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Albuquerque Criminal Defense Attorney Cynthia Payne

Time Limits In a Criminal Case

What You Need to Know About Time Limits

In New Mexico, for pending felony cases, the clock starts ticking on the date of your arraignment. After that date, the court will look at various factors to determine how long the prosecution has to bring your case to trial. Essentially, you have the right to a speedy trial, but what is considered “speedy” depends on things like the complexity of your case, the number of charges, and the number of witnesses in your case. The nine-month mark will typically implicate your speedy trial rights and may create a presumption that you have become prejudiced by the delay in prosecuting your case.

Time limits for cases that have not yet been filed are governed by the statute of limitations.

Statutes of Limitation

The State has certain time limits, called Statutes of Limitations, that must be adhered to when prosecuting certain crimes. Below is a list of certain categories of felony crimes and their Statutes of Limitations:

A. for a second-degree felony, within six years from the time the crime was committed;

B. for a third or fourth-degree felony, within five years from the time the crime was committed;

C. for a misdemeanor, within two years from the time the crime was committed;

D. for a petty misdemeanor, within one year from the time the crime was committed;

E. for any crime against or violation of the revenue laws of this state of Section 51-1-38 NMSA 1978, within three years from the time the crime was committed;

F. for any crime not contained in the Criminal Code [30-1-1 NMSA 1978], or where a limitation is not otherwise provided for, within three years from the time the crime was committed; and

G. for a capital felony or a first-degree violent felony, no limitation period shall exist and prosecution for these crimes may commence at any time after the occurrence of the crime.

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