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What Happens If I Am Charged With DWI In New Mexico?

DWI is a serious crime in New Mexico that can impact your freedom, your ability to work and drive a car. It is important to understand what is at stake in a DWI case and to retain experienced counsel to defend you in each step of the DWI process.

Driver’s License In New Mexico

Your right to drive a car is impacted immediately after you are arrested for DWI.  As part of the booking process police officers will issue a notice of license revocation. While this notice does not affect your criminal case you will have your driving privileges terminated in New Mexico unless you request an MVD hearing within 10 days of your arrest. Hearing request forms are available at

You have the right to legal representation for this license revocation hearing and you can and should retain counsel for this hearing.

Criminal DWI Cases In New Mexico:

The actual DWI criminal prosecution typically takes place in Metropolitan or Magistrate court as most DWI offenses are misdemeanor level offenses. In cases where the government alleges a driver causes another person to suffer death or serious injury the government can and will bring felony level charges in District Court. 4th or subsequent DWI cases are also treated as felony level cases.

The deadlines for the government to initiate criminal proceedings against you and other important deadlines such as how long the government has to take a case to trial or dismiss the case and turn over evidence is based on constitutional law and the severity of the crime charged.

Typically the government will have more time to build a case against someone when the charges are at the felony level.  At the misdemeanor level the government must comply with the 6 month rule – meaning they must turn over all the evidence against you, comply with all applicable discovery deadlines,  and take a case to trial within 6 months of your arraignment date.

Defending against the DWI Charge In New Mexico:

Successful defense of your DWI charges requires counsel to rely on their skills and experience in defending DWI cases to critically assess the government’s evidence and investigate what defense strategies are available in your specific situation.  Identifying the strongest defense in your case hinges on matching the facts in your case to potential procedural and evidentiary challenges that can be made based on New Mexico DWI law.

DWI law tends to evolve rapidly compared to other fields given the widespread use of scientific evidence as well as the exacting standards of professional competence for police officers who investigate DWI cases. The best practices for police officers in DWI cases are so exacting that most police agencies in New Mexico maintain specialized DWI units staffed with police officers who do nothing but DWI cases. It is important to retain counsel who has the knowledge and experience to actually spot when officers deviate from their training and best practices because the police officer will not freely admit that they made a mistake in your case.  

Attorney Todd J. Bullion is ready to help.

As a former prosecutor who handled hundreds of DWI cases I have the knowledge and experience to defend your rights, perform a thorough investigation of your case, and aggressively defend you each and every step of the way. Please email me at or call 505-494-4656 for a free consultation.

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