Domestic Abuse Offenses Attorney in Arkansas
Violent crimes usually come with a heavier penalty because, by definition, they involve a victim. But being accused of a violent crime doesn’t necessarily mean you’re facing a felony charge – it’s possible to have a violent misdemeanor charge. But no matter the level of battery you are charged with, you need to take it seriously. Domestic abuse lawyer in Arkansas is often prosecuted with the maximum penalty.
There are three levels of domestic abuse and battery according to Arkansas law. The third-degree battery is the lowest of the three and is typically a violent misdemeanor charge. First and Second-degree battery are serious felonies. If you are being charged with domestic abuse, or you hear about domestic abuse or battery charges being filed against you, speak to a domestic abuse attorney immediately. You’ll want to talk about having your charges reduced to lesser crimes if possible – and, if not, a reduction in the sentence being pursued.
What’s the Difference Between Domestic Abuse and Battery?
It’s easy to get confused with legal terminology. Generally, battery is a category of crime and this can include certain kinds of domestic violence. Domestic violence is battery committed against a person in a “special” category to you:
- Current or former boyfriend or girlfriend
- Current or former fiancee
- Family members (by blood, marriage, or habitation)
- Cohabitants (including roommates or tenants)
In these circumstances, a simple battery or aggravated battery committed against a person in one of these categories becomes domestic battery.
What’s the Difference Between 1st, 2nd, and 3rd Degree Battery?
The distinction between the degrees of battery can be a little blurry, but it usually has to do with the degree of injury inflicted or whether a weapon was involved.
Battery in the third degree generally carries a sentence of up to a year of incarceration. Forms of third-degree battery include:
- The accused caused physical injury to any person with the intent to injure them
- The accused recklessly caused physical injury to another person
- The accused negligently caused physical injury to another person using a deadly weapon
- The accused purposefully caused stupor, unconsciousness, or physical or mental impairment or injury by giving to another person without their consent drugs or any other substances
The accused purposefully caused stupor, unconsciousness, or physical or mental impairment or injury by giving to another person without their consent drugs or any other substances
3RD DEGREE BATTERY
Battery in the third degree generally carries a sentence of up to a year of incarceration.
2ND DEGREE BATTERY
Battery in the second degree carries a sentence of no more than six years of incarceration.
Forms of second-degree battery include:
- The accused with intent to harm caused severe physical injury to another person with a deadly weapon other than a firearm
- The accused recklessly caused serious physical injury to another person using a deadly weapon
- The accused knowingly, without legal justification, caused physical injury to or incapacitated a known code enforcement officer, a firefighter, an employee of a correctional facility, or a law enforcement officer acting in the line of duty
You can be charged with first-degree battery for any of the following reasons:
- The accused, with the purpose of inflicting harm,caused physical injury to another person using a deadly weapon
- The accused, with intent, seriously and permanently disfigures a person or destroys, amputates, or permanently disables a member or organ of another person’s body
- The accused caused serious physical injury to another through extreme indifference to the value of human life
- Whether acting alone or with others, while committing or attempting to commit a felony, during or in flight from the crime, the accused caused serious physical harm to another person through extreme indifference to the value of human life or causes serious injury to another person while resisting or fleeing a felony arrest
- The accused purposefully caused serious injury to an unborn child or to a pregnant woman, causing serious harm to the unborn child
- The accused knowingly caused physical harm to a pregnant woman in the commission of a felony or Class A misdemeanor, causing significant harm to the unborn child when the child is born alive
- The accused knowingly and without legal justification caused severe physical injuries to a person they know to be 12 years old or younger
- The accused purposefully caused physical injury to a person with a firearm
- The accused knowingly caused severe physical injury to someone 4 years old or younger through extreme indifference to human life (a Class Y felony).
1ST DEGREE BATTERY
Battery in the first degree is a felony and carries a sentence of five to forty years to life.
Domestic violence laws are meant to give special protection to the victims because of their relationship to the defendant and to severely punish people who break these laws. As a result, prosecutors are given wide discretion to pursue the maximum penalty in domestic violence cases, even if the injury is minimal.
If you have been charged with domestic abuse against your spouse, child, or cohabitant, you should consult with the defense attorneys at Digby Law Firm immediately about you legal options. Schedule a free consultation or call 501-500-9292. We specialize in family law and criminal defense.