Office Hours: Monday through Friday 7:30 AM to 4:30 PM
Please send all questions or inquiries concerning pending cases to
the Court Administrator, Yvette Padilla.
Frequently Asked Questions
Click on a question below to get your answer.
What are court fees?
Fees that are imposed upon any person convicted of violating a municipal
ordinance(s) as per section 12-12-1.3. Fees in municipal court are $29.00 per
What is an arraignment?
That’s when the defendant appears in front of the Judge to be read charges against him/her and for the defendant to enter a plea of: NOT GUILTY OR GUILTY OR NOLO CONTENDRE.
What does NOLO CONTENDRE mean?
This plea has the same legal effect as a plea of guilty for purposes of the case, but the plea may not be used against the defendant as an admission of guilt in any collateral proceeding such as a civil lawsuit.
When do I appear in court?
The police officer issued a court date and address at the bottom of the citation. Court hours are at 10am and 2pm on the date specified by the officer. Please call our office (505)864.7543 if you need to reschedule a court date.
What happens if I fail to appear in court or don’t pay my fines?
A bench warrant will be issued for your arrest if you have not made arrangements for a new court date or if payments are not received as per your agreement to pay.
What can I do if my driver’s license is suspended?
Contact your local Motor Vehicle Division and request a printout of your driving record and bring your paperwork into court.
How many points is the offense cited worth on my driver’s license?
The State of New Mexico allows 12 points against your driving record per year. You may contact the MVD for a specific violation or log on to their website at NM State Taxation &
If I have a bench warrant will I be arrested when I go to court?
The Judge will make that decision when you go in to court.
If I cannot pay my fines can I do community service?
Yes. The court will determine the amount of time you can work after you’ve come into court.
What is the maximum penalty I can receive in Municipal Court?
The maximum fine is $500. and/or 90 days in jail.
Do I need an attorney?
An attorney who represents a defendant must file a written entry of appearance in the case. Hiring of an attorney is within the rights of the defendant and shall be done so at his/her discretion.
Can I mail in my fine or pay it online?
What if I mailed my money to the Motor Vehicle Division in Santa Fe?
Yes. Our mailing address is : Belen Municipal Court,
525 Becker Ave.,
Belen, NM 87002. Or pay online at:
City Pay USA
Citations due to the Municipal Court must still be paid in our office. Please contact us or your
local MVD to correct this situation.
How do I Clear a Bench Warrant?
If a bench warrant has been issued for you, you have two options to clear it. Pay (post) bond in court office so that you may be released from custody or come into court at the next available court session. However, there is no guarantee that you will not be taken into custody unless a bond amount is agreed upon by you and the presiding Judge.
Cash bond warrants must be paid in full unless other arrangements have been made and agreed upon by you and the presiding Judge.
How do I know if I have a bench warrant for my arrest?
If you think there may be an outstanding bench warrant for you, please contact the Municipal Court at (505)966.2670 M-F 8am -4:30pm. You may obtain information regarding your options and you may possibly clear any active warrant without being arrested.
How much time do I have to pay my ticket?
If you received a citation and you agreed to the penalty assessment amount-you have 30 days to mail that in to the Belen Municipal Court, 525 Becker Ave., Belen, NM 87002 or online www.belen-nm.gov.
Can a friend or relative appear in court for me?
NO. The court does not allow anyone else but legal counsel to represent you in court. You may call in to reschedule if you have an emergency. The Judge may require proof of any hospitalization or doctors visit.
Can I do community service?
You will have to speak to the Judge regarding community service and explain your situation. If approved, you will be given an allotted amount of time to complete your hours of service. The court bailiff will assign you where needed. You will be credited for fines only for all work hours completed at the minimum wage rate.
How can I change my court date?
Changes in court dates must be approved by court staff at least 24 hours in advance (unless this is an emergency). If you have a trial scheduled this will require Judge approval so that we may give everyone a minimum 24 hour notice. Please call 505.966.2670.
What options do I have to resolve a citation?
Municipal Court offers several options for resolving citations. Not all options are available for all citations:
What are courtroom policies and etiquette?
1. Citation may be dismissed upon showing proof that offense has been corrected.
2. Pay a fine
3. Plead Not Guilty and schedule a hearing
4. Plead Guilty or No Contest and speak to a Judge explaining your circumstances.
5. Some citations require a mandatory appearance before the Judge.
1. NO WEAPONS of any kind.
How do I clear up a suspended driver’s license?
2. Turn off cell phones upon entering courtroom.
3. No shorts, halter tops or any type of beach wear.
4. No gum chewing, food or drinks.
5. Talking must be kept to a minimum in the courtroom.
If you received a ticket for a suspended license violation, you must immediately go to the Motor Vehicle Department to inquire about your status. This will be the first step in clearing up your drivers license .
The following are examples of why a driver’s license may be suspended.
• Unpaid child support
• Fail to appear in court
• Fail to pay fines
• Accumulation of points
If you fail to show a cleared license your driving privileges may be suspended for another year and a maximum fine of $500 may be imposed with a mandatory four day jail term to be served. The court will give you the opportunity to clear everything, come back to the court office, and possibly show a reinstated drivers license.