New Mexico Domestic Violence Laws

Violent acts committed between family or household members pose a unique threat to society. To deter these violent acts, states implement domestic violence laws. In New Mexico, domestic violence is criminalized in the Crimes Against Household Members Act. This act makes it illegal to commit an assault or battery against a household member. "Household members" in New Mexico don't need to cohabitate together, but they do need to have one of the following relationships:

  • Spouse or former spouse
  • Parent
  • Present or former stepparent
  • Present or former parent in-law
  • Grandparent
  • Grandparent-in-law
  • Co-parent of a child or a person with whom a person has a dating or intimate relationship

The following charts provide a brief overview of New Mexico's domestic violence laws.

Code Section

New Mexico Code section 30-3-12: Assault Against a Household Member

What's Prohibited?

  • An attempt to commit a battery against a household member, or
  • Any unlawful act, threat, or menacing conduct that causes a household member to reasonably believe that he is in danger of receiving an immediate battery

Definition of Battery

Battery is the unlawful, intentional touching or application of force to the person of another, when done in a rude, insolent or angry manner.

Penalties

Petty misdemeanor.

Aggravated Assault

 

If any of the following aggravating circumstances are present then the penalty for the domestic violence will be increased:
  • Unlawfully assaulting or striking at a household member with a deadly weapon, or
  • Willfully and intentionally assaulting a household member with the intent to commit a violent felony

Code Section

New Mexico Code section 30-3-15: Battery Against a Household Member

What's Prohibited?

The unlawful, intentional touching or application of force to the person of a household member, when done in a rude, insolent, or angry manner.

Penalties

Misdemeanor.

Offenders are required to complete a domestic violence offender treatment or intervention program.

Protective Orders

Domestic violence survivors can help deter future abuse by filing for a protective order. A protective order (also referred to as a restraining order) can't stop stalking or abuse, but does allow the victim to have the abuser arrested if the order is violated. Protective orders in New Mexico can include any of the following:

  • Grant the protected party possession of the shared residence for a temporary period
  • Award temporary custody of children involved to the protected party
  • Order the restrained party not to contact the protected party
  • Restrain a party from disposing of the protected party's property
  • Order the restrained party to reimburse the protected party for expenses reasonably related to the domestic abuse
  • Order the restrained party to participate in counseling, and/or
  • Order other injunctive relief as the court deems necessary

Additional Resources

State laws change frequently. For case specific information regarding New Mexico's domestic violence laws contact a local criminal defense lawyer.

If you or someone you know has been the victim of domestic violence there is help available to you. During an emergency call 911 and when you're safe contact the New Mexico Coalition Against Domestic Violence.

Next Steps: Search for a Local Attorney

Contact a qualified attorney.