1). What is the difference between Civil and Criminal Matters?
(A). A Civil case is compensation of a loss. A Criminal case is a violation of a State Statute where as you will be punished for your wrongful acts.
2). Can I report a crime directly to the DA's office?
(A). In general, a citizen should first report the crime to the local police agency which may be the local police department, the county sheriff's office or the New Mexico State Police. These agencies are responsible for making a report of the crime, for investigating developing suspects, and collecting evidence. As a result of their investigations, the police agency will bring the criminal complaint to the DA's Office which allows charges to be filled on an offender.
In many misdemeanor cases, the police agency which brought the charge may prosecute the case, so the DA's Office would not be specifically involved.
If you contact the DA's office you will, in most cases, be referred to the local police agency to report the crime.
3). I am a victim/witness in a case. How will I be informed on the case?
(A). Where there has been a Felony, DWI, and/or Domestic Violence crime committed a Victim Advocate will coordinate with you. The Victim Advocate will call or send a notice to inform you about the case. If you are a victim in these types of crimes there are a variety of community and state resources which could include restitution of funds in some cases; the Victim Advocate will have information available for you. In other cases the DA's office will notify you by subpoena. Victims should always notify the DA's office with a change of address or phone number.
4). I am a Victim in a domestic violence case, can I drop the charges?
(A). A decision to drop the charges can only be made by the prosecutor assigned to the case. Many victims seek to drop the charges after a period of time, only to find themselves victimized again. The prosecutors will make every effort to prevent this further abuse, which may include moving a prosecution forward. The victim's wishes will be considered in that decision.
5). Can I obtain legal advice from the DA's Office?
(A). The DA's staff cannot give out legal advice. They also cannot take legal action in Civil Matters. You must consult a private attorney or Legal Services.
6). How can I contact the DA's office?
(A). The DA's office is opened 8:00am to 5:00pm Monday through Friday. Each county has its’ own phone number and fax. Please call the appropriate county office to make an appointment pertaining to a case if you are a victim or witness. If you are the defendant please contact your lawyer. To get addresses or phone numbers click on the Contact Us.