Chaves County Criminal Court hears all criminal cases in Chaves County. Below you will find specific information about criminal cases and how they are handled in Chaves County.
Chaves County Required Court Appearances
In Chaves County, there are both required and non-required court appearances for the defendant. At a required or mandatory appearance hearing, the defendant is required to appear in person before the court. Failing to appear at your required hearing may result in a bench warrant being issued for your arrest by the judge.
Chaves County Criminal Court locations
Criminal proceedings take place in the Chaves County Criminal Courts. A list of the criminal courts are located here.
Appealing a Criminal Conviciton
A defendant may appeal a criminal conviction to an appellate court. In an appeal, the actual trial is not redone, but the appellate court hears arguments that the criminal case was not handled in a legal manner at the original criminal court. The appellate court can either uphold the conviction, or determine that errors were made and may request a retrial, a resentencing of the defendant or that the charges be dismissed.
Burden of Proof
The burden of proof is always on the prosecution in a criminal trial. In other words, the prosecution has to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant committed the crime. The defense must only prove that there is a reasonable possibility that the defendant did NOT commit the crime. If the prosecution cannot prove that the defendant committed the crime beyond a reasonable doubt, the jury will be instructed to find the defendant not-guilty.
What happens in Chaves County at an arraignment?
In Chaves County the defendant is brought into court and informed by the judge of the charges that have been filed against them along with informing them of their rights. At this time, the defendant can plead guilty, not guilty or no contest. If the defendant pleads guilty or no contest, there will be no trial and the defendant may be sentenced immediately or at a later date. If the defendant pleads not guilty a trial date is set.
Right to an attorney
The US Constitution’s Sixth Amendment ensures the right to an attorney regardless of whether or not you can afford one. In Chaves County a public defender will be appointed by the judge if you cannot afford private representation.
Sentencing in Chaves County
In Chaves County if the defendant is found guilty (by trial or plea), the defendant will be sentenced. This sometimes occurrs immediately after being found guilty, but can also take place at a later date. In most instances, a judge will impose the sentence that is requested by the prosecution, but they also have the descretion to impose a different sentence.
A Plea Agreement, sometimes known as a Plea Bargain is an agreement between the prosecution and the defendant, where the defendant pleads guilty or no contest often in exchange for a lesser charge or lighter recommended sentence. A large majority of criminal cases end in a plea agreement. In Chaves County you can inform your attorney to negotiate with the prosecution to attempt to come to a plea agreement, but this is dependent upon the charge severity and also the prosecutors willingness to accept a plea deal.
Chaves County Prosecutor
For criminal cases in Chaves County, the prosecutor will be a representative of Chaves County. The Chaves County prosecutor reviews all evidence and ultimately decides whether to file or dismiss charges in the case. Most of the time, the prosecutor has leeway in plea negotiations and determines how the case will be prosecuted.
I need help for my Chaves County criminal case
The best place to get information about your criminal case is from an attorney. If you cannot afford an attorney, the court will appoint one to represent you which will assist in your case. For general information about your case the Chaves County court clerk is able to provide general information about your specific case (e.g. date/time hearings, mandatory appearance, what will take place and what you will be required to do). The court clerk for Chaves County will NOT be able to provide legal advice for your case, only an attorney can provide legal advice. The court clerk can provide legal information (like the information found on this website) about your case but cannot provide advice about what you should do in your legal manner.
In a jury trial in Chaves County, after both the prosecution and defense have rested, the judge will give instructions to the jury and jury deliberations will begin. The jury will convence in a private room to discuss and deliberate the innocence or guilt of the defendant. Once the jury arrives at a unimanous decision, they will inform the judge that they have reached a decision. They will return to the court and the verdict will be read aloud. If the jury cannot reach a unaminous decision, the jury is said to be deadlocked and a mistrial will be declared in the case.
The Right to Trial by Jury
The Sixth Amendment of the United States Constitution guarantees the right to a trial by a jury. This is applicable for when the crime can carry a sentence of 6 months in jail OR a $500 fine, these are known as “Serious Crimes”. The defendant can also waive their right to a speedy and public trial.
Chaves County Criminal Court Locations
Chaves County 5th Judicial District Court
Address: 400 North Virginia, PO Box 1776, Roswell, NM 88202
Phone: 575-622-2212 Fax: 575-624-9510
Chaves County Magistrate Court
Address: 400 North Virginia, Roswell, NM 88201
Phone: 575-624-6088 Fax: 575-624-6092
Dexter Municipal Court
Address: 115 East 2nd Street, PO Box 627, Dexter, NM 88230
Phone: 575-734-5400 Fax: 575-734-5407
Hagerman Municipal Court
Address: 209 East Argyle Street, PO Box 247, Hagerman, NM 88232
Lake Arthur Municipal Court
Address: 501 North Maine Street, PO Box 54, Lake Arthur, NM 88253
Phone: 575-365-2902 Fax: 575-365-2108
Roswell Municipal Court
Address: 403 North Richardson, PO Box 2124, Roswell, NM 88202
Phone: 575-624-6725 Fax: 575-624-6763