2006 New Mexico Statutes - Section 31-18-15.1 — Alteration of basic sentence; mitigating or aggravating circumstances; procedure.

31-18-15.1. Alteration of basic sentence; mitigating or aggravating circumstances; procedure.

A.     The court shall hold a sentencing hearing to determine if mitigating or aggravating circumstances exist and take whatever evidence or statements it deems will aid it in reaching a decision.  The court may alter the basic sentence as prescribed in Section 31-18-15 NMSA 1978 upon a finding by the judge of any mitigating or aggravating circumstances surrounding the offense or concerning the offender.  If the court determines to alter the basic sentence, it shall issue a brief statement of reasons for the alteration and incorporate that statement in the record of the case.   

B.     The judge shall not consider the use of a firearm or prior felony convictions as aggravating circumstances for the purpose of altering the basic sentence.   

C.     The amount of the alteration of the basic sentence for noncapital felonies shall be determined by the judge. However, in no case shall the alteration exceed one-third of the basic sentence; provided, that when the offender is a serious youthful offender or a youthful offender, the judge may reduce the sentence by more than one-third of the basic sentence.   

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