Duran & McDonald is a law firm experienced in the criminal defense process in Bernalillo and Valencia Counties. Coupled with our knowledge of the complicated criminal statutes in New Mexico, you can be assured that you will be receiving proven legal services during this difficult time.
Have you been arrested for Driving While Intoxicated (“DWI“) in New Mexico? If so, are you aware that you have rights? There are numerous steps that the State of New Mexico must take in order to prove you are guilty. Remember, at this point you are not guilty, you are only charged with a crime.
Being arrested for drunk driving is a serious offense that can have different consequences for each individual depending upon the particulars of the case. It is imperative that anyone facing such a charge understand what challenges they will encounter. Seeking the legal advice of a competent and experienced attorney will help you understand all of your rights and options.
For example, common questions that can arise and are important to understand and be handled with care and concern are:
How much does it cost to talk to an attorney? - The Law Office of Duran and McDonald will meet with you and advise you of your rights free of charge in either of our offices or, if you are unable to come to our office, we will come to you!
How long do I have after my arrest to take the first step in defending myself? - The DWI defense process can be complex. Many steps are required and many deadlines must be met in order to preserve your defenses. These deadlines usually commence at the time of your arraignment or the filing of your waiver of arraignment. These deadlines vary slightly depending upon the court you are in. The most important deadlines deal with discovery which is provided by the prosecutor to your attorney. Discovery is basically the proof that the District Attorney has in its file to try to prove that you are guilty. In addition to requiring the District Attorney to provide any documents, tests, recordings, admissions, and other evidence that the State intends to use against you at trial, the State must also make available any witnesses that it intends to call to testify against you which would include the officers involved in your arrest, and any other witnesses to the DWI.
What is the difference between my MVD case and my criminal case? - When you have been arrested for DWI you face both an administrative revocation of your license (through MVD), and a criminal prosecution, which may also result in the revocation of your driver's license. The two cases are entirely separate, which means you can lose your license through MVD even if you are found innocent in your criminal case.
What are the penalties for DWI? - For a first offense for DWI, it is possible to receive up to 90 days in jail, up to a $500 fine, or both, and additional expenses for court costs. You also may be ordered to attend a first offender program, also called DWI School, and alcohol screening with counseling; do community service; attend the victim impact panel; and serve probation resulting in additional fees. If this first offense is an aggravated DWI, a minimum of 48 hours in jail is mandatory in addition to the other penalties. A second offense may be punishable with three to 364 days in jail and a mandatory fine of $500 to $1000. It also requires additional charges through fees, probation, community service and a one-year license revocation. An aggravated second offense requires at least seven days in jail. A third offense is even more severe, and a fourth offense or more are felonies, punishable with time in prison. In a felony conviction, you may also lose your citizenship rights such as voting, bearing arms and other civil rights.
Can I still drive? - If you timely requested an MVD Revocation hearing, you can drive until a decision is made by the MVD hearing officer at your MVD hearing, assuming your license was valid at the time of arrest.
How likely is my case to get dismissed? - There is never a guarantee that your case will be dismissed, however the process is set up to ensure that your rights are protected at every step in the process. The State is charging you with a crime and it is therefore their burden to prove that you committed the crime. Having an experienced and aggressive attorney helps to ensure that you are doing everything you can at every stage of the proceedings to force the State to prove their case!
How much is an attorney going to cost me? - The cost of hiring an attorney will depend on the nature of the charges you are facing. Our firm will typically work on either a flat fee basis, with an advance deposit of attorney fees and cost. A flat fee is a fee of a set amount based on the type of the case. With a flat fee, the charge to you will never change regardless of how long the case takes to resolve.
These and many other questions are vital for you to understand prior to defending yourself against the charge of DWI. If you have been charged with a DWI, don‘t wait. Contact Duran & McDonald for a free confidential appointment to discuss your rights. Our firm understands that times are tough and often made tougher by a DWI charge. As such, we are always willing to work with clients to accommodate their individual situations. Please feel free to call our office at any time at (505) 924-2121 [Albuquerque] or (505) 864-2121 [Valencia County] to speak with an attorney regarding your legal rights. Appointments are available in either of our Albuquerque or Valencia County locations.
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