~Misdemeanors are more serious crimes than petty misdemeanors. Battery against a household member such as a spouse or live-in girlfriend or boyfriend is domestic violence and considered more serious than battery against a stranger or acquaintance. Other misdemeanors include shoplifting items with a value over $250 but less than $500, trespassing on private property, or possession of drug paraphernalia (materials for ingesting illegal drugs such as pipes or syringes, or for packaging, growing or manufacturing drugs).
Each misdemeanor crime also may have its own sentencing limits such as 30 days in jail or a fine up to $500. The sentence for a misdemeanor in New Mexico can never be more than one year in jail or a fine up to $1,000, or both.
Under New Mexico law, the judge has discretion to decide what sentence a defendant will receive in a misdemeanor case. Unless the crime carries a mandatory minimum such as 10 days in jail, the judge can sentence the defendant to unsupervised or supervised probation rather than jail. The harshness of a sentence usually depends on factors such as the defendant’s criminal record, the extent of injury or damage caused, and even the defendant’s attitude toward the court and the justice system.