First, do not answer a police officer’s questions without an attorney present. You should politely but firmly say you are invoking your right to remain silent. Also, when you are in police custody, you should clearly state you want a lawyer. Then, you should contact a Fayetteville violent crimes attorney at The Law Group of Northwest Arkansas LLP to represent and defend you.
You can contact us through our online form or you can call (479) 316-3760 to schedule a consultation. Our Fayetteville criminal defense attorneys are former Benton, Sebastian, and Washington County prosecuting attorneys, and they have the experience and knowledge to help you navigate this process in our region.
Violent Crime Charges in Arkansas
Call our experienced criminal defense attorneys today if you are charged with:
Arkansas’ homicide crimes are found in AR Code §5-10-101 through § 5-10-106. These statutes define capital murder, first-degree murder (Class Y felony) second-degree murder (Class A felony), manslaughter (Class C felony), negligent homicide (Class B felony or Class A misdemeanor), and physician-assisted suicide (Class C felony). If you are facing a murder charge, it is because the prosecutor believes they can prove you knowingly caused another person’s death or caused a person’s death through the commission of certain felonies, like terrorism, kidnapping, or rape.
You also can face a homicide charge for a death you did not intentionally cause. You may face a non-negligent manslaughter charge if prosecutors believe you caused a person’s death while under the influence of an extreme emotional disturbance, because of your reckless behavior, or because of your negligent conduct while committing a felony.
You can be charged with kidnapping or false imprisonment in the first- or second-degree under AR Code §5-11-102 through § 5-11-104. You can be charged with kidnapping if you allegedly took a person, without their consent, and interfered with their liberty to move about freely, for the purpose of holding them for ransom, using them as a hostage, facilitating a felony, inflicting physical injury, engaging in a sex crime, terrorizing another person, or interfering with the government. This is a Class Y felony.
If you took a person without their consent, restrained them, and interfered with their liberty such that you exposed that person to substantial risk of serious physical injury, then you can be charged with first-degree false imprisonment, a Class C felony. If the alleged victim was not exposed to a risk of injury, then second-degree false imprisonment is a Class A misdemeanor.
Robbery under Arkansas law may not be what you think. If you are facing a robbery charge, it is very important to hire a Fayetteville violent crimes defense attorney. Robbery is prohibited by AR Code §5-12-102 and aggravated robbery is banned in §5-12-103. You can be charged with robbery if, with the purpose of committing a felony, misdemeanor theft, or resisting arrest after committing a crime, you use or threaten to immediately use physical force upon another person. This means if a person stole a pack of gum from a store, like Wal-Mart, and after being approached by a store employee, that person takes off running and knocks another person to the ground in the parking lot, that person could be charged with Robbery, a Class B felony.
You may be charged with aggravated robbery if you are accused of committing robbery and you were armed with a deadly weapon at the time; represented by word or actions that you had a deadly weapon; or inflicted or attempted to inflict death or serious physical injury upon another person. This is a Class Y felony. In other words, you can be charged with armed robbery even if you were not actually armed.
Assault & Battery
Arkansas’ assault and battery laws are found in AR Code §5-13-201 through §5-13-211. The state divides assault and battery into several different offenses, including first-, second-, and third-degree battery, first-, second-, and third-degree assault, and aggravated assault. If you threaten to hurt someone, attempt to hurt someone, or cause someone harm, you may be charged with assault and/or battery. Battery, depending on the degree of the crime and the specific circumstances, can be charged as a Class D, B, or Y felony or a Class A misdemeanor. Assault can be charged as a Class C, B, A misdemeanor. Assault and battery are similar yet, technically, different crimes. Because of this, you can face both assault and battery charges, and you will need to defend against both.
Additionally, an aggravated assault charge is different than other assault offenses. Under AR Code §5-13-204, you can be charged with aggravated assault if, with an extreme indifference to the value of human life, you intentionally engage in conduct that creates a substantial risk of death or serious physical injury to another person; display a firearm in a manner that creates a substantial risk of death or serious physical injury to another person; or impede or prevent someone from breathing by applying pressure to the throat or neck or by blocking the nose or mouth. This is a Class D felony.
Sexual offenses are defined in AR Code §5-14-101 through §5-14-127, and include rape (Class Y felony), sexual indecency with a child (Class D felony), public sexual indecency (Class A misdemeanor), indecent exposure (Class A misdemeanor), sexual extortion (Class B felony), and sexual assault in the first-, second-, third-, and fourth-degree (Class A, B, C, or D felony or Class A misdemeanor).
If you are facing a sexual indecency, sexual assault, or rape charge, call a Fayetteville violent crimes defense attorney immediately. You can be charged with rape, the highest possible felony, if you performed sexual intercourse or deviate sexual activity on another person through force, who is unable to consent, who is younger than 14 years old, or who is your relative and under 18 years old.
Penalties for Violent Crimes in Arkansas
If you are convicted of a violent crime in Arkansas, then you face incarceration, probation, fines, restitution to the victims, and other possible penalties. The maximum fines and prison sentence are defined by law. From the least serious misdemeanor to the most serious felony:
- Class C Misdemeanor: Punishable by up to 30 days in jail and fines reaching $500.
- Class B Misdemeanor: Punishable by a maximum of 90-days incarceration and $1,000 in fines.
- Class A Misdemeanor: Punishable by up to 1 year in jail and a maximum fine of $2,500.
- Class D Felony: Punishable by up to 6 years in prison and fines reaching $10,000.Class C Felony: Punishable by at least 3 years and up to 10 years in prison and fines up to $10,000.
- Class B Felony: Punishable by 5 to 20 years in prison and a maximum fine of $15,000.
- Class A Felony: Punishable by between 6 and 30 years of incarceration and $15,000 in fines.
- Class Y Felony: Punishable by between 10 and 40 years in prison, or life imprisonment.
- Capital Murder: Life imprisonment without parole or death.
Potential Criminal Defenses
The strongest defense for your case will depend on the charges against you and the facts of the case. Some potential defenses include:
- You did not commit the crime, and you have an alibi.
- There has been a case of mistaken identity.
- You lacked the necessary intent to commit the specific offense.
- You acted in self-defense or defense of others.
- There is insufficient evidence to prove you committed the offense beyond a reasonable doubt.
Contact a Fayetteville Violent Crimes Attorney Today
At The Law Group of Northwest Arkansas LLP, our Fayetteville violent crimes defense lawyers are well-versed in a wide range of criminal charges. Whether you are accused of theft-related crime, a sex offense, or homicide, we are here to help. We will protect your Constitutional rights throughout a criminal investigation and the criminal justice process. We will gather evidence on your behalf and scrutinize every facet of your case. Through this process, we will determine the strongest defense to the charges against you as well as strategies to reduce the penalty for a potential conviction.