Little Rock Violent Crime Attorney
A conviction for a violent crime in Arkansas can carry heavy penalties, including the possibility of life behind bars. Violent crime charges are taken very seriously by prosecutors. If you contact our Little Rock attorney of Morledge Law Firm, our criminal defense lawyer will successfully defended clients facing violent crime charges, they will be able to evaluate your case and develop a defense strategy to keep you out of jail.
There are a number of criminal charges that fall under the category of violent crime. These involve both misdemeanor and felony charges. These include:
- Sexual assault;
- Domestic violence;
- Manslaughter; and
- Negligent homicide
Assault and Battery
Some of the most common violent criminal charges for prosecutors to charge in Arkansas involve allegations of assault and battery. Even if no one is harmed, or injuries are very minor, these can be serious offenses. Assault and battery can be charged as a misdemeanor or a felony, and can result in a long jail sentence.
“Assault” and “Assault and Battery” are actually treated as different crimes in Arkansas, and have varying degrees. Depending on the specifics of the case, and who the victim is, aggravating factors can increase the penalties.
Assault is different from battery in that it does not actually need any physical contact between the person charged and the victim. Simple third degree charge only requires the intent to cause a person apprehension of imminent physical injury. Reckless conduct that creates a substantial risk of physical injury to another is considered assault in the second degree. Choking someone, or trying to prevent someone from breathing can be treated as assault in the first degree.
Battery involves physical injury, including reckless activity that causes injury to another person. Spiking someone’s drink can also be considered battery. There are enhanced penalties if the injury is against an employee of a correctional facility; officer; firefighter; health care provider; or teacher.
The penalties for assault or battery may depend on the specific facts surrounding the case, and if any aggravating factors were involved. The penalties for committing these crimes may include fines and up to 6 years in prison. For a first-time conviction, the defendant may just get probation; however, an aggravated assault charge could result in more than 20 years in prison without the possibility of parole. Some factors that could result in additional penalties include the use of a deadly weapon, where the victim was pregnant, or the victim was under 12 years old.
There are a number of valid defenses to charges of assault and battery. These may depend on the facts of the case, but can include a claim of self-defense, defense of another, or defense of property.
If you are charged with assault or battery, you may believe that there was no real harm done, or that you were harmed just as much as the person claiming assault. You don’t have to face the judge and prosecutor alone. The Morledge Law Firm is Little Rock’s attorney who is a qualified criminal defense lawyer in Arkansas, who can help you make the difficult decisions against violent crime charges ahead. Your lawyer will be able to clarify the individual issues their client is facing, identify the elements of the case, and defend their client in court.
Another serious violent crime involves allegations of sexual assault or rape. A conviction for sexual assault can have lifelong consequences. It is a felony, and can be charged in the first, second, third or fourth degree, with varying penalties. A felony sexual assault conviction may also result in years of mandatory sex offender registration.
Any sexual assault charge is a registrable offense in Arkansas. Sex offender registration can be a lifetime requirement, requiring regular updates and mandatory reporting. It is not only a criminal record, but something that is easily searchable by just about anyone, including the offender’s name, description, address, description of their crime and photograph. Anyone can search the registry of sex offenders through the Arkansas Crime Information Center (ACIC).
If have been charged or accused of rape or sexual assault in Arkansas, you should contact Morledge Law Firm. Bic is Little Rock’s attorney who is a highly experienced criminal defense lawyer who has successfully defended clients accused of sexual assault.
Under Arkansas Code 5-14-103, rape is considered to be sexual intercourse or deviate sexual activity by force, compulsion or from the inability to consent. It also includes intercourse with an unconscious or intoxicated person, or a mentally disabled victim. When the alleged victim is a child, the penalties can be enhanced.
Sexual assault or rape charges can be brought against a person solely based on the word of the alleged victim’s parent or friend. These charges can also come days, weeks or even years after the alleged attack. Because of this, many people think it is difficult to defend themselves against charges of rape or sexual assault. However, as with any criminal charge, there are defenses available.
Anyone who becomes aware of an accusation of rape or sexual assault may attempt to contact the accuser, in order to clear up the situation or protest their innocence. However, the police may use this opportunity to use the suspect’s word against them in court. If you or someone you love becomes aware of rape allegations or a sexual assault investigation, you should contact an Arkansas criminal defense lawyer to make sure your liberty, reputation and rights are protected.
Domestic violence can occur in all sorts of situations, but it often involves family members or people who were romantically involved. Because these relationships involve very intense and conflicting feelings, they can quickly erupt into threats of violence, even between people who love each other.
Under Arkansas law, domestic abuse involves physical harm, bodily injury, assault or fear or threat of harm between family or household members. It could even include attempting to cause physical harm, or illegal sexual conduct. In many situations, Arkansas has a mandatory arrest policy when dealing with domestic violence. Even when someone has called the police and later changes their mind, the police have to make an arrest if they believe that domestic violence has occurred.
Household members can include spouses, former spouses, parents, children, people who have cohabitated before, who have a child in common, or anyone in a current or past dating relationship.
Domestic battery in the first degree is a Class B felony, but can be elevated to a Class A felony if the victim was pregnant, or if the defendant has prior domestic violence convictions. A Class A felony conviction could result in a jail sentence from 6 years to 30 years. A Class B felony carries a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison. Domestic battery in the third degree is a Class A misdemeanor, with up to a year in jail.
It is always a tragedy when someone loses their life. Death can result from all types of accidents, and sometimes from an intentional act. When the law determines that someone’s death was the result of another person’s unlawful actions, the state may bring homicide charges, one of the most serious crimes possible. For many people, homicide, murder and manslaughter may seem like the same thing, but the law treats them each differently, with vastly different penalties.
Under Arkansas law, homicide can be charged as capital murder, murder in the first or second degree, manslaughter or negligent homicide. The specific charges will depend on the specific facts of the case.
Even where no one is killed, a defendant can be charged with attempted murder. Attempted murder requires the intent to commit murder, with the defendant taking an overt act towards committing murder. Talking about killing someone is not enough to show attempted murder. The prosecution must prove that the defendant took some physical action towards completing the act.
Capital murder is the most serious homicide charge and carries a penalty of death or life in prison without parole. This involves committing a felony that results in the death of another person demonstrating an extreme indifference to human life. Felonies which can bring a capital murder charge include terrorism, rape, kidnapping, robbery, drive-by-shooting or burglary. Capital murder also includes the premeditated killing of a police officer, judge, firefighter, military personnel or teacher.
Murder is the intentional killing of another. This can be charged in the first degree or second degree, depending on the case. First degree murder involves purposely causing the death of another person. A death that occurred as part of a different felony crime such as robbery, rape or another serious crime can also be charged as first degree murder. This is known as “felony murder.” This is a Class Y felony, with a minimum sentence of ten years in prison and a maximum penalty of 40 years or life.
Second degree murder involves knowing causing the death of another person under circumstances manifesting extreme indifference to the value of human life; or through purposely causing serious physical injury that results in the death of another. This carries a maximum penalty of 30 years in jail.
Manslaughter is treated differently from murder. It can be charged for causing or helping someone commit suicide, recklessly causing another person’s death, or for something that would normally be considered murder, but the defendant was under the influence of extreme emotional disturbance for which there was a reasonable excuse. In such a case, it usually involves some sort of mitigating circumstances to reduce the crime down from murder, such as a “heat of passion” claim. Penalties for a manslaughter conviction can be from 3 to 10 years in prison.
Negligently causing the death of