If you are being accused of committing fraud, you deserve to have a legal advocate fighting for you. Oftentimes, people are charged and convicted of crimes because they were not aware of their rights. Due to the severity of penalties that are associated with fraud, you should retain knowledgeable attorneys who will protect your rights and preserve your legal options.
New Mexico Definition of Fraud
According to section 30-16-6 of New Mexico statutes, fraud is deliberately deceiving and manipulating someone in order to take something valuable that belongs to that person. The severity of the fraud charges depends on the value of the items that are misappropriated.
- Petty misdemeanor if the value of the misappropriated property is $250 or less
- Full misdemeanor if the value of the misappropriated property is at least $250 but less than $500
- Fourth-degree felony if the value of the misappropriated property is at least $500 but less than $2,500
- Third-degree felony if the value of the misappropriated property is at least $2,500 but less than $20,000
- Second-degree felony if the value of the misappropriated felony is at least $20,000 or more
Criminal Punishment for Fraud in New Mexico
The punishments for fraud convictions vary depending on the amount of money or property that was obtained while committing the crime. Sentencing for fraud can include:
- A jail sentence of up to 6 months; up to a $500 fine; up to 6 months of probation for a petty misdemeanor
- A jail sentence that doesn’t exceed 1 year; up to a $1,000 fine; and up to 1 year of probation for a full misdemeanor
- Prison sentence that doesn’t exceed 18 months for fourth degree felony
- Prison sentence that doesn’t exceed 3 years for a third degree felony
- Prison sentence that doesn’t exceed 9 years for a second degree felony
Defenses To Fraud Charges in New Mexico
The prosecutors have the burden of proof in fraud cases. These types of cases tend to be difficult to prove since it requires not only showing that the accused intentionally deceived someone but also showing that the victim relied on specific misstatements. We can structure a defensive strategy that shows a lack of intent to manipulate or deceive the victim. Based on the facts, we may also dispute the victim’s actual reliance on the information received. During legal proceedings, we would contest the prosecutor’s ability to sufficiently prove all elements of the fraud charges.