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Pretrial FAQs

Here are some Pretrial Frequently Asked Questions

What is Second Judicial District Court Pretrial Services?

Pretrial Services is a program operating within the Second Judicial District Court though its Judicial Supervision and Diversion Programs (JSDP) division. The program provides supervision of and basic supports to individuals with felony criminal charges who are ordered to the program by a Judge. The purpose of the program is to help the defendant meet the obligations of his/her/their conditions of release – the most important of those being to help the individual appear at all future court hearings and to minimize the chances that the individual picks up new criminal charges. Pretrial Services works with individuals over the course of the pretrial phase, or the period of time between being arrested and charged until the case is adjudicated, meaning parties reach a plea, the case is dismissed, or the case goes to trial and the individual is found guilty or innocent. Click here for more information about District Court Pretrial Services.

What are Specialty Court or Diversion Program and do I qualify for one of them?

Currently there are 3 Specialty Court programs within the JSDP Division: 1) Young Adult Court; 2) Mental Health Court; and 3) The Felony Repeat Offender DWI Court. Each specialty court program is designed to address the risks and needs of target individuals facing felony criminal charges. They are sometimes referred to as “diversion programs” because individuals who successfully complete the terms and conditions of a Specialty Court can oftentimes avoid a felony conviction and possible incarceration or prolonged probation. Specialty Courts usually involve a team of treatment practitioners, case managers, attorneys and judges who are committed to helping individuals succeed and come out of the process healthier and more confident, capable and accountable.

Each program has eligibility requirements for participation. If you are interested, talk to your attorney or a JSDP Team Member. Click here for more information about JSDP Specialty/Diversion Courts.

I or a loved one just got arrested – what happens next?

If you or someone you know have been arrested with felony criminal charges in the Second Judicial District (Albuquerque – Bernalillo County), there will be a hearing in-person or remotely with a judge within 72 hours. This event is called a Felony First Appearance Hearing. At this hearing, probable cause will be determined and it will be decided if a) you remain in custody until a preventive detention hearing is set or b) you may be released until an arraignment at District Court. If released, you may be ordered to pretrial supervision or released on recognizance (ROR) (without supervision). As part of any release after being held in custody, you will make a promise with the court that you will show up for all of your court appearances and not pick up any new criminal charges.

How do I know if there is a warrant for my arrest?

Look yourself up on NM Courts Case Lookup. If you were assigned to Pretrial Supervision and think there may be a warrant out for your arrest, contact your assigned officer or call the JSDP main line at (505) 841-5479

How do I check time/date of a court hearing?

Visit the Daily Court Calendars page and click on the Criminal Court Calendar link for upcoming district court hearings.

Where are Pretrial Services and Specialty Court located?

Click here to find the JSDP Office.

What are the JSDP office hours and how do I contact the office?

Click here for JSDP Office hours and contact information.

Does Pretrial Services or Specialty Courts charge defendants monetary fees or fines?

No. JSDP programs and services do not require fees or charge fines.

What happens if I don’t comply with Pretrial Services or follow the release conditions set by the Judge?

You must follow all of the conditions of release ordered by the Judge. If you violate those conditions, the Court and Judge will be notified and the Judge could change your conditions, or revoke those conditions and incarcerate you until your case is resolved. You must show up for all of your court dates. Failure to appear at a scheduled hearing may result in a bench warrant being issued for your arrest and you could receive a new charge simply for failing to appear.

What if I miss a court date?

If you do not report for a court date, a bench warrant may be issued for your arrest and you could receive a new charge simply for failing to appear. If you do miss a court appearance, contact your lawyer and call your Pretrial Services Officer (505-841-5479) as soon as possible to try to resolve the bench warrant.

If your attorney is public defender, click here if you need to reach them.

What if I think my drug/alcohol test will be positive? Should I still check in?

Yes. Maintaining your scheduled check-ins with Pretrial Services is most important. Individuals who may be struggling with addiction and substance abuse still need to maintain communication with Pretrial Services and show up to scheduled court hearings. When you maintain your check-in schedule and communicate with Pretrial Services, in many cases, we will try to work with you regarding the occasional substance use mishap.

