Frequently Asked Questions
The Bernalillo County District Attorney’s Office has a variety of resources to help support you throughout the legal process. Click on this link to see a comprehensive listing of our services and resources.
You do not need to have an open case to receive services from the Victim Resource Center. However, you do need to have an open case to have access to a Victim Advocate. Please call our office to be connected with a victim advocate at 505-222-1099
To find the status of your case visit: https://caselookup.nmcourts.gov/caselookup
If you were not assigned a District Attorney case number and have already filed a police report, please call our office at 505-222-1099 and we will help direct you.
No, you cannot drop charges. When a criminal complaint is filed, the charges in the police report become the state’s case. The prosecutor assigned to the case will decide whether or not to go forward with the case. However, you will be contacted by our office and you may express your wishes at that time. Please inform your victim advocate if you change your telephone number, residential address or e-mail address so we can keep you informed of the progression of the case. If you need more information about this, please call 505-222-1099.
Domestic Violence Orders of Protection and Civil Restraining Orders are civil matters filed in District Court.
A Domestic Violence Order of Protection is a civil order that may be issued when a person files against a household member for acts or threatened acts of abuse. A household member does not have to be living in the same home but does include the following people: Parent, child, spouse or former spouse, current or former girlfriend or boyfriend, grandparent or grandchild. These orders may also be issued following a sexual assault or stalking incident when the respondent is not a household member.
We are not able to assist in filling out or filing these orders. Click here to learn more about filing a Temporary Order of Protection. Additionally, there are many Domestic Violence resource agencies that may be able to help with filing, check out our service guide for more information.
You may request a Civil Harassment Restraining Order against people who are not close to you. Petitions for a restraining order are filed in Civil Court if a domestic relationship does not exist between the victim and abuser such as roommates, neighbors, co-workers, or non-immediate family members. This type of order is not for people who have dated or who are closely related.
To apply for a civil restraining order through the court go here: https://seconddistrictcourt.nmcourts.gov/application-for-civil-restraining-order.aspx
You do not need to hire an attorney to criminally prosecute the defendant. In criminal cases, the prosecutor is a public attorney from our office who represents the State of New Mexico. The defendant may have an attorney appointed or retained.
You have the right to hire an attorney to represent your interests. However, the Victim Services Division is committed to assisting crime victims, and most victims opt to utilize the services of a Victim Advocate to obtain information about the progress of the criminal case and their rights as victims. Victim Advocates are not attorneys, but are knowledgeable professionals who are available to assist crime victims with various needs and concerns pertaining to the prosecution of a criminal case.
If you are a victim of a crime, you are entitled to one free copy of each police report for which you are listed as a victim. You can obtain a police report from the law enforcement agency that took the report or investigated the crime. Police reports are considered Public Records, although some information, such as addresses or phone numbers, may be redacted from the report. Depending on the age of the report or the status of an investigation, all or part of the report may not be available. To request a copy of a report, you must be able to give an approximate date and location, the name of the involved person(s), and/or the type of incident reported.
For cases that were reported to the Albuquerque Police Department (APD), visit the APD website here.
For cases that were reported to the Bernalillo County Sheriff’s Department (BSCD), visit the BCSD website here.
If you have not been given a case number, please call our front desk at (505) 222-1099.
First, you must follow up on the police report, which must be filed prior to case initiation. Ask the law enforcement agency if the case will be submitted to our office or if it will be officer-prosecuted.
If it is being submitted to our office, we will generate a case number for you once we have received the report from law enforcement. Please wait for our office to contact you.
If you are a victim or a witness and the defendant in your case is charged with a felony or misdemeanor, you can call (505) 222-1099. You will need to know the defendant’s name, the court case number, and, if possible, the date of the next hearing. The prosecutors are often in court all day, so please be prepared to leave a message giving a phone number where you can be reached both before and after 5 p.m.
The case initiation process varies by type of case and whether or not the defendant was arrested.
Click this link to see an interactive graphic explaining the stages of a case as it progresses through the criminal justice system.
If you are identified as the victim in a case, you have a right, upon request, to notifications of upcoming court dates. If you are not receiving notification and you would like to exercise your right to notice, contact our office’s Victim Services Division: Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. at (505) 222-1099. You may ask to speak with a Victim Advocate.
If you are already signed up for notification and have moved, please call to provide up-to-date contact information so you can stay informed. Crime victims’ addresses and telephone numbers are kept confidential.
