FAQ about New Mexico DWIs
Below are some of the most frequently asked questions we receive regarding a DUI/DWI arrest:
Am I going to jail?
- If it is your first offense and the DWI is non-aggravated, there is no mandatory jail time. However, second time offenders face at least 4 days of mandatory jail time and a third offense requires 30 days of mandatory jail time. Aggravated DWI carries even more severe penalties.
I just got a Notice of Revocation. What does this mean?
- In New Mexico, a DWI/DUI automatically revokes your driving privileges.
- You have 10 days from the date of your arrest to submit a written request for an MVD hearing. If submitted, you may legally drive during the pendency of your MVD hearing.
- After that, your license is revoked for six months or one year depending on your specific circumstances.
What is the difference between the MVD hearing and my court date?
- Your MVD hearing will determine if your license will be revoked, while your court date will determine if you will be convicted of the DWI. Until the court says so, you are not convicted. It is possible to be found innocent of drunk driving, but still have your license revoked by the MVD. Experienced legal representation is essential.
- Your arresting officer will be asked to show up to both your MVD hearing and your court date; however, sometimes the officers do not show up to the MVD hearing which gives you a better chance of keeping your license.
- At your MVD hearing, a specific Motor Vehicle Department hearing officer will decide the fate of your license. At your court date, however, your criminal defense attorney will defend your case against the prosecution in front of a judge or jury.
I was below the legal limit! Why am I still being charged with DWI?
- In New Mexico, the legal limit is 0.08. Unfortunately, the officer does not need to prove that you were over the legal limit to suggest that you were impaired. If the officer believes that any amount of drugs or alcohol are limiting your ability to drive, they may arrest you and charge you with DWI.
What if I refuse the breathalyzer?
- In New Mexico, if you refuse to take the breathalyzer or a blood test, you will automatically be charged with Aggravated DWI which carries more severe penalties if convicted. You are also looking at a one year driving revocation of you driving privilege.
My vehicle was seized, how do I get it back?
- The City of Albuquerque can seize your vehicle after your DWI arrest. The owner of the vehicle can request a hearing and possibly reclaim their property through the proper channels.
- You or your DWI/DUI lawyer must submit a written request for a Vehicle Seizure Hearing with the City of Albuquerque with a payment of $50. When the hearing occurs, you or your DWI/DUI lawyer can present your case to the Assistant City Attorney so you can get your vehicle back.
What is an ignition interlock? How much does it cost? How long do I have to have it?
- An ignition interlock is an electronic device that measures your BAC level before you are able to start your vehicle. The ignition interlock is a mandatory penalty of anyone convicted of a DWI in New Mexico.
- Installation is usually free, but the cost of the device varies; however, for one year you can expect to pay anywhere from $800 to $900. The device must be calibrated every month to ensure accuracy and must remain in your car for six months up to one year.
What can I do right now?
- The best thing to do immediately after a DUI/DWI arrest is to set up a free consultation with an experienced DUI/DWI lawyer. The Law Office of Mark Keller has been handling drunk driving cases since 1994 and has over 80 years of combined legal experience. We will provide the aggressive legal defense you need to fight your DUI/DWI. We offer free initial consultations and can often sit down with you the same day you call.
Aggressive DWI Defense
If you are arrested for a DUI/DWI, you need aggressive representation from experienced attorneys who will work tirelessly to minimize the damage it may have on your life. Aside from the costly expenses of a drunk driving conviction, your reputation, your family, and your job may be in jeopardy. Our experienced DWI/DUI lawyers can guide you through this stressful process and build a strong defense on your behalf. Contact one of our experienced criminal defense attorneys today to get the legal advice you need.