Albuquerque Domestic Violence Lawyer
Experiencing domestic violence and abuse is one of the worst things a person may have to go through in their lifetime. There is help for you out there. You do not have to endure it a single day longer. You can obtain legal protections and benefit from local resources available. Taking the first steps is never easy, but the safety of your family and yourself are vital.
If you need assistance filing for protective orders, obtaining temporary custody of your children, or working through a divorce agreement that looks out for the future of your family, we are here to help. New Mexico Financial & Family Law can provide your family with the legal representation and assistance you need to change your life for the better. We are available for confidential consultations, with no-obligation to use our services past our initial appointment. Domestic violence is scary, and it is heartbreaking, but there are opportunities available to get you out of the situation. All it takes is asking for help.
Reach out for legal assistance at (505) 503-1637 or by using our website to contact us online.
Domestic Abuse Is All-Too Common in Albuquerque
One of the most unexpected responses to domestic abuse that people experience is shame and embarrassment. They feel as if the abuse they are subject to is somehow their fault or the result of their actions. It can help to recognize that, as a survivor of abuse, you are far from alone.
Statistics from the City of Albuquerque estimate that as many as 1 in 3 women experience domestic violence, as well as 1 in 7 men. During the quarantining phase of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020-2021, Albuquerque police reported an 8% increase in domestic violence calls. In 2021, Albuquerque police reported that 20% of homicides were related to domestic abuse and domestic disputes — that’s one in five! Local organizations reported a 40% rise in calls from domestic violence and sexual assault victims during the holiday season in 2021.
If you have suffered from domestic abuse of any type, whether physical, emotional, financial or otherwise, know that you are not alone. It is not your fault that you have become subject to it. Abusive individuals prey upon anyone they can, regardless of who it is. They use their tactics to inflict feelings of guilt and inadequacy upon those they target.
The only way to improve your situation is to recognize that you and your family are worth protecting. Reach out to the police, local organizations, and domestic violence attorneys in Albuquerque who want to help you.
Resources for Domestic Violence Survivors in Albuquerque
The most important thing for anyone currently suffering from domestic violence or abuse is to move to a safe area, if possible, and to call 911 to report the incident. Filing a police report is the first step towards documenting the crimes committed and taking action to protect yourself.
Speaking to domestic violence lawyers in Albuquerque can allow you to seek legal protection from further abuse. You, your children, and others in your household will receive special designation from law enforcement and the courts, which allows you to seek swift justice for any further actions taken by your abuser.
Know that there are also many available resources for those suffering from domestic violence in Albuquerque and the surrounding areas. Some of them include:
● Albuquerque Family Advocacy Center
○ (505) 243-2333
○ A city-funded office that provides a safe haven for families and confidential counseling
● 2nd Judicial District Court, Office of District Attorney: Victim Impact Program
○ (505) 841-7020
○ Offers support to survivors, including resources for trauma counseling and possible financial reparations up to $20,000
● Adult Protective Services Statewide Intake
○ (505) 476-4912 or 1-866-654-3219
○ Call this agency if you suspect an older adult or an adult individual with disabilities is being abused, exploited, or neglected
● Domestic Violence Resource Center
○ (505) 248-3165, 24/7 call line
○ Locally-based non-profit organization offering counseling, case management, advocacy, and more
● 2nd Judicial District Court, Family Court, Domestic Violence Office
○ 2nd Judicial District Court Domestic Violence Office Website
○ This is the office that handles domestic violence cases for Albuquerque and Bernalillo County, including protective orders
● For more local resources, visit https://www.cabq.gov/help/domestic-violence
How Does an Order of Protection Work in Albuquerque?
The common concept of a “restraining order” is referred to as an “order of protection” in most New Mexico jurisdictions.
An order of protection grants you certain temporary and inalienable rights, as outlined below. What this protection means is that you now have grounds to have your abuser arrested or barred from premises by law enforcement if they fail to uphold the order’s requirements. These protections can give you and your family a much-needed respite and the time and space needed to prepare for the next steps.
