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No Confrontation Rights at Probably Cause Hearing in New Mexico

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

There is firmly established 6th Amendment allows for confrontation of witnesses in criminal trial under both New Mexico and Federal Law. New Mexico Supreme Court case of State v. Lopez deals with the right to confrontation at a pretrial probable cause determination. Specifically, this case arose in the context of a Magistrate Court preliminary hearing […]

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Criminal Statutes to be Read With Common Sense – Ice and Water Insufficient for Criminal Charges in New Mexico

August 28, 2013, by Collins & Collins, P.C.

Law enforcement and prosecutors often try to stretch the definitional boundaries of criminal law statutes. On occasion, these attempts defy reason and logic. That was the case addressed recently by the New Mexico Court of Appeals case of State v. Alverson. In that case, the issue was whether dry ice and water with the potential […]

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Proof Requirements on Criminal Damage to Property Charges

July 10, 2013, by Collins & Collins, P.C.

The New Mexico Supreme Court case of State v. Cobrera deals with an important aspect of criminal law. The case concerns the evidence needed in a case involving the criminal damage to property. In short, the Court had to determine whether the prosecution has to present evidence of the age and condition of a property […]

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Immunity For Grand Jury Witnesses

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

A U.S. Supreme Court case earlier this year, Rehberg v. Paulk, extended the immunity given to witnesses against liability for testimony given at trial to witnesses testifying before a grand jury. Rehberg v. Paulk additionally held that there is no difference between a law enforcement officer and a civilian witness for purposes of this immunity. […]

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Protective Sweep Searches in New Mexico Fairly Limited Under 4th Amendment

July 25, 2012, by Collins & Collins, P.C.

A recent decision from the Court of Appeals of the State of New Mexico makes it clear that a protective sweep of the inside of a Defendants‘ residence, incident to an arrest taking place outside of the residence, is impermissible unless there is a “reasonable belief based on specific and articulable facts that the area […]

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Mistaken Belief in Laws Will Not Justify a Traffic Stop in New Mexico

June 21, 2011, by Collins & Collins, P.C.

The recent case of State v. Almeida illustrates the gravity of an illegal search and seizure in New Mexico. The case did not involve any deliberate wrongdoing by the officer. Rather, the case involved a stop of a vehicle based upon the officer‘s mistaken understanding of the traffic code. The defendant, Rafael Almeida, had a […]

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A Woman‘s Purse and its Contents Protected from Search

May 24, 2011, by Collins & Collins, P.C.

It is well established that a woman‘s purse is protected against unlawful search and seizure. Time and time again, the courts have ruled that “a purse is the type of container with which a person possesses the highest expectation of privacy.” The limits of these protections were tested in the recent New Mexico Court of […]

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Felony Domestic Violence: False Imprisonment Charges Frequently Charged in New Mexico

April 21, 2011, by Collins & Collins, P.C.

False imprisonment is a fourth degree felony. As a felony, it has very serious felony consequences for the defendant. A true case of false imprisonment is a very serious matter deserving of serious treatment by the prosecutor. However, the charge of false imprisonment is often thrown in on the most whimsical evidence. The New Mexico […]

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Defendant‘s Rights to Present Evidence at Grand Jury Extremely Limited

April 19, 2011, by Collins & Collins, P.C.

The New Mexico Court of Appeals has drawn strict parameters around appeals of grand jury indictments. In so doing, it appears that the reach of Jones v. Murdoch has been sharply curtailed. In State v. Yaw, the defendants through their attorneys issued a “Murdoch letter” to the prosecutor requested certain exculpatory information be presented to […]

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DWI Without Driving: Passenger Liability for DWI!

April 5, 2011, by Collins & Collins, P.C.

The Albuquerque Police and the Albuquerque District Attorney are getting more and more creative in their charges of DWI. This is nothing new. In the past, they have charged and convicted individuals for DWI for sleeping off a drunk in their car. They regularly prosecute individuals at breath alcohol levels below, sometimes well below, the […]

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