House Republicans introduce crime bill to increase sentences for crimes committed while awaiting trial

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State Representatives Greg Nibert (R-Roswell), Bill Rehm (R-Albuquerque) and Rod Montoya (R-Farmington) introduced legislation to enhance sentences for offenders who commit a crime while awaiting trial, serving parole or probation.

House Bill 91 would increase sentences up to an additional five years for defendants convicted of a felony if the person committed the felony while awaiting trial or while serving probation or parole.

The bill would also increase sentences up to an additional six months for those who drive under the influence, as well as those who commit battery or aggravated battery against a household member while pending trial and free from jail or serving probation or parole.

“New Mexicans are fed up with our state’s ‘catch and release’ criminal justice system,” said Nibert, one of the bill’s sponsors. “HB 91 ensures that if a criminal chooses to commit additional crimes while they are free from jail, they will pay a heavier price for their actions.”

House Bill 91 is one of several crime bills House Republicans have introduced for the 30-day session. Other bills would increase the penalties for felons caught carrying firearms, expand New Mexico’s ineffective “three strikes” law, and provide law enforcement officers retention bonuses to continue patrolling New Mexico’s streets.