Higgins-law > Practice Areas > CYFD Child Protection Violations and Civil Rights

New Mexico Civil Rights, CYFD Rights, and Criminal


A Fierce Civil Rights Protector in New Mexico

Higgins Law handles cases involving CYFD, and Civil rights cases in New Mexico. Let our experience work for you. The office does not take all of the New Mexico CYFD cases or Civil Rights Cases that come through the office door. First and foremost, we will thoroughly examine your case together in order to determine if we are a good fit. After discussing the details of your case,  you should feel confident with our strategy moving forward.

Cases against CYFD also know as New Mexico Children, Youth and Families Department

Our office is probably not for you if your sole issue with CYFD in Albuquerque NM is related to a custody dispute. Higgins Law looks at cases to see if children have been taken out of the home without a meaningful investigation by law enforcement (or CYFD), without parental consent, and/or without a court order.

Remember: Parents have constitutional rights as it pertains to raising their own kids,

“In the area of child abuse, as with the investigation and prosecution of all crimes, state actors are constrained by the substantive and procedural guarantees of the Constitution.” Wallis v. Spencer, 202F.3d 1126, 1130(9th Cir. 2000). Any motive to protect a child from abuse does not override a parent’s constitutional rights. Franzv.Lytle, 997F.2d 784, 793 (10th Cir. 1993)

In the child welfare context,the Constitution protects a parent’s fundamental right to make decisions concerning their child’s care, custody, upbringing, education, management, and control. Troxelv. Granville, 530U.S. 57, 66(2000); Lassiterv. Dep’tof Soc. Services, 452U.S. 18, 38(1981). Thus, familial rights are sheltered against the state’s“unwarranted usurpation, disregard, or disrespect.” M.L.B. v. S.L.J., 519U.S. 102,106(1996).

The Constitution guarantees that parents and children will not be separated without due process of law, except in emergencies. Keatesv. Koile,883F.3d1228, 1236(9thCir. 2018); Demaree v. Pederson, 887 F.3d870, 878(9thCir. 2018); Rogers v. County of San Joaquin, 487 F.3d1288, 1294(9thCir. 2007). In the context of child removals by social services agencies, exigency is narrowly defined. More than“probable cause” is required. Mabe v. San Bernardino County, 237F.3d1101, 1108n.2 (9th Cir.2001). Thus, to establish a constitutional violation, Plaintiff only needs to show an unauthorized seizure under color of law. Demaree, supra, 887F.3dat883(“the government must also show that a warrant could not have been obtained in time”)(emphasis added); Bakerv. Cty. of L.A., 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 190702,*16(C.D. Cal.Sep.27, 2013); see, e.g., Birairv. Kolycheck, 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 150671, *26-27 (D.Ariz. Sep. 5,2018). In turn, Defendant bears the burden to negate this violation by proving an exception, i.e., exigent circumstances. SeeWelsh, supra, 466U.S. at750; Birair, supra, 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 150671, at*26-27; Baker, supra,2013U.S. Dist.LEXIS 190702, at*16

Remember, in order to take your children away CYFD has to demonstrate that the child was in imminent danger. Click here to contact our office if your case meets the above criteria

For direct questions to CYFD in Albuquerque New Mexico contact them for more information https://cyfd.org 

New Mexico Drug Crimes

If you want to effectively defend yourself against a drug offense charge in New Mexico, you would be well served to get a lawyer to help.

Q: What if I have been given a citation for drug possession or simple possession in New Mexico?

A: It is an offense for a person to knowingly possess or casually exchange a controlled substance in New Mexico. Oftentimes, however; if the amount of drugs that you have been alleged to have possessed in New Mexico is of a low amount, you will be issued a citation which will require you to show up and book yourself in New Mexico and get a Court date– usually Metro Court or District Court, depending on the situation. Before you book yourself in, contact John Frank at 505-944-5400 for options before you speak to anyone about your situation.

If you have already been taken to jail, booked, or bonded out in New Mexico, then you should already have some idea as to what you are facing. It is very important that you retain a Tennessee criminal lawyer before speaking to the New Mexico District Attorney’s Office or prosecutor. Anything you say to them directly will be used against you.

If you are charged with a drug offense in New Mexico you could find yourself in a serious predicament. This includes but is not limited to:

  • Distributing a small amount of marijuana (less than a half ounce)
  • Manufacturing a controlled substance, any drugs or narcotics
  • Delivering a controlled substance(including but not limited to Cocaine, Ecstasy, Heroin);
  • Selling a controlled substance or possessing a controlled substance without a prescription in Tennessee (including but not limited to Hydrocodone, OxyContin, Adderall, Xanax etc..)  .

If you are charged with any of these crimes, time is of the essence and you will need to contact a New Mexico Criminal Lawyer immediately Please contact me at 505.944.5400 or email me privately at [email protected]

New Mexico DWI and Drunk Driving

In New Mexico the crime of Driving Under the Influence is very serious. The legal limit is .08 and there is a mandatory jail sentence if you are convicted. If you are faced with a DWI in New Mexico, please contact my office directly for more information. Depending on the circumstances in your case, you may be able to avoid getting a DUI on your record. A DUI conviction cannot be expunged so you will need to try everything in your power fight it and I can help with that.

New Mexico Speeding Ticket and other New Mexico Traffic Violations

Although New Mexico Speeding Tickets aren’t technically considered criminal offenses—they are civil infractions (meaning they are punishable by a fine). New Mexico Statute (Sec. 66-5-30 NMSA 1978) and Rule ( NMAC) authorize the Department to suspend the driver’s license of an individual who has been convicted of violations of the traffic laws with such frequency as to show disrespect for those laws or has been found to be an habitually reckless or negligent driver of a motor vehicle. Don’t let this happen to you!

