Felony Defense Attorney in Las Cruces

Representation for Felony Offenses in New Mexico

New Mexico recognizes three classifications of crimes: petty misdemeanors, misdemeanors, and felonies. Felonies are the most serious of the three and are usually punishable by a year or more in state prison upon conviction. 

Even an accusation that you committed a felony offense can deeply impact your entire life. A conviction for a felony offense can result in your rights being taken away, including your right to vote and your right to possess or carry a firearm. That is why it is critical to work with a Las Cruces felony defense attorney. Contact The Aranda Law Firm today at (575) 386-5100 to take immediate steps to protect your rights.

What Are Felony Offenses?

Felonies are generally considered a crime that is punishable by a sentence of death or a year or more in prison. The New Mexico Statutes define which crimes are designated as felonies, and they are broken down into five different categories, with capital felonies being the most serious.

New Mexico recognizes five degrees of felonies under the Criminal Code:

  • Capital felonies
  • First-degree felonies
  • Second-degree felonies
  • Third-degree felonies
  • Fourth-degree felonies


A conviction of any felony offense can carry substantial penalties. All felonies carry with them potential prison sentences, with the lowest level felony beginning with a prison sentence of up to 18 months. The type of offense and specific circumstances of the case will be factors the court considers when considering the actual sentencing if you are convicted of the crime.

What Are the Penalties for Felonies in New Mexico?

While the penalties may vary depending on the circumstances surrounding the case and the criminal history of the defendant, state law lays out the minimum and maximum sentences for each degree of felony.

Penalties for felonies in New Mexico:

  • Capital felonies: A person convicted of a capital felony may be sentenced to life imprisonment or life imprisonment without the possibility of release or parole.

  • First-degree felonies: A person convicted of a first-degree felony may face 18 years in prison or lifetime imprisonment if the crime resulted in the death of a child or the person was convicted of aggravated criminal sexual penetration.

  • Second-degree felonies: A person convicted of a second-degree felony may be sentenced to between 9 and 15 years of imprisonment, depending on the case.

  • Third-degree felonies: A person convicted of a third-degree felony may be imprisoned for three or more years. If they are convicted of a third-degree felony for sexual exploitation of children, they could face 11 years in prison. If they are convicted of a felony resulting in the death of a human being or a sexual offense against a child, they could face six years in prison.

  • Fourth-degree felonies: A person convicted of a fourth-degree felony may face up to 18 months in prison but could face up to ten years if they are convicted of sexual exploitation of children.


In addition to a prison sentence, individuals convicted of a felony offense may be required to a fine maximum between $5,000 and $17,500. Aggravating factors may also enhance a person’s sentence upon conviction. With so much at stake, it is essential to secure legal representation from an experienced Las Cruces felony defense attorney right away.

Will I Go to Jail for a Felony in Las Cruces?

If you are convicted of a felony offense in Las Cruces, NM, you will likely face a state prison sentence. A felony defense attorney can help determine whether you may be eligible for a reduction or dismissal of the charges. It is strongly recommended that you consult with a criminal defense lawyer as early in the process as possible.

How Does a Felony Conviction Affect My Rights?

A felony conviction may deeply affect your rights. You may lose your right to vote and your right to own or possess a firearm. A felony conviction in Las Cruces, New Mexico, may also impact your employment. You could lose your professional license or your right to volunteer with certain organizations.

The consequences of a felony conviction far exceed the basic sentence. Before you enter a plea, you need to be sure that you fully understand what a conviction will do to your record and the other ways it may affect your life.

What Should I Do If I Am Charged with a Felony in Las Cruces?

If you are charged with a felony offense in Las Cruces, you need to speak with a felony defense lawyer. A lawyer can help you understand your rights and will help determine the best course of action moving forward. 

It is essential to know that you will likely need to be present at all court appearances, even if you have retained legal counsel from a Las Cruces defense lawyer. Missing a court appearance could result in a warrant being issued for your arrest. Be sure that you understand all requirements for your case and that you abide by any court orders or any conditions of your release.

An arrest does not mean that you will be convicted of the crime. There are defenses that may arise in your case. It is important to exercise your right to legal counsel so that you have an advocate at every stage of your case. From the initial investigation through to the appeal, if necessary. To schedule a consultation with an experienced felony defense attorney in Las Cruces, contact The Aranda Law Firm online or call  (575) 386-5100.

Felony Concept - Man detained in handcuffs indoors, space for text.