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Sentencing - Third Degree Felony

Tutorial on the crimes of stalking and harassment for New Mexico judges

Third Degree Felony Aggravated Stalking

Pursuant to §31-18-15 and §30-3A-3.1(C), the possible statutory sentence for third degree felony aggravated stalking, meaning a second or subsequent conviction for such an offense, is as follows:

  • 3 years imprisonment, §31-18-15(A)(9);
  • In addition to the imposition of the basic sentence of imprisonment, the court may impose a fine not to exceed $5,000 dollars, §31-18-15(E)(9); and
  • In addition to any punishment imposed, the court must order the defendant to participate in and complete a program of professional counseling at his or her own expense.

In the judgment and sentence ordering imprisonment in a correctional facility, the court must include a period of parole to be served in accordance with §31-21-10, following completion of any actual time in prison. Included with that parole time must be authority to require, as a condition of parole, payment by defendant of the costs of parole services and reimbursement to a law enforcement agency or local crime stoppers program. §31-18-15(C).

The court has the authority to suspend or defer the basic sentence of imprisonment for third degree felony aggravated stalking under §31-18-15(D). If that is done, a period of parole must still be served by defendant in accordance with §31-21-10, for the offense. Under §31-21-10(C), the period of parole for a third degree felony is 2 years, and that must be served under the guidance and supervision of the state's parole board.

As required under §31-18-15(F), and as provided for under §33-2-34(L)(4)(o), if the nature of the stalking offense and the resulting harm are such that the judge determines the crime to be a "serious violent offense," the judge should affirmatively state that when imposing the sentence. The designation of third degree felony aggravated stalking as a "serious violent offense" affects the ability of the defendant to earn meritorious deductions from the sentence imposed. See §33-2-34.

Finally, under §31-18-15(F), the judge is to affirmatively advise defendant that his or her sentence of imprisonment for third degree felony aggravated stalking is subject to the the statutory provisions dealing with state correctional facilities, specifically §§33-2-34, 33-2-36, 33-2-37 and 33-2-38.