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New Mexico Supreme Court upholds habitual offender ruling

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SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — The New Mexico Supreme Court says defendants must be informed about the possibility of facing additional prison time if their plea agreement involves multiple offenses and they violate probation. The court announced the split ruling Monday in the case of a woman who had prior felony convictions. A lower court judge had warned her during a sentencing hearing that an enhancement for being a habitual offender may apply to all counts if a probation violation occurs. The Supreme Court's majority and dissenting opinions both emphasized the importance and need for clarity in plea agreements.