Sandoval County Criminal Court

Sandoval County Criminal Court handles all criminal cases that are filed in Sandoval County. See below for more information about criminal cases in Sandoval County.

Mandatory Appearances in Sandoval County Criminal Court

At a mandatory or required court appearance in Sandoval County, the defendant must appear before the court. In the event of a “Failure to Appear” the judge may issue a warrant for the arrest of the defendant. Note: not all criminal hearings are mandatory, in a non-mandatory hearing an attorney may appear on your behalf without you being in court.

Who can help me in Sandoval County?

For general information about your case the Sandoval County court clerk will be able to provide legal information about your specific criminal case. Legal information is not legal advice though, the court clerk will only be able to provide information about your case, like date/time of hearings what will occur at the hearing and what you may be required to do in the hearing. They cannot provide advice about what you should do or what the best legal options may be for your particular case. Only an attorney can provide legal advice and this is your best place for information about your specific criminal proceeding. If you cannot afford to hire a private attorney to represent you, a judge will appoint an attorney to represent you, this is most often a public defender.

Sandoval County Criminal Court

Sandoval County Criminal Court

What is the Burden of Proof?

The term “Burden of Proof” means that the prosecutor is required to prove the guilt of the defendant beyond a reasonable doubt. If the prosecutor cannot provide proof of the defendants guilt, then the judge or jury in a trial must find the defendant not guilty. In the United States the principle innocent until proven guilty derives from this that the defendant is assumed innocent and the prosecution has the burden of proving beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant is guilty.

Jury by Trial Right

The US Constitution (Article 3 along with the 6th Amendment) ensures an accused defendant the right to a jury trial. This applies to crimes that have a $500 fine or a potential sentence of six months in jail (aka Serious Crimes). This right to trial by jury can also be waived by a defendant.

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 Sandoval County a public defender will be appointed by the judge if you cannot afford private representation.

Arraignments in Sandoval County

During an arraignment in Sandoval County, a defendant appears before the court and the judge reads the charges that have been filed against the accused and also informs the defendant of his/her rights. During the arraignment in Sandoval County, the defendant can choose to plead one of the following 1) Guilty 2) Not Guilty or 3) No Contest. If the defendant enters a plea of Not Guilty, a date for trial is set. In the event of a Guilty or No Contest Plea in Sandoval County the defendant may be sentenced at that time or the sentencing may take place at a later date.

Where will Sandoval County criminal case hearings take place?

Criminal cases will take place at the criminal courts of Sandoval County. See here for the location of the criminal courts in Sandoval County.

Who is the prosecutor for Sandoval County?

Depending upon the case, the prosecutor for Sandoval County criminal cases will either be a representative of Sandoval County or a representative from New Mexico. After reviewing evidence it is the prosecutor’s decision whether to file charges or drop a case. Most prosecutors have the ability to negotiate plea bargains, and determine how the case will be prosecuted.

Appealing a guilty verdict

A defendant may appeal a guilty verdict to an appellate court. This is not a request to have another trial, but a request for an appellate court to review the case and determine that it was handled in a correct legal manner. There are a number of outcomes in an appeal including an upholding of the conviction, a finding that errors were made resulting in a retrial or resentencing or possibly a complete disimissal of all charges.

Sentencing in Sandoval County

In Sandoval 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.

What is a Plea Agreement?

A plea agreement is a deal made between the prosecution and the defendant in a case, where the defendant agrees to plea guilty to a particular charge in exchange for some concession from the prosecutor. In practice, more than 90% of criminal cases end with a plea agreement.

Jury Deliberation

In a jury trial in Sandoval 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.

Sandoval County Criminal Court Locations

  • Sandoval County 13th Judicial District Court

    Address: 1500 Idalia Road, PO Box 600, Bernalillo, NM 87004
    Phone: 505-867-2376 Fax: 505-867-5161

  • Sandoval County Magistrate Court – Division II

    Address: 6354 Hwy 550, PO Box 1497, Cuba, NM 87013
    Phone: 575-289-3519 Fax: 575-289-3013

  • Sandoval County Magistrate Court – Divisions I & III

    Address: 1000 Montoya Road, Bernalillo, NM 87004
    Phone: 505-867-5202 Fax: 505-867-0970

  • Bernalillo Municipal Court

    Address: 829 Camino de Pueblo, PO Box 638, Bernalillo, NM 87004
    Phone: 505-771-7115 Fax: 505-404-2583

  • Corrales Municipal Court

    Address: 4324 Corrales Road, Corrales, NM 87048
    Phone: 505-897-0502 Fax: 505-897-7217

  • Cuba Municipal Court

    Address: PO Box 426, Cuba, NM 87013
    Phone: 575-289-3563 Fax: 575-289-2358

  • Jemez Springs Municipal Court

    Address: 17691 Highway 4, PO Box 269, Jemez Springs, NM 87025
    Phone: 505-829-3858 Fax: 505-829-9171

  • Rio Rancho Municipal Court

    Address: 500 Quantum Road, PO Box 15190, Rio Rancho, NM 87174
    Phone: 505-891-5999 Fax: 505-891-5990

  • San Ysidro Municipal Court

    Address: 372 State Road 4, PO Box 28, San Ysidro, NM 87053
    Phone: 505-834-7481 Fax: 505-834-7481

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