Know the Law Before the Law Knows You


Dealing with Domestic Violence

What is domestic abuse?

Domestic abuse is any incident by a household member against another household member resulting in:

  • Physical harm;
  • severe emotional distress;
  • bodily injury or assault;
  • a threat causing imminent fear of bodily injury by any household member;
  • criminal trespass;
  • criminal damage to property;
  • repeatedly driving by a residence or work place;
  • telephone harassment;
  • stalking;
  • harassment; or,
  • harm or threatened harm to children.
What is meant by a "household member?"

"Household member" means a spouse; former spouse; family member, including a relative, parent, present or former stepparent, present or former in-law, child or co-parent of a child; or a person with whom the petitioner has had a continuing personal relationship.

What are co-parents?

Co-parents are persons who have a child in common, regardless of whether they have been married or have lived together at any time.

What is an “order of protection?”

An "order of protection" is a court order granted for the protection of the victim of domestic abuse. The court shall describe the acts the court has ordered the restrained party (person doing the abuse) to do or refrain from doing as part of the order of protection. The court may:

  • require the restrained party to move out of the family residence;
  • order that the restrained party shall not initiate contact with the petitioner (person being abused);
  • if children are involved, the court may award temporary custody of any children and provide for visitation and child support; or
  • court may order professional counseling of the restrained party.
How long does an order of protection last?

The order of protection will last for a fixed period of time not to exceed 6 months.

Where can I go to get an order of protection?

If you are a victim of domestic violence, you can petition the court for an order of protection. For more information contact:

  • Law Access New Mexico
    1-800-376-9625 Statewide – (505) 998-4529 Albuquerque
  • New Mexico Coalition Against Domestic Violence
    1-877-974-3400 Statewide – (505) 246-9240 Albuquerque
What happens to me if I disobey an order of protection?

A police officer can arrest you as the restrained party without a warrant if the policeman has probable cause to believe you as the restrained party have violated the order. In addition to charging the person with violating the order of protection, a police officer shall file all other possible criminal charges arising from an incident of domestic abuse when probable cause exists. A restrained party convicted of violating an order of protection under the Family Violence Protection Act is guilty of a misdemeanor and shall be sentenced in accordance with Section 31-19-1 NMSA 1978.


NOTE: THIS INFORMATION IS BASED ON NEW MEXICO LAW AND IS ISSUED TO INFORM AND NOT TO ADVISE.
This is GENERAL and BASIC information only. Laws are constantly changing. Exceptions and special circumstances exist. You should seek legal advice from an attorney to your choice who can take into account all the factors relevant to your particular situation.