Is Self-Defense Considered Assault in Albuquerque, New Mexico?
Learn everything you should know about self defense in Albuquerque here
No, using reasonable force to defend yourself and your property against an attacker will not lead to assault charges if certain requirements are met. The state of New Mexico has “Stand Your Ground” laws and allows people to use self-defense to protect themselves and their homes against other people.
However, you cannot always use “self-defense” as your defense to avoid assault charges in Albuquerque, New Mexico. You need a robust defense strategy to protect your rights and freedom.
At the Law Office of Todd J. Bullion, our reputable and results-driven criminal defense attorney can help you prepare a winning strategy for your case. Call (505)452-7674 for a free, no-obligation consultation.
What is New Mexico’s Stand Your Ground Law?
New Mexico’s Stand Your Ground law, which is found in the state’s Uniform Jury Instructions (UJI) 14-5190, allows you to use reasonable force – or excessive force, depending on the circumstances – when threatened with death or serious bodily injury.
Unlike some other states, New Mexico does not require you to prove that you could not have retreated to justify the use of force against another individual. Also, the Stand Your Ground law in New Mexico allows you to defend yourself with any type of weapon.
UJI 14-5190 reads that persons need not retreat when threatened with an attack. A person may stand his ground to defend himself “in the exercise of his right of self-defense.”
What is New Mexico’s Castle Doctrine?
Also, New Mexico has the so-called “Castle Doctrine,” which allows people to use physical force to defend their property. You may lawfully use deadly force under the Castle Doctrine when the following requirements are met:
- The property or item in question is in your lawful possession;
- It appears to you that a violent felony is imminent;
- You use a reasonable amount of force to prevent the commission of the violent felony by the intruder (what counts as reasonable is determined on a case-by-case basis); and
- A reasonable person would have acted the same way as you in the same situation.
It is highly advised to seek legal counsel from a knowledgeable criminal defense lawyer in Albuquerque, New Mexico, to help you prove that the degree of force used in self-defense was reasonable under your particular circumstances.
How to Prove Self-Defense
The following elements must be established in order to claim self-defense to avoid assault or homicide charges under the Stand Your Ground law in New Mexico:
- You had a reasonable belief that there was an imminent threat of death or serious bodily injury. In other words, if you use physical force against a person who did not have a weapon and was not attempting to harm you or your loved ones, the use of physical force may not be justified.
- You used a reasonable degree of force to avoid the imminent threat. In other words, it may not be justified to use a firearm against a person who raises a fist but is clearly unarmed.
- You did not provoke the person to attack you. In other words, if you started the fight or provoked the other person to attack you, you cannot say that you were acting in self-defense.
If you have been charged with assault in Albuquerque and believe that you were acting in self-defense, do not hesitate to contact a skilled criminal defense lawyer to help you establish the above-mentioned elements required for self-defense.
Speak with our Albuquerque criminal defense attorney Todd J. Bullion, the founding attorney at the Law Office of Todd J. Bullion, to determine whether you can avoid assault or homicide charges using the Stand Your Ground or the Castle Doctrine in New Mexico. Call (505)452-7674 or send an email to schedule a free consultation.