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Practice Areas

Criminal Defense

Local headlines tell us that dangerous criminals are being set free every day. Television shows spin stories of unfettered crime in Albuquerque. Until you find yourself accused of a crime, it can seem as if criminal defendants in New Mexico have nothing to fear. Unfortunately, that has never been the case. As prosecutors, Mary and Leon worked hundreds of cases from DWI to homicide. We have also defended hundreds of people charged with traffic tickets, murder, and everything in between. We know that, from the inside, the criminal justice system poses a very real threat, one you should not face without experienced and effective advocacy.

Consultation and Referral Service

With fifteen years experience in New Mexico’s legal community, we have learned the tricks to shopping for legal services. When freedom or family are on the line, you may be tempted to commit thousands of dollars to a lawyer based on a gut feeling or a friend’s recommendation. Attorneys, like hospitals, usually have “standard” fees that they are willing to reduce drastically for a shrewd negotiator. The most expensive attorney you can find is rarely the best choice for your case. On the other hand, an attorney who charges you much less than market rate may be doing so because he or she misunderstands the case. Most attorneys offer “free consultations,” which are really sales pitches for that attorney’s services. The client tries to make the case sound easy to win. The attorney tries to make the case sound expensive to win. Instead of teaming up against the government, the attorney and client are adversaries. We suggest a different approach.

For a single fee of $250, we offer a consultation package that can save you thousands of dollars and even spare you jail time. You will receive

This service is only available to clients who have been questioned, held, or charged in connection with a crime in New Mexico.

Reduced Cost Criminal

Quality criminal defense is expensive in New Mexico. Because of our rapidly developing criminal law, our engaged and curious judiciary, our diverse jury pool, and our broad discovery rules, there is simply much more work for an attorney to do on each case than on similar cases in neighboring states. As a result, many working people are priced out of the market for private legal services. While the Law Office of the Public Defender unquestionably provides the most cost effective criminal defense in New Mexico’s courts, those services are not available to everyone who struggles to hire a private attorney. Please contact us about reduced cost criminal defense if

Domestic Relations

When one party accuses another of criminal wrongdoing, divorce and custody proceedings become much more complicated. If those allegations are formalized as criminal charges, many attorneys consider the domestic case hopeless for the accused. We stand by our clients who are strong enough to parent their children even while fighting off accusations by the government. If you believe criminal charges may be a factor in your divorce or custody case, please call us right away.


Mary McCleary has been a researcher and “ghost writer” on appeals since before she began practicing law. Our appellate practice is informed by the knowledge that innocent people have been convicted of serious crimes, even in New Mexico. The only way to prevent that from happening again is to make sure that every defendant’s rights are honored at every stage of every criminal case. If you are considering appealing a court ruling, your trial attorney is your best resource. Many trial attorneys, even those who are usually successful, work with appellate attorneys who share their approach to the law. We have been honored to receive a referrals from excellent trial attorneys in the rare cases where they are not able to secure a victory. If you need a new team on appeal, we would be pleased to review your case and explain your options.