If you are struggling with substance abuse or addiction, JSDP encourages you to seek help. Staff members are trained to help connect you to low or no-cost resources such as treatment programs, counseling and other supports. For more information about substance abuse & addiction treatment resources for you or your family, you can start by visiting the Community Services and Resources page.

I was ordered to Random Drug Testing. What number do I call to see if I need to take a drug test?

If your pretrial release conditions include submitting to random drug testing, you must call the UA Testing line every day (including weekends and holidays). The phone number is (505) 515-0062.

What is GPS monitoring?

Global Positioning System (GPS) monitoring is a network of satellites and computers that signal a receiver device to determine a highly-accurate location. A GPS device is a tennis ball-sized bracelet that is attached to the ankle using a tamper-resistant strap. The device records movements, charging status and tampering. Information about the device and its location is uploaded into a computer application and is monitored by trained staff 24/7/365.

What happens if I tamper with, remove or fail to charge my GPS ankle bracelet?

While the ankle bracelet devices are difficult to remove, nothing physically prevents a defendant from tampering with or removing a GPS ankle bracelet. The device will immediately notify GPS monitoring staff of any tampering or charging problems. The monitoring staff investigates all suspected tampers and other alerts and reports activity to the Court. For willful and severe violations, Pretrial Services may issue a warrant for violating GPS conditions.

What are the rules for coming to Judicial Supervision & Diversion Programs (JSDP) offices for intake or in-person office visits?

We encourage our clients to feel welcome visiting and making a connection with our office and having regular check-ins with JSDP Team Members. We just ask that you follow a few simple rules:

  1. Please, our services are only for individuals assigned to our program. Please do not bring family members or friends with you for intake or appointments or to wait with you in the lobby (we may make exceptions for some individuals under certain circumstances)
  2. Please, no children are allowed to accompany clients or be in JSDP offices or lobby area
  3. Please, no animals are allowed, unless they are certified service animals
  4. Basic dress code for lobby and offices:
      • No hats, sunglasses or hoods
      • No revealing clothing, clothing with inappropriate pictures/words or gang-affiliated attire, including but not limited to caps, jerseys, sportswear or bandanas
      • Appropriate undergarments must be worn

Will the Court know how I’m doing under supervision?

Yes. JSDP Pretrial Services Officers will update the Court on an individual’s progress or noncompliance as the case moves through the pretrial period. JSDP follows an individual’s case from beginning to end. When an individual is willfully not complying with their conditions or even having some difficulties with some of the requirements, JSDP will send notification to court and parties to reconsider the conditions and possibly set a new course of action for the defendant.

Generally, when an individual is maintaining good communication and fulfilling the conditions of release for a sustained period of time, JSDP will make a recommendation to the Court to reduce an individual’s reporting requirements or supervision level – this is referred to as a “Step Down.”

What will I be doing under pretrial supervision?

That will depend. Once you have come in for your initial intake, you will be placed on a supervision level. The level will determine how and how often you will need to keep contact with your assigned Pretrial Services Officer. In addition, the Court’s conditions ordered by the Judge determine the requirements you are expected to meet and any limitations you will need to obey. For instance, many individuals may be required to submit to random drug testing, which requires individuals to call the Drug Testing Hotline on a daily basis. Learn Tips for how to be successful on Pretrial Services.

I need help finding or getting connected to medical or mental health services or treatment for myself or my family.

You should always feel comfortable asking a JSDP Team Member for help. We are trained to help connect you to low or no-cost resources and other supports or help you connect with care coordinators or case managers in the community. For more information about resources for you or your family, you can start at the Community Services and Resources page.

I am homeless or am struggling to find a safe place to live. Where can I get help?

You should always feel comfortable asking a JSDP Team Member for help. We are trained to help connect you to low or no-cost resources and other supports or help you connect with care coordinators or case managers in the community. For more information about resources for you or your family, you can start at the Community Services and Resources page.