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Albuquerque Criminal Lawyer Blog

“At the Scene” in Domestic Violence Construed Broadly in New Mexico

Under the misdemeanor arrest rule, a police officer cannot arrest someone on a misdemeanor offense without a warrant unless the officer actually witnessed the crime. There is an exception under New Mexico law for the warrantless arrest in domestic violence cases. The domestic violence exception to the misdemeanor arrest rule is intended to protect victims…

Constitutional Amendment for Marijuana Legalization in New Mexico – Good News, Bad News?

The Albuquerque Journal recently reported that State Senator Gerald Ortiz y Pino plans to introduce a constitutional amendment to legalize recreational marijuana in New Mexico. The Senator plans to model the amendment after the recently passed legislation in Colorado. Both the Albuquerque Journal and Albuquerque Business First point out that the amendment will face some…

Limits of Opinion Testimony on DWI Breath Scores

DWI breath alcohol testing involves some fairly complex scientific principles. Because they involve scientific principles, not just anyone can give opinions on their outcome. Opinions on the outcome of the tests are limited to the expert testimony. The New Mexico Court of Appeals case of State v. Armijo addressed this issue in relation to an…

Legal Scope of Search Warrants Somewhat Elusive

The requirement of a valid search warrant prior to the search of individual‘s property is a very important 4th Amendment protection. It is pretty clear that a failure to properly secure a search warrant where one is required constitutes an illegal search and seizure under the 4th Amendment. However, as with most issues of constitutional…

Search Warrants Issued by Phone

The 4th Amendment illegal search and seizure protections are closely guarded in New Mexico. In fact, the New Mexico courts by way of the New Mexico Constitution often extend these protections beyond those found under federal law. The requirement of a validly obtained search warrant is one very important protection against search and seizure. A…

Show of Force and Voluntary Consent to Search and Seizure

The 4th Amendment protections against illegal search and seizure are among the greatest protections afforded to citizens. There are very strict criteria for search and seizure. An illegal search and seizure will result in illegally seized evidence being excluded. This potential is the greatest deterrent to abusive search and seizure practices of law enforcement. In…

English Language is No Prerequisite to Jury Service in New Mexico

The New Mexico Supreme Court case of State v. Samora concerns the rights of non-English-speaking citizens and jury selection. Specifically in this case, the Court had to decide whether the excusal of a Spanish-speaking juror who had difficulty understanding English constituted a fundamental error requiring a new trial. In this case, the defendant was charged…

No Confrontation Rights at Probably Cause Hearing in New Mexico

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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