DWI is taken very seriously in New Mexico. It is important that you know your rights, defenses and possible consequences on the DWI charges against you. It is also important for you understand the DWI process to come.
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Important Deadlines Come Quickly
One of the first things that you should understand is that there are several important deadlines in your DWI case that can significantly impact your rights. These include both administrative deadlines and deadlines in your criminal court case.
The most immediate deadlines that come up are administrative hearing deadlines. Though these do not affect your criminal case, missing one of these deadlines can significantly affect your rights:
- MVD License Revocation — In all cases where a driver’s breath or blood alcohol score is .08 or above, the driver is subject to driver’s license revocation. The driver has a right to a hearing. The Request for MVD hearing must be made within 10 days of arrest.
- Vehicle Seizure — More and more DWI arrests are resulting in vehicle seizure. This is particularly so in Albuquerque where the City has taken a very aggressive stance on DWI and vehicle seizure. In Albuquerque, you have only 10 days from arrest to Request a Vehicle Seizure Hearing.
Criminal Court Deadlines
The next set of deadlines deal with the actual DWI criminal prosecution. These deadlines involve custom and practice, constitutional rights, rules of discovery, rules of evidence and procedural issues. Those deadlines based on constitutional law and procedural rights (which often have their basis in the constitution) provide the greatest protection for the DWI defendant. They also provide the greatest opportunities for defending against the DWI charges. The criminal court deadlines include but are not limited to the following:
- Waiver of Arraignment — You may waiver your right to an arraignment. This means you do not have to go to the arraignment. You must have an attorney to file a Waiver of Arraignment and it should be filed well in advance of the hearing.
- Recusal of the Assigned Judge — You have a right to recuse the first judge assigned to your case. This is referred to as your right to Peremptory Recusal of the Judge. You are allowed only one and it must be exercised within 10 days of arraignment.
- Discovery and Trial Deadlines — These form the most significant basis for pre-trial dismissal of all misdemeanor cases including DWI’s. They have evolved from the rules of discovery, the constitution, the rules of evidence and case-law. They are very important and often offer the greatest opportunity for defense of the DWI charges against you.
Criminal Defense Strategies
The defense of your DWI charges requires significant preparation and knowledge. There are many opportunities for the defense of your charges.
The law on DWI has evolved in some respects very rapidly due to the technology and science of DWI and the many evidentiary and discovery issues that arise out of the science. Like criminal law generally, DWI law and defense has also developed over the years through the constant evolution of case-law and ever evolving application of the United States and New Mexico Constitutions.
All of this comes into play in the defense of your DWI charges. Only through thorough preparation and knowledge of your case will some of these defenses be apparent. When such a defense is available, it is important to recognize it as early as possible.
Take Action Now to Protect Your Rights!
As you can tell from the discussion above, waiting to hire a DWI defense attorney can have serious consequences on your rights to drive, ownership of your vehicle and the criminal defense of your DWI charges.
You should contact an experienced DWI attorney right away. In the event that you cannot afford a private attorney, you should immediately apply with the New Mexico Public Defender where there are many highly qualified and passionate attorneys there to help you.
Collins & Collins, P.C. is Here to Help You
If you do want to hire a private attorney, the Collins & Collins, P.C. is here to help guide you through what can be a long and stressful process. We welcome your calls or online contact. We have also provided a great deal of information on the pages that follow to help educate you on what to expect in the days and months ahead in your DWI case.