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Ask Legalease Your Own Question
Legalease, Lawyer
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 16362
Experience:  13 years experience in criminal law, BA in criminal justice
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What is the penalties for a first offense for domestic

Resolved Question:

what is the penalties for a first offense for domestic violence? same question again if the witness does not appear?
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Criminal Law
Expert:  Legalease replied 5 years ago.

Hello there

Can you tell me how severe the domestic violence is in this matter?


Customer: replied 5 years ago.
black eye
Expert:  Legalease replied 5 years ago.

Hello again.

While it will certainly help your case and increase the chances of the dismisal if the complaining witnes is unwilling to pursue the charges against you, the prosecutor can still suboeana the complaining witness to court and hold them responsible for testifying against you or the witness can be jailed and/or fined for contempt of court. So, while you would be off the hook, the complaining witness could be sent to jail or fined for refusing to testify in this matter. This is all within the prosecutors discretion so there is no way I can really predictr what will happen here, except that there is no harm in having the complaining witness speak with the prosecutor about their reluctance to testify and there is always then the chance that the prosecutor might not pursue the case against you .

As far as the charges go, rdomestic violence charges in NM can be charged as either a felony or a misdemeanor depending upon the severity of the damages -- but typically a first offense will result in a misdemeanor charge against the offender and If the offender has no prior offenses, he or she may be sentenced to an Early Intervention Program, which includes anger management, domestic violence counseling, drug and alcohol counseling or parenting classes. If the offender completes such a program, the prosecution may drop the misdemeanor charges completely.

I hope that this information helps. GOOD LUCK


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Legalease and 2 other Criminal Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 5 years ago.

I guess basically what we need to know is

1) will any charges be brought up against the witness if she can not be located.

2)if the witness is located and appears will any jail time awarded against the person accused.

3)if the witness is not located will any jail time be used against the person accused.

Expert:  Legalease replied 5 years ago.

Hello again

I apologize for the delay -- I went to bed early last night. I am going to answer your questions as you presented them -- my answers are in bold:

1) will any charges be brought up against the witness if she can not be located.

Possibly. In most instances the prosecutor will not bother if the witness fails to show but they can bring charges and have a warrant issued for her if they wish to do so (it really depends how badly they want to see you convicted).

2)if the witness is located and appears will any jail time awarded against the person accused. If this is a first offense, the person accused will most likely not face any jail time. On subsequent domestic violence charges is when the prosecutor may request jail time.

3)if the witness is not located will any jail time be used against the person accused

Again, it is possible if the prosecution has pictures of the witness with the black eye and decides that they want to continue pressing charges against you -- in such a scenario, you or your lawyer must insist that the charges be dismissed because a picture cannot testify -- as far as you are concerned she could have walked into a door and gotten the black eye.


Customer: replied 5 years ago.
what if the witness is not located and can not be found in order to serve. what would happen to the witmess. The witness does not want to testify. In either case with or without the witness would jail time be administered for the person accused of the domestic charge.
Expert:  Legalease replied 5 years ago.

Hello again

I cannot tell you these things with 100% certainty because a lot depends upon how far the prosecutor wants to push the matter. If the witness does not appear and the prosecutor cannot reach her by telephone, email or any other means and then she simply does not show up, then the matter could be continued a few times until the prosecutor finally decides to give up trying to find her and will permit the case to be dismissed against the defendant (I had a case where the prosecutor continued the matter 6 times over 2 years and kept insisting to the court that he would get in touch with the witness and she would testify -- then every time the prosecutor started looking for her again, she had to make herself scarce so that he could not find her -- finally after two years the prosecutor dropped the charges!).

As far as the person charged goes, again this depends on whether or not the prosecutor wants to continue to pursue the matter against the defendant -- as I said earlier, if it is a first offense and the defendant is found guilty there will be no jail time. After the first offense, the prosecutor might seek jail time depending upon how many prior charges there have been -- and whether all of the charges have been with the same woman -- but you usually have to have a few of these charges before the prosecution will seek jail time.