Key Facts About Facing Domestic Violence Charges In Arkansas
Domestic violence cases are never straightforward. If you have been charged with domestic battering, there is much more to your situation than meets the eye, and you need to be aware of what is fact and what is common misconception. When you sit down with Rhoads & Armstrong for your initial consultation, we will explain everything you need to know about your case, including:
- Your charges will not be dropped just because the alleged victim recants, changes their story, or simply doesn’t want you prosecuted. Contrary to popular belief, if your alleged victim recants or changes his or her story, or if they simply don’t want you punished or prosecuted for the alleged crime, the prosecution can still pursue its case against you.
- You can lose your gun rights for a domestic violence conviction. Under federal law, you can lose your right to carry a firearm – potentially, for the rest of your life – if you get convicted of domestic battering.
- You may have several defenses available. Regardless of the circumstances at hand, you may have several defenses available. From false accusations to police misconduct, we will explore all possible grounds to have your charges reduced or your case dismissed.
Criminal Defense Attorney For Domestic Violence Cases In Northwest Arkansas
Facing domestic violence charges in Arkansas is an extremely serious matter. With more than a decade of legal experience, Rhoads & Armstrong provides aggressive representation for individuals accused of domestic violence in Bentonville, AR, Rogers, AR, Fayetteville, AR, Springdale, AR, and all of Benton County and Washington County.
If you are facing domestic charges in Arkansas, the first step toward protecting yourself is understanding what is at risk. At a minimum, you are facing up to a year in jail. For a first-degree offense, you could be looking at as many as 30 years behind bars. Prosecutors in Arkansas vigorously pursue charges of domestic violence, and individuals who fail to seek experienced legal representation can easily find themselves facing severe criminal penalties with lifelong consequences.
The attorneys at Rhoads & Armstrong in Bentonville, AR, is are honest and aggressive trial lawyers who bring more than 10 years experience to the table. We regularly represent clients charged with serious criminal offenses, and we rely on their extensive criminal law background to develop sound strategies for protecting their clients’ rights. If you have been charged with domestic violence, you will need an experienced and committed attorney like the ones at Rhoads & Armstrong on your side for the best possible defense.
What Should You Know About Battery In 1st 2nd And 3rd Degree In Arkansas
Home»What Should You Know About Battery in 1st, 2nd, and 3rd Degree in Arkansas?
Battery is the act of harmful touching or intentionally offensive contact with another person without their consent. The battery does not require any intent to harm the victim, but the intention to contact or cause contact. Battery charges are changed to assault if they are seen as reckless and negligent.
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Arkansas Domestic Violence Laws
Domestic violence laws in Arkansas prohibit people from physicallyinjuring family members and household members. Arkansas also makes itillegal to engage in conduct that creates a substantial danger of deathor serious injury to a family or household member. Punishment fordomestic violence crimes range from misdemeanor penalties to lengthyfelony prison sentences.
Mental State: Defendant’s Level Of Culpability
Generally, the law imposes harsher penalties when a defendant acts with intent or purpose to cause harm rather than out of recklessness or negligence. When deciding a defendant’s mental state, a jury can look at the facts and circumstances of the crime and use common sense based on their life experiences.
Purposely. A person acts purposely when they consciously intend to engage in the conduct they are doing or cause a certain result. For example, if a defendant intentionally chokes another person, they have purposefully impeded the victim’s respiration.
Knowingly. People act knowingly when they’re aware their conduct will almost certainly cause a particular result. A jury found that a parent acted knowingly when he shook his two-month-old baby, causing permanent brain damage.
Recklessly. A person acts recklessly when they consciously disregard a substantial and unjustifiable risk. For example, a pet owner acted recklessly in allowing his dogs to run loose and seriously injure a passerby when the owner knew the dogs had previously attacked without provocation.
Negligently. A person acts negligently when they should be aware of a substantial and unjustifiable risk that their conduct will cause a particular result. A jury could find negligence where an individual decides to drive having gone without sleep for 48 hours and crashes into a tree, severely injuring a passenger.
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Arkansas Domestic Battering In The Second
Second-degree domestic battering is a Class C felony, punishable by a maximum prison sentence of ten years. Under Arkansas law, when the defendant knew that the victim was pregnant or had a previous domestic battering conviction within the past five years, he or she will face a Class B felony charge. Second-degree domestic battering occurs when the defendant commits any of the following acts against a household or family member:
- Causes serious physical injury with the intent to cause such an injury
- Inflicts a physical injury by use of a deadly weapon with the intent to cause such an injury
- Recklessly causes serious physical injury by use of a deadly weapon
- Knowingly causes physical injury to a family or household member younger than 12 or older than sixty
Arkansas Law Severely Punishes Those Convicted Of Third Degree Domestic Battery
In Arkansas, domestic battery offenses are charged in degrees, with first degree battery being the most serious and a third degree charge being the least. This means that domestic battery in the third degree is the minimum charge one may face if accused of purposely or recklessly causing physical harm to a family or household member. Even a seemingly minor push or shove during an altercation may be charged as a low level offence. One may also face charges if they negligently cause physical injury in connection with a deadly weapon or cause mental or physical impairment through the administration of drugs. At a minimum, a third degree charge is considered a Class A misdemeanor, Arkansas most serious misdemeanor, which is punishable by up to one year in jail and up to a $2,500 fine. The charge may be elevated to a Class D felony, however, if the victim was pregnant or if the accused has previously committed a domestic violence offense. Class D felonies carry penalties of up to six years in jail and up to $10,000 in fines. Additional aggravating factors may result in second degree or first degree domestic battery charges being considered a Class Y felony, punishable by ten to forty years behind bars.
