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A. Intent And Purpose: This section is intended to provide an alternative to the arrest and incarceration of persons committing petty misdemeanor offenses under the laws of New Mexico or the city. This section is deemed necessary to preserve peace and order in the city and protect and promote the property, health and welfare of the city and its inhabitants. (1996 Code § 1.12.010)
B. Conduct Of Arresting Officer; Notices By Citation:
1. Citation Offered: Whenever a person is arrested without a warrant for any violation of city or state law which is punishable as a petty misdemeanor, the arresting officer may offer the arrested person the option of accepting a citation to appear in court in lieu of being retained in custody pending such appearance.
2. Contents Of Citation: A citation issued pursuant to this section shall contain the name and address of the arrested person, the offense charged, and the time and the place for the person to appear in court. Unless the person requests an earlier date, the time specified for appearance shall be at least five (5) days after issuance of the citation. The law enforcement officer shall explain the person's right not to sign the citation, the effect of not signing the citation, the effect of signing the citation, and the effect of failing to appear at the time and place stated on the citation.
3. Signature; Disposition Of Copies: The person's signature on the citation constitutes his written promise to appear at the time and place specified in the citation. A copy of the citation shall be delivered to the person cited, and the person shall then be released from custody. The original of the citation shall be filed with the municipal court as soon as practicable.
4. Effect: A citation issued pursuant to this subsection is a valid complaint, though not verified, in the event the person receiving it voluntarily appears in court. (1996 Code § 1.12.020)
C. Violation; Penalty: Any person's violation of his written promise to appear in court at the time and place specified in the citation shall constitute a petty misdemeanor offense punishable by a fine of not more than five hundred dollars ($500.00), or by imprisonment for not more than ninety (90) days, or by both such fine and imprisonment, regardless of the disposition of the charge for which the citation was issued. (1996 Code § 1.12.030; amd. 2002 Code)
D. Procedure Not Exclusive: This section governs all municipal police officers in making arrests without warrant for petty misdemeanor violations of the laws of New Mexico or the city, but the procedure described in this section is not exclusive of any other method allowed by law for the arrest and prosecution of a person violating these laws. (1996 Code § 1.12.040)