Limited to Abuse of Discretion

December 31, 2013, by Collins & Collins, P.C.

Criminal charges in New Mexico frequently get dismissed for a number of reasons. Among the most common in DWI cases is dismissal for failure of police officers to show for trial. A defendant has a right to confrontation of witnesses. In DWI cases, the only witnesses are typically officers. As such, a trial cannot proceed […]


Possible Criminal Liability for Medical Negligence in New Mexico

August 20, 2013, by Collins & Collins, P.C.

In New Mexico, there are some acts of medical negligence that are so egregious they give rise to criminal charges. The New Mexico Court of Appeals recently took up such a case in State v. Muraida. The case is interesting on a number of levels. However, the Court‘s opinion was grounded in evidentiary and procedural […]


Failure to Timely Appeal Probation Violations May Be Excused on Grounds of Ineffective Assistance Counsel

March 11, 2013, by Collins & Collins, P.C.

During the course of a legal case, whether criminal or civil, the law imposes certain deadlines. Generally, if those deadlines are not met the party failing to meet the deadline will be subject to penalties. These penalties may include having their case dismissed or having a judgment entered against them. Recently, in New Mexico v. […]


Legality of Under-Clothing Search Incident To Arrest Dependent on Circumstances

February 18, 2013, by Collins & Collins, P.C.

The 2011 New Mexico Supreme Court decision in State v. Williams addressed the legality of an under-clothing search incident to arrest. The Court found the search under the crimustances of the case reasonable under the 4th Amendment‘s and related cases on search and seizure. This case involved a traffic stop. When the officer approached the […]


Warrantless Searches Reasonable Under the Plain View Doctrine

December 6, 2012, by Collins & Collins, P.C.

The Fourth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution and Article II, Section 10 of the New Mexico State Constitution protect us against unreasonable searches and seizures. This means that law enforcement are required to first get a search warrant before going into someone‘s house or car to seize evidence. A search warrant is issued by a […]


Warrantless Entry and Search of a Home Under Exigent Circumstances

November 29, 2012, by Collins & Collins, P.C.

Under the Fourth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, individuals are protected from unreasonable searches and seizures that are not accompanied by a warrant or supported by probable cause. There are a small number of exceptions to the warrant requirement when police can conduct a search and seizure. A 2011 Supreme Court case, Kentucky v. King, […]


Pat-Down Search in New Mexico is a Protective Search for Officer Safety Not a Search for Evidence

November 14, 2012, by Collins & Collins, P.C.

The police are not permitted to simply search anyone for any reason. Their powers to search people are limited by the Fourth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, preventing unreasonable searches and seizures. In most cases, the police must acquire a warrant in order to search a person. A number of exceptions do exist that allow […]


Anonymous Hearsay, Without Evidence of Truthfulness, Cannot Constitute Probable Cause for a Warrant

November 9, 2012, by Collins & Collins, P.C.

Police officers often collect evidence used in later criminal prosecutions after using search warrants to examine various places, like homes and cars. However, there are specific rules about when it is proper for officers to obtain those warrants from a judge. If a warrant is obtained without sufficient probable cause than the search is improper […]


Search Warrant for Home Does Not Necessarily Extend to Guest House in New Mexico

November 1, 2012, by Collins & Collins, P.C.

The Fourth Amendment of the Constitution protects people against warrantless searches of their persons, papers and homes. The law requires police to possess a valid warrant when searching a home for evidence, unless they act within one of the exceptions created by the courts. In order for the police to obtain a valid warrant, the […]


The 4th Amendment and Police Questioning Beyond Scope of Traffic Stop in New Mexico

October 30, 2012, by Collins & Collins, P.C.

In State v. Olson, the New Mexico Supreme Court recently reversed a Court of Appeals decision, addressing a police officer‘s authority to question a person about unrelated crimes after pulling him over for a traffic violation. An officer filling out paperwork noticed Defendant driving suspiciously. After following the defendant, the officer noticed that the car‘s […]


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