Once a court has approved an order of protection, the following measures come into effect:
● The abuser is legally barred from further acts of abuse, including any threats to commit abuse. The protection extends to the petitioner, their family, and members of their household.
● The abuser cannot attempt to contact the petitioner in any way, including sending electronic messages or making deliberate attempts to communicate through indirect means.
● The petitioner may be granted temporary full custody of any children in some instances.
Filing for an Order of Protection in Albuquerque
When a domestic violence-related law enforcement visit is made, the responding officers may automatically request that the criminal court issues an Emergency Protection Order.
Someone currently suffering from abuse and fearing for their own safety can file a request for a Temporary Protection Order (TPO) to be issued by the court. Most TPOs are in effect for ten days or until a hearing can be scheduled to consider the possibility of extending a permanent protection order.
There is no court cost or court fee to request an order for protection. Someone wishing to file one in Albuquerque should report to the Second Judicial District Clerk of the Court Office. The office is open to accept petitions from 9:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m., and from 1:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m., Monday to Friday.
If an Emergency Protection Order is needed outside of the hours of the Clerk’s office, the concerned party can call 911 to report a domestic violence incident and request protective measures.
How Are Orders of Protection Granted and Enforced?
When an order of protection is requested, the petition is submitted to the Domestic Violence Office where a DV commissioner reviews it. The DV commissioner is looking for evidence of the following, based on the Family Violence Protection Act of New Mexico.
● The alleged abuser would be considered a “household member” of the petitioner
● An incident qualifying as abuse occurred within the last 30 days before the petition was filed
“Household member” is a general term that refers to anyone who has a close relationship with the petitioner. That can mean spouses, ex-spouses, co-parents of children in the relationship, parents, step-parents (present and former), in-laws (present and former), children, or anyone else who has had a continuing personal relationship with the victim of the alleged abuse. A “household member” can include any roommates or regular lodgers at the petitioner’s house, as well, but know that a person need not live in the same residence as the petitioner to be considered a “household member.”
The next test is for the CV commissioner to determine whether there is clear and sufficient cause to believe that an act of domestic abuse occurred within 30 days of the submission of the petition.
“Domestic abuse” can refer to any of the following incidents perpetuated by one household member against another, as defined by §40-13-2 (2) of the New Mexico Family Violence Protection Act.
1. physical harm;
2. severe emotional distress;
3. bodily injury or assault;
4. a threat causing imminent fear of bodily injury by any household member;
5. criminal trespass;
6. criminal damage to property;
7. repeatedly driving by a residence or workplace;
8. telephone harassment;
10. harassment; or
11. harm or threatened harm to children as set forth above.
If no such incident occurred, or the DV commissioner cannot determine if one occurred based on a lack of apparent evidence, they may decline to issue a TPO.
In cases where it is unclear whether a TPO may be an appropriate measure, the Court may serve notice to parties involved and schedule a hearing within seventy-two hours of the filing of the petition to gain more understanding and better assess what the best next steps would be.
What Happens When an Order of Protection Goes Through?
When an order of protection is granted by the Court, the petitioner is expected to take the corresponding paperwork to the Room 150 of the Bernalillo County Sheriff’s Office, located at 400 Roma Ave NW in downtown Albuquerque.
The sheriff’s office will typically serve notice of the TPO to the named Respondent, aka the person who allegedly committed the abuse. If an officer cannot do so, the information on the TPO can be served by any individual over the age of 18 who is not the petitioner. Should a person serving the notice not be a law enforcement officer, they must sign and file an “Affidavit of Service,” which should be notarized. The Affidavit of Service form is available at the Domestic Violence Office in the Second Judicial District Courthouse.
Get Help Protecting Yourself From Domestic Violence
New Mexico Financial & Family Law has decades of experience assisting families in crisis. We can help you seek a protective order and other court-backed sanctions to provide your family with the security and peace of mind you deserve. We can also assist with divorce cases and proposals for child custody agreements or modifications to protect you and your family members from your abuser.
If you are ready to take the steps needed to feel safe once more, we are here waiting to help. Call our offices at (505) 503-1637 or contact us online, and we will provide you with any and all assistance we can.