I discuss the potential penalties of this offense, and other issues, in this video:
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Battery In The Second Degree: Crime And Penalties
A misdemeanor battery bumps up to a felony battery in the second degree when the act involves an increased level of harm or risk of harm or the defendant targets a vulnerable victim. For instance:
- An offender who purposely causes serious physical injury commits second-degree battery.
- The same increased penalty applies when serious physical injuries result due to an offender’s recklessness in harming a child four years of age or younger or by using a deadly weapon or driving intoxicated.
- A defendant can also face second-degree battery charges when causing physical injuries and acting purposely with a deadly weapon or knowingly targeting a vulnerable victim, such as a law enforcement officer, firefighter, teacher, elderly adult , child , state employee, health care professional, or incompetent individual.
Prosecutors can charge second-degree battery as a Class C or D felony, depending on the circumstances of the offense. An offender guilty of this crime faces up to 10 years in prison for a Class C felony and 6 years in prison for a Class D felony, as well as a $10,000 fine.
Enhanced Penalties For Battery
Arkansas imposes enhanced penalties that either tack on additional incarceration time or impose mandatory penalties under the following circumstances.
Law enforcement. Offenders who purposely commit battery against an individual because they are a law enforcement officer face an additional six months to two years of incarceration.
First responder. A person commits third-degree battery by knowingly causing physical contact with a first responder by spitting, throwing, or transferring bodily substances on the first responder. No injury is required. This Class A misdemeanor has a mandatory fine of $2,500 and requires a minimum of 30 days in jail and up to a year in jail.
Child present. A person who commits battery in the presence of a child may be subject to an additional term of imprisonment of 1 to 10 years.
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Small Sample Of Some Of Our Assault/battery Case Results
- DISMISSED: Domestic Battery 3rd Degree
- DISMISSED: Battery in the 3rd Degree
- DISMISSED: Domestic Battery
- DISMISSED: Assault in the 3rd Degree
- DISMISSED: Aggravated Assault
- NOT GUILTY: Domestic Assault
- KEPT OFF RECORD: Battery in the 3rd Degree
Check out more Assault or Battery results below or by clicking here.
WE WANT TO HELP YOU! Call today to discuss your case with our experienced Northwest Arkansas assault& battery attorneys. Request a free office visit today. We have offices inBentonville, Fayetteville, Rogers, or Springdale.
Defending Clients In Benton County Arkansas And Washington County Arkansas For 30+ Years
If you’re visiting our website, you may have had an incident with a loved one or someone else and are facing a battery or assault charge. You are probably worried by the no contact order and because you can get up to one year in jail and up to $2,500 in fines, even on the least serious battery chargeand you dont know what to do.Attorney Doug Norwood and his criminal defense team know what to do.
More than 35,000 people have already trustedNorwood & Norwood, P.A. to help them, including thousands of people with battery/assault charges. His experience as a former prosecutor, plus over 30 years of battery/assault defense experience, gives our Northwest Arkansas assault & battery lawyers the experience to get you agreat result! That is why we havehundreds of 5-star reviews and the people of Northwest Arkansas have voted us Best of NWA Criminal Lawyer, NWA Democrat-Gazette.
We have handled thousands of battery/assault charges:
- Kept off their records or reduced, and
- Manyno-contact orders were dismissed.
You must decide if you need an attorney and if you should plead guilty or not guilty to the Judge. Our advice: you need us! andplead not guilty. If you hire us, you will probably not have to go to your first court date.
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Consequences For Violating Protection Orders
An alleged victim of domestic violence may petition a court for a protective order, which sets terms to protect them from the defendant, such as requiring that the defendant refrain from injuring, harassing, or having any type of contact with the victim.
It could also order the defendant to move out of the shared home and provide temporary financial support for any minor children or a spouse. Any violation of a protective order is a Class A misdemeanorpunishable by up to 1 year in jail. If the violation occurs within 5 years of a previous conviction for violating a protective order, the defendant could face a Class D felony.
