Kidnapping and assault: charges and defenses
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Kidnapping and assault: charges and defenses

On Behalf of | Jan 10, 2024 | Criminal Law

Facing kidnapping and assault charges in New Mexico can be scary. These charges are serious business, and it is crucial to understand the elements of each crime and to know your rights and defenses.

Remember that the law considers you innocent unless proven guilty, so if you get arrested for kidnapping or assault charges in New Mexico, or any criminal charges for that matter, make sure you refrain from speaking with law enforcement and request to speak with an attorney right away.

Kidnapping in New Mexico

Kidnapping involves taking someone against their will. In New Mexico, there are different degrees of kidnapping, and the severity of charges depends on factors like intent and harm caused.

Defenses for kidnapping

If the state charges you with kidnapping, there are several legal ways to defend yourself. Partnering with an attorney who understands how these charges and potential defenses work is critical, especially when dealing with serious charges.

  • Lack of intent: If there is no evidence that you intended to kidnap someone, it can be a powerful defense. Maybe it was a misunderstanding or a situation beyond your control.
  • Consent: If the person who accused you of kidnapping agreed to go with you willingly, that can be an effective defense against the crime of kidnapping. After all, it is not kidnapping if they consent to going with you. Yet, the line between consensual and non-consensual can be tricky, which is why it is critical to consult with an attorney.

Assault in New Mexico

Assault charges in New Mexico can vary but involve intentionally causing fear of harm or causing physical harm to someone.

Defenses for assault

  • Self-defense: If you acted to protect yourself or someone from imminent harm, you might use this as a defense to your causing fear of harm or using force and causing harm. The key to a successful self-defense claim, besides a properly crafted legal strategy, is showing that your actions were reasonable given the circumstances you were in.
  • Lack of intent: As with kidnapping, lack of intent can be a defense for assault if you did not mean to hurt someone or place them in fear of harm.
  • Consent: If the person involved agreed to the physical contact, it may serve as a successful defense. It may be tricky to prove, however, so just like with kidnapping, it is critical to craft a legal strategy that presents your case as the facts occurred.

Facing these charges is serious business. While these defenses can be effective, they do not automatically get you off the hook, even if you have a strong case. It is important to know the legal process, what to do, and how to go about doing it, which is why having strong, competent counsel is imperative.