The Victims of Crime Act provides certain rights to victims of violent crimes. My office is here to help you understand those rights, to keep you informed about your case, and to provide information regarding victim assistance programs available to you. We will provide guidelines for possible financial assistance available for expenses incurred as a result of the crime. We are committed to working with you as your case proceeds through the criminal justice system.
When do the rights of the Victims of Crime Act take effect?
The rights and duties established pursuant to the provisions of the Victims of Crime Act take effect when an individual is formally charged for allegedly committing a criminal offense against a victim. A formal charge is an indictment or Information or the filing of a criminal complaint and delivery of that complaint to the District Attorney's office. These rights and duties remain in effect until the final deposition of the court proceedings. The final deposition includes the sentencing and appeal (if filed). After conviction, victims will be notified of parole board hearings and release dates.
As a victim, when can I exercise my rights?
A victim can exercise their rights if they:
- Report the criminal offense within five days of the occurrence or discovery of the offense, unless reasonable not to do so;
Keep the District Attorney's office informed of your current address and telephone number, even after sentencing; and
Fully cooperate with and fully respond to reasonable requests by law enforcement and the District Attorney.
As a victim, what are my rights?
- To be treated with fairness and respect;
- Timely disposition of the case;
- To be reasonably protected from the accused throughout the criminal justice process;
- Notification of court proceedings;
- To attend any public court proceeding that the accused has the right to attend;
- To confer with the prosecution;
- To make a statement at any sentencing or post-sentencing hearing for the accused;
- To receive restitution from the offender;
- Information about the conviction, sentencing, imprisonment, escape or release of the accused;
- To have the prosecuting attorney notify the victim's employer, if requested, of the necessity of the victim's cooperation and testimony in a court proceeding that may require the absence to the victim form work for a good cause;
- Return of evidence belonging to victim;
- To be informed at a sentencing proceeding that the offender is eligible to earn meritorious deductions from the offender's sentence, and the amounts that may be earned by the offender.
Which violent crimes are listed in the Victims of Crime Act?
Your rights as a victim of a violent crime take effect for the following criminal offenses contained in the criminal code of the State of New Mexico: (Victims' of Crime Act 31-26-1 NMSA 1978)
- Negligent arson resulting in death or bodily injury; (30-17-5 NMSA 1978)
- Aggravated arson; (30-17-6 NMSA 1978)
- Aggravated assault; (30-3-2 NMSA 1978)
- Aggravated battery; (30-3-5 NMSA 1978)
- Dangerous use of explosives; (30-7-5 NMSA 1978)
- Negligent use of deadly weapon; (30-7-4 NMSA 1978)
- Murder; (30-2-1 NMSA 1978)
- Voluntary manslaughter; (30-2-3 NMSA 1978)
- Involuntary manslaughter; (30-2-3 NMSA 1978)
- Kidnapping; (30-4-1 NMSA 1978)
- Criminal Sexual Penetration; (30-9-11 NMSA 1978)
- Criminal sexual contact of a minor; (30-9-13 NMSA 1978)
- Armed Robbery; (30-16-2 NMSA 1978)
- Homicide by vehicle; (66-8-101 NMSA 1978)
- Great bodily injury by vehicle; (66-8-101 NMSA 1978)
- Abandonment or abuse of a child; (30-6-1 NMSA 1978)
- Stalking or aggravated stalking; (30-3A-1 through 30-3A-4 NMSA 1978)
- Aggravated assault against a household member; (30-3-13 NMSA 1978)
- Assault against a household member with intent to commit a violent felony; (30-3-14 NMSA 1978)
- Battery against a household member; (30-3-15 NMSA 1978)
- Aggravated battery against a household member. (30-3-15 NMSA 1978)
Will I be reimbursed for expenses incurred as a result of the crime?
The New Mexico Crime Victims Reparation Commission (CVRC) was established to help with the financial hardships suffered by innocent victims of violent crime. Compensation, of up to $20,000, can be awarded to eligible victims for: medical, hospital, eye and dental expenses; loss of wages; counseling and funeral expenses. A claim must be filed with CVRC within two (2) years of the date of the crime. Contact CVRC at 1 (800) 306-6262 or (505) 841-9432, or call the Victim Assistance Office for further information. Additional information is also available at www.cvrc.state.nm.us.
What are the steps of a criminal case in the judicial system?
The Court makes every effort to complete cases within six (6) months. However, some cases may take longer depending on the type and complexity of the case. Generally, a case contains the following steps:
- Crime is reported to law enforcement;
- Investigation and arrest;
- Criminal complaint filed if probable cause was determined;
- Grand Jury or Preliminary Hearing for felonies; Court sends criminal complaint to District Attorney for misdemeanors;
- Formal pretrial motions and hearings;
- Pre-Trial Conference;
- Plea Agreement or Jury Trial;
- Sentencing Hearing; and
- Appeals (if filed).
Will I receive case and hearing notifications via telephone, text message or email?
What resources are available to view current court cases?
New Mexico Courts' Case Lookup application gives access to New Mexico Supreme Court, Court of Appeals, District Court, Magistrate Court and Municipal Court data.
What resources are available to view offender information?
New Mexico Corrections Department Offender Information is intended to provide law enforcement agencies and the general public with information about offenders who are incarcerated or on probation and/or parole supervision. You must know an offender's first and/or last name or NMCD Number to begin the search process.
Frequently Asked Questions
Speak with a Victim's Advocate
Victim Assistance Program