Some ways an alleged offender could defend against an accusation of violating a protective order could be to show that they and the alleged victim have reconciled or to prove that the alleged victim invited the defendant to the residence or place of employment, knowing that the protective order prohibited the defendant from being present at these locations. An attorney can better help refine a defense argument to address an accusation of violation.
What Constitutes Battery In Arkansas
Arkansas defines battery as unlawful physical contact with another person that results in a physical injury. The more serious the harm is, the more serious the penalties will be. Whether a battery can be charged as a felony or misdemeanor depends largely on the facts of the case. Below are some key definitions that are helpful in understanding the various degrees of battery.
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Qualified Arkansas Criminal Defense Attorneys Have The Knowledge Skill And Experience That Will Provide You With The Best Possible Defense For Your Case
Facing Domestic Violence Charges
The immediate need of a defense attorney after being arrested for a domestic violence dispute is no simple matter. If you are being charged with domestic violence, this complicated matter can certainly make you feel as if there are no solutions to your situation. In many cases, a domestic violence defendant can face being ordered to leave his or her home being prohibited to visit or even see his or her children and can even demand imprisonment. While these are some of the most severe results of being charged with domestic violence, they are nonetheless common results. In many cases, defendants will also run the risk of losing his or her employment. This is particularly true if the defendant works in the justice field or public sector.
If you have been accused and charged with domestic violence, an expert attorney can champion for your rights. A criminal defense attorney will see that the charges you are facing fit your crime. Further, he or she will fight to protect your rights and see these rights are upheld and protected.
- A recurring humiliation of an individual
- Purposefully terrorizing or coercing the other individual and/or
- Repeatedly intimidating and manipulating a victim.
What Are The Arkansas Penalties If You Are Charged?
And for felonies:
The primary factors influencing which type of penalty is likely to be imposed are the following:
Facing Wrongful Domestic Violence Accusations
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Being Convicted Of Domestic Violence In Arkansas Can Lead To Enhanced Penalties In The Future
As mentioned above, the penalties for domestic violence charges automatically enhance with each future charge. This means that a conviction today can lead to a future incident, no matter how minor, automatically being charged as a felony. Additionally, loss of the right to carry a firearm means that you would be charged with a federal crime in the event you are ever found carrying something such as a BB gun. In other words, one conviction today can impact the rest of your life in ways that do not foresee now. This is why it is important to contact a Little Rock criminal defense attorney immediately if you are charged with domestic violence in Arkansas.
Meet Patrick Benca
Patrick J. Benca is a Little Rock criminal defense and family law attorney who services the entire state of Arkansas. We handle a wide range of criminal matters ranging from federal criminal charges to a simple traffic ticket. We also handle divorce and child custody cases. Whatever your situation, feel free to contact us today.
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What Is Domestic Battery In The 3rd Degree In Arkansas
The person purposely causes stupor, unconsciousness, or physical or mental impairment or injury to a family or household member by administering to the family or household member, without the family or household members consent, any drug or other substance.
What is 3rd degree domestic battering?
A person commits domestic battering in the third degree if: With the purpose of causing physical injury to a family or household member, the person causes physical injury to a family or household member The person recklessly causes physical injury to a family or household member The person negligently
Our Assault & Battery Lawyers Have100s Of Five Star Reviews
A conviction for assault or battery can adversely affect both your personal and professional life. You cannot afford to proceed without the assistance of our experienced law firm on your side.
When you turn to Norwood & Norwood, P.A., our Northwest Arkansas assault and battery lawyers can help you fight to defend your rights and your freedom. We havesuccessfully won, dismissed, and kept off criminal records thousands of battery/assault charges for our clients.
We know it is a stressful time right now.Dont worrywe have this!
Unless you win your assault/battery charge:
- You could be sentenced tojail or prison
- You may payhundreds or thousands of dollars in fines and fees
- You maylose your gun rights forever
- You may have to sign up forsubstance abuse or anger management treatment at your own expense
- You maybe placed on probation
- You maynot be able to rent a place to live
- You could befired from your job
- You may havea hard time getting a job
- You may have ahard time getting into college
- You mayget suspended or expelled from college
Our legal team will useour decades of experience to fight to keep this from happening to you!
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Key Differences Between Assault And Battery In Arkansas
Assault and battery may seem like very similar ideas, but there are key differences in how they are treated in an Arkansas court. The main distinction between the two charges is intent vs action. Battery, for instance, always involves unlawful physical contact , whereas assault may only suggest contact . Therefore, battery is treated as a much more severe crime, and can often carry greater consequences.
Assault involves the action or intent of unwanted physical contact. It can be a bit more of an abstract definition but basically, if a threat of violence seems actionable, it can be defined as assault.
Heres an example: if someone is standing in front of you and threatening you with imminent harm, that is assault. If an individual calls you on the phone and threatens to harm you, that is not considered assault. It may be considered harassment, but there is no imminent threat.
The two ideas are treated differently when it comes to sentencing, as well. There are several degrees of assault and battery respectively.