Consequences of Felony Convictions

The consequences of a felony conviction can be severe.  The possible sentences and fines are set forth below.  These are maximum penalties and depending upon your case, the consequences can be much less severe than the maximum sentences set forth below.

The possible sentencing and fines are more serious for more serious crimes.  In addition, there are enhancements or increases in the base sentencing for repeat offenders.  In addition, there are many further consequences not listed here such as limitations on future employment, voting rights, gun ownership rights, student loans and scholarships, and immigration rights to name only a few.

It is important that you understand all the consequences early in the process since these should be considered in the planning of your defense.

31-18-15. Sentencing authority; noncapital felonies; basic sentences and fines   

NMSA 31-18-15 sets out the various sentencing for non-capital felony offenses.  Here is a sampling from the statute.  However, every case is different and it is important to get an individual analysis of your charges and possible consequences.


1.    Standard:    18 years  +  $15,000
2.    Resulting in death of a child:     Life   +  $17,500
3.    Aggravated CSP:    Life   +  $17,500


1.    Standard:    9 years  +   $10,000
2.    Resulting in death:     15 years   +   $12,500
3.    sexual offense against a child:    15 years   +   $12,500


1.    Standard:    3 years    +  $5000
2.    Resulting in Death:    6 years   +   $5000
3.    Sex Offense Against a Child:    6 years   +   $5000


18 months  +    $5000


Sentencing may be enhanced (increased) in case of the existence of a number of factors such as the use of firearms and prior convictions.  Though there are others, these are the 2 most common and serious sentencing enhancements.

31-18-16. Use of firearm; alteration of basic sentence; suspension and deferral limited.

1.    Use of firearm in noncapitaol felony    1 year    shall not be suspended or deferred
2.    Use of firearm in 2d noncapitaol felony    3 years    shall not be suspended or deferred

31-18-17. Habitual offenders; alteration of basic sentence.   

1.    1 prior noncapitaol or drug    1 year    shall not be suspended or deferred, unless the court makes a specific finding that the prior felony conviction and the instant felony conviction are both for nonviolent felony offenses and that justice will not be served by imposing a mandatory sentence of imprisonment and that there are substantial and compelling reasons, stated on the record, for departing from the sentence imposed pursuant to this subsection.
2.    2 prior noncapital or drug    3 years    shall not be suspended or deferred
3.    3 prior noncapital or drug    8 years    shall not be suspended or deferred

Do not wait!

If you have questions concerning felony charges, and their consequences, you should contact an experienced New Mexico criminal defense attorney.

There are many deadlines in felony cases, and an experienced attorney will know how to take advantage of early opportunities to create the best possible legal defense for you.

(505) 242-5958