Drug Offenses

New Mexico Drug Laws

In truth, state officials in New Mexico understand the high economic and social costs of locking away citizens dealing with a drug problem. But defendants who face drug charges without an aggressive Albuquerque defense attorney could find themselves facing a long stretch behind bars.

In 2010, lawmakers and Gov. Bill Richardson began the task of reforming some of New Mexico drug laws, proposing treatment in some drug cases instead of jail time.

Lawmakers debating reform estimated some 82 percent of the 6,000 inmates in New Mexico’s prison system need substance abuse treatment. A committee established to study the issue found 1 in 25 African American men 20-34 years old and one in 90 adult Hispanic men are currently incarcerated.

The rate of New Mexico women in jail has skyrocketed 700 percent in the last 25 years; one-third are incarcerated on drug charges, according to state estimates.

Each year, the state spends $22 million to incarcerate non-violent drug offenders ($33,000 per female inmate and $28,000 per male inmate). An offender can undergo inpatient substance abuse treatment for about $6,500 and outpatient treatment for less than $2,000.

Albuquerque Defense Lawyer/Drug Charges

New Mexico drug charges are serious criminal charges that require an aggressive defense, which can include challenging evidence seized as the result of a search warrant, negotiating a lesser charge with prosecutors or building a case for trial.

An experienced Albuquerque drug lawyer can often negotiate with prosecutors to win drug treatment options, drug courts or pre-prosecution programs for non-violent drug offenders in New Mexico who might otherwise face lengthy prison stays.

Glenn Smith Valdez is a veteran lawyer who vigorously defends the rights of clients facing New Mexico drug charges.

Perhaps nowhere else in the country is America’s so-called “War on Drugs” played out than in Albuquerque, where major trafficking routes have been established for decades.

In 2009, Mexico lawmakers decriminalized small amounts of narcotics, including marijuana, cocaine, heroin, ecstasy and crystal meth. Here in New Mexico, however, getting arrested for drug possession or distribution still carries the threat of serious prison time for many offenses.

Millions of dollars are spent each year on the “War on Drugs,” leading to the arrest and incarceration of tens of thousands of people on charges in connection with the possession, use or distribution of illegal narcotics.

Growing opposition, including the Drug Policy Alliance Network -- a national organization dedicated to alternatives to the drug war based on science, health, human rights and compassion -- contends the national obsession over illegal narcotics has eroded constitutional rights, including the right to be free from unreasonable search and seizure, the right to free speech, and the rights to privacy, freedom to travel and equal protection under the law.

Albuquerque Criminal Defense Lawyer Glenn Smith Valdez is an aggressive and experienced defense attorney who vigorously defends clients facing a variety of New Mexico drug charges, including:

  • Drug possession
  • Possession with intent to distribute
  • Possession with intent to sell
  • Drug transportation
  • Drug manufacturing
  • Drug cultivation
  • Drug smuggling
  • Blind mules (unwitting transport)

Being convicted of a New Mexico drug offense can have long-term consequences and can impact a defendant’s ability to obtain employment or receive many types of federal financial aid. Even misdemeanor New Mexico drug charges, including drug possession, are very serious because of the long reaching effects.

Albuquerque Criminal Defense Attorney Glenn Smith Valdez understands the stress drug charges can bring to defendants and their families. And he knows being thrust into a legal system without an advocate can have serious consequences.

If you or a loved one is facing New Mexico drug charges in Albuquerque or the surrounding area, including Valencia County, Cibola County, Socorro County and Sandoval County, contact Glenn Smith Valdez today for a free and confidential appointment to discuss your rights.

Call (505) 877-8800
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