What Are the Penalties for Violent Felonies?
Some crimes carry a mandatory minimum sentence, which means the judge has no discretion in setting the sentencing terms. Otherwise, most judges do have significant discretion in deciding what the appropriate penalty should be in every case.
In New Mexico, if you are convicted of a capital felony, your penalty will likely be life in prison with or without the possibility of parole.
First degree felonies carry penalties of up to $15,000 in fines and mandatory minimum sentences of 18 years in prison. Aggravated rape convictions and first-degree crimes that lead to the death of a child carry a possible life sentence and up to $17,500 in fines.
Second-degree felonies carry penalties of up to $10,000 in fines and up to 9 years in jail. A second-degree crime that causes a death or a sex crime committed against a child carries up to 15 years in jail and up to $12,500 in fines.
Third-degree felonies carry penalties of up to $5,000 and up to 3 years in jail. A third-degree crime that results in death or a sex crime committed against a child carries up to 6 years in jail with a fine up to $5,000.
For those convicted of fourth-degree crimes, they may face up to 18 months in jail and up to $5,000 in fines.
What is a Habitual Offender Enhancement?
In some cases, a habitual offender enhancement may impose additional mandatory prison time in addition to the exposure faced for the felony charge. For example, an individual charged with a third-degree felony, if convicted, is exposed to a sentence of probation up to a maximum of three years in prison followed by a mandatory parole period. However, if that same individual (charged with a third-degree felony) has prior “usable” felony convictions, the individual’s sentencing exposure is significantly increased as follows:
1. No prior felony convictions: Probation up to Three-years prison, followed by a mandatory parole period.
2. One prior felony conviction: Mandatory One year up to four years prison, followed by a mandatory parole period.
3. Two prior felony convictions: Mandatory Four-year prison sentence up to a maximum of seven years prison, followed by a mandatory parole period.
4. Three Prior felony convictions: Mandatory Eight-year prison sentence up to a maximum of eleven years of incarceration, followed by a mandatory parole period.
The attack of any alleged Habitual Offender Enhancement is crucial to the proper assessment of any felony criminal case. You may be able to collaterally attack the validity of an alleged Habitual Offender Enhancement and therefore reduce the potential sentence which a person is facing.
Other sentencing enhancements may also apply, such as a firearm enhancement, aggravating circumstances, three violent felony convictions enhancements, violent sexual offense enhancements as well as other enhancements may also apply. Like Habitual Offender Enhancements, all alleged enhancements should be assessed and attacked, if possible.
What Should I Do?
Defending violent felony charges isn’t easy, and you should not feel like you are doing it alone. You need an experienced criminal defense lawyer on your side as soon as possible. My team and I will aggressively fight for you. From demanding all discovery, conducting a defense investigation, fully assessing your case, preparing a defense, and communicating with you every step of the way we will provide you with experienced, informed, strategic representation.
If you’re facing violent felony charges, contact Marc Grano at Grano Law Office, P.C at (505)-587-8649 or complete the online inquiry form for a free strategy session.