The following is a brief list of Traffic Violations from the New Mexico Department of Safety and the points that are assessed to your license:

Moving Traffic Violations

Commercial vehicle violation code

Non-commercial vehicle violation code

New Mexico Statute


Speeding 26 mph or more over the posted limit on any traffic way if the limit is 15, 30, or 75 mph.

Speeding 26 mph or more over the posted limit on any traffic way if the limit is other than 15, 30 or 75 mph and the speed was at least 76 mph.

Passing school bus taking on or discharging passengers or displaying warning not to pass;
Reckless driving.

Contest racing on trafficway.

Speeding 16-25 mph over the posted limit on any trafficway if the limit is 15, 30, or 75 mph.
Speeding 16-25 mph over the posted limit on any trafficway if the limit is other than 15, 30, or 75 mph and the speed was at least 76 mph.

Failure to yield right of way to an authorized emergency vehicle.


The following are how points are given in New Mexico:

A) Eight (8) points for violations of the following sections:

S-92 S-92 66-7-301

S-92 S-92 66-7-301

B) Six(6) points for violations of the following sections:

M-75 M-75

M84 M84 S95 S95


66-8-113 66-8-115

C) Five (5) points for violations of the following sections:

S-92 S-92 66-7-301 S-92 S-92 66-7-301

D) Four (4) points for violations of the following sections:

N04 N04 66-7-332

E) Three (3) points for violations of the following sections:

Careless driving.
Failure to obey traffic instructions stated on traffic sign or shown by traffic control device.

Following the vehicle ahead too closely. Failure to yield right of way in manner required.

Vehicle turning left at intersection.
Failure to yield right of way at yield sign after stop or when emerging from private trafficway.

Certain vehicles must stop at railroad grade crossings. Improper backing.
Making improper turn.

Failure to drive on right side of roadway when required Passing vehicles proceeding in opposite directions.

Driving to the left of center of roadway when prohibited.
Passing where prohibited by posted signs, pavement markings, or hill or curve.
Passing with insufficient distance allowed for other vehicles or with inadequate visibility.

Speeding 6 to 15 mph over the posted speed limit on any trafficway if the limit is 15, 30 or 75 mph.

Speeding 6 to 15 MPH over the posted speed limit on any trafficway if the limit is other than 15, 30 or 75 MPH and the speed is at least 76 MPH.

Operating with any defective equipment resulting in inability to control vehicle movement properly.

Operating with defective brakes.
Failure to signal intention to change vehicle direction or to reduce speed suddenly.
Giving wrong signal.
Overloading vehicle with passengers or cargo.
Failure to restrain child passenger properly.
Failure to use seatbelt properly.

F) Two (2) points for violations of the following section

66-3-801 66-3-807 66-3-901 66-7-840 66-7-325

66-7-326 66-7-357 66-7-369 66-7-372 NMAC – POINT SYSTEM – WARNING AT 6 POINTS:

Upon the accumulation by the driver of at least six (6) points, the Department may warn the driver of the possibility of suspension of the driver’s license. NMAC – POINT SYSTEM – SUSPENSION OF DRIVER’S LICENSE AT  7  TO 10 POINTS:

If a driver has been assessed from seven to ten points for violations occurring within a period of one year and the Department receives a recommendation from a municipal or magistrate judge that the driver’s license be suspended for a period not to exceed three months, the Department shall automatically suspend the license for the period recommended by the municipal or magistrate judge up to a period of three months. If the judge does not specify the recommended length of the period of suspension, the Department will presume that the recommendation is for a period of three months. The Department shall notify the driver of the fact of the suspension of the driver’s license and of the beginning and ending dates of the suspension. NMAC – POINT SYSTEM – SUSPENSION AT 12 POINTS:

Upon the assessment of points to a driver which causes the total points accumulated by that driver to equal or exceed twelve points for violations occurring within a period of twelve consecutive months, the Department shall suspend the driver’s license for a period of twelve months. The department shall notify the driver of the fact of the suspension of the driver’s license under NMAC, the beginning date of the suspension and the driver’s right to a hearing under the provisions of Section 66-5-30 NMSA 1978. The driver shall surrender the driver’s license to the Department immediately upon receiving notice of the suspension unless the driver requests a hearing under the provisions of Section 66-5-30(B) NMSA 1978, in which case the license shall be surrendered immediately upon a final decision adverse to the driver. NMAC – REINSTATEMENT OF SUSPENDED LICENSE – CONDITIONS:

The Division shall not reinstate a driver’s license and driving privilege to any person who has had that license and driving privilege suspended under the provisions of NMAC unless the conditions specified in NMAC are met.

1. That person presents proof satisfactory to the Division showing successful completion in a timely manner by that person of an approved driver improvement course. The course must be approved by the Traffic Safety Bureau of the New Mexico Department of Transportation. Completion of the course must have occurred within 90 days immediately preceding the application
for reinstatement.

2. The driver pays a reinstatement fee pursuant to Section 66-5-33.1 NMSA 1978.
3. The driver must also successfully complete any required driver’s examination administered by the Division prior to the reinstatement of the driver’s license.

BEFORE PAYING THE TICKET, remember to check how many points the violation might be worth as this may cause your insurance rates to go up over time which could end up costing a lot more than fighting the ticket. Also make sure that you aren’t charged with the crime of driving on a suspended license, because that could potentially lead to jail time. If you aren’t sure or if would like me to represent you, please contact me directly at 505-944-5400 and email me a copy of your New Mexico Speeding Ticket at [email protected].


    We look forward to helping you with your legal needs