If you are listed as a victim of a felony case that occurred in Bernalillo County, and the defendant is an adult, you can search the Second Judicial District Court Calendar here.
If you are listed as the victim of a misdemeanor offense that occurred in Bernalillo County, and the defendant is an adult, you can search for case information here.
FINDING THE STATUS OF YOUR CASE
To find the status of your case through the NM courts system you can either use the case number or the defendant’s name, date of birth, and social security number.
Court case search: https://caselookup.nmcourts.gov/caselookup
First, follow the instructions on the portal to get to the information entry page.
Then, you can either search by defendant name (please note: if you are a victim of a crime, you cannot search for that case using your own name), or by case number (Metropolitan Court number or District Court number).
A Metro case number might look like this: T-4-FR-2014000002 and a District case number might look like this: D-202-CR-200600001.
Victims are entitled to be informed of and present at court proceedings related to the case in which they are identified as the victim. Unless the victim receives a subpoena which requires attendance at a hearing or trial, he or she is not required to attend.
Call your advocate and he/she will instruct you who you can speak with about the information. Advocates cannot accept any type of evidence from you.
When registered with http://www.vinelink.com you will be notified when the defendant is going to be released and it will also give you information on the location to where the Defendant is housed at. (Our office DOES NOT notify victims when the Defendant is released from jail. This is the jail’s responsibility.)
A misdemeanor is a crime punishable by a fine and no more than 364 days in jail. A felony is a crime punishable by a prison sentence in the State Department of Corrections.
- Full misdemeanor: Maximum of 364 days in jail, $1,000 fine, 364 days probation.
- Petty misdemeanor: Maximum of 6 months in jail, $500 fine, 6 months probation.
- 2nd degree felony offense: Basic sentence of 9 years and a fine of up to $10,000.
- 3rd degree felony offense: Basic sentence of 3 years and a fine of up to $5,000.
- 4th degree felony offense: Basic sentence of 18 months and a fine of up to $5,000.
The Victim Impact Program can issue housing letters to victims of domestic violence that meet certain criteria, If you answer yes to ALL of the questions below, you MAY qualify for a housing letter. Please call Christina Young at (505) 222-1204 to discuss this matter.
Housing Letter Criteria
A. You must be named as the victim in a domestic violence case that is currently pending in our office.
B. You must have a restraining order against the defendant in the pending case and provide a copy.
C. You must currently be living in a shelter as a result of the incident and provide a letter from the shelter verifying your residence with them.
D. You must be willing to cooperate in the prosecution of the case. (If you miss any required hearings or stop being cooperative in the case your housing will be taken from you.)
E. You must have children, be over the age of 50, or have a disability. (You have to provide a letter from a Doctor/Therapist to verify your disability to Housing) (REQUIRED)
The no-contact order can only be lifted by the Judge. We cannot give you any legal advice.
If it’s an emergency, call 911. If not, The Bernalillo County District Attorney’s Office receives cases through law enforcement agencies. If the incident occurred in the city, call the Albuquerque Police Department at (505) 242-COPS or (505) 242-2677. If the incident occurred in Bernalillo County, call the Sheriff’s Office at (505) 798-7000.
(855) 333-7233 or access the New Mexico Children, Youth and Families here.
If you have incurred medical expenses or suffered a monetary loss because of a crime committed against you, the judge may order restitution in the amount of your loss if the defendant was found guilty.
If the defendant does not pay the amount of restitution ordered, you may notify the judge or the prosecutor or file a restitution lien against the defendant’s property.
The State of New Mexico has a Crime Victim Compensation Program that offers financial help to victims of crime. Claims are awarded by a local Crime Victim Compensation Board. An innocent victim or a secondary victim (a person who is affected by the crime) may apply for help with out-of-pocket costs in the county in which the crime took place. Funds to pay these claims come from fees and fines paid by convicted defendants.
This fund of last resort can cover: medical or dental expenses, mental health counseling, funeral and burial costs, crime scene cleanup, and lost wages.
A Crime Victim Compensation Board determines awards through an application process. The Crime Victim Compensation Board does not compensate for loss of property or property damage. There are conditions that must be met to be eligible for compensation, and eligibility does not guarantee an award. To obtain an application or receive more information about Crime Victim Compensation in Bernalillo County, call (505) 841-9432 or click here.