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Lelia Lorraine Hood

Lelia Hood’s Answers

3 total

  • Once a judge sets bail, can the amount be negotiated?

    This involves a criminal case -- accused is charged with misdemeanor. Accused is also charged with a felony in a separate but related case. Is a regular citizen allowed to talk with a judge and argue for reducing the bail? If bail is posted b...

    Lelia’s Answer

    The New Mexico Constitution Art. 2, § 13. Bail; excessive fines; cruel and unusual punishment requires that bail be set in almost all cases:

    All persons shall, before conviction be bailable by sufficient sureties, except for capital offenses when the proof is evident or the presumption great and in situations in which bail is specifically prohibited by this section. Excessive bailshall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishment inflicted.

    Bail may be denied by the district court for a period of sixty days after the incarceration of the defendant by an order entered within seven days after the incarceration, in the following instances:

    A. the defendant is accused of a felony and has previously been convicted of two or more felonies, within the state, which felonies did not arise from the same transaction or a common transaction with the case at bar;

    B. the defendant is accused of a felony involving the use of a deadly weapon and has a prior felony conviction, within the state. The period for incarceration without bail may be extended by any period of time by which trial is delayed by a motion for a continuance made by or on behalf of the defendant. An appeal from an order denying bail shall be given preference over all other matters.

    Bail (also known as conditions of release can be reviewed by requesting a hearing after 24 hours of custody. A Petition to the District Court can also be made to contest the magistrates decision if you are charged with a felony. Read on...
    NMRA 6-401(F) Review of Conditions of Release. A person for whom conditions of release are imposed or bail is set by the magistrate court and who after twenty-four (24) hours from the time of transfer to a detention facility continues to be detained as a result of his inability to meet the conditions of release or bail set, shall, upon application, be entitled to have a hearing to review the conditions imposed or amount of bail set. Unless the release order is amended and the person is thereupon released, the court shall state in the record the reasons for continuing the amount of bail set. A person who is ordered released on a condition which requires that he return to custody after specified hours, upon application, shall be entitled to have a hearing to review the conditions imposed. Unless the requirement is removed and the person is thereupon released on another condition, the court shall state in the record the reason for the continuation of the requirement. A hearing to review conditions of release pursuant to this paragraph shall be held by the court imposing the conditions.

    NMRA 6-401(I) Petition to District Court. A person charged with an offense which is not within magistrate court trial jurisdiction and who has not been bound over to the district court may file a petition at any time after his arrest with the clerk of the district court for release pursuant to this rule. Jurisdiction of the magistrate court to release the accused shall be terminated upon the filing of a petition for release in the district court. Upon the filing of the petition, the district court may proceed in accordance with Rule 5-401 NMRA of the Rules of Criminal Procedure for the District Courts. Any bail set or condition of release imposed by the magistrate court shall continue in effect pending determination of conditions of release by the district court. If, after forty-eight (48) hours from the time the petition is filed, the district court has not taken any action on the petition, the court shall be deemed, at that time, to have continued any bail set or condition of release imposed by the magistrate court.

    A person may represent themselves in court. It is called appearing pro se but in my opinion you should always have an attorney represent you in a criminal case.

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  • Will a public defender really be of any help to me?

    If I was to get arrested and go to jail. I have no money for a lawyer so if I use a public defender would they really be just as much help as any other lawyer? Would they really fight for me in court?

    Lelia’s Answer

    Public defenders are specialists in criminal law. There are many myths about the quality of their work. These myths are absolutely untrue. Public defenders fight hard for their clients and you are just as likely to get a bad apple in the private pool of attorneys. There are bad apples in every profession, teachers, doctors, and lawyers. Fortunately, bad apples are not the norm -- people just talk about them more than the really good lawyers fighting day in and day out for equal justice under the law. Public defenders have the advantage of having tried many cases to a jury and are also usually trial specialists. They appear in court everyday and are passionate about helping people in trouble. Lawyers working at public defender's offices have graduated from accredited law schools and are fully licensed to practice law. In addition to being fully licensed attorneys, the lawyers at public defender's offices usually undergo extensive special training and like other attorneys are required to attend annual continuing legal educational training.

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  • Help

    My boyfriend was picked up at work from ice we're are not to sure why he took a plea agressment and has now been on pro for about 6months. we thought it was all over and done with but now all this is heppenng. Thier telling him because his is gonn...

    Lelia’s Answer

    The first thing your boyfriend could do is contact the New Mexico Public Defender Department or the Federal Public Defender's Offices if the case is in Federal Court. The State Public Defender's Office's telephone number is 505 841-5100. The Federal Defenders website is Your boyfriend may be eligible for legal help if his income level meets their guidelines. If not, then he should seek out the advice of a private criminal law attorney with immigration law experience and knowledge. In my general opinion, a person charged with a crime should always get the help of an attorney in every criminal case -- this is true even if the person wants to plead guilty or enter into a plea agreement. Pleading guilty to any crime can have devastating and irreversible effects on a person's right to stay in the U.S. and can result in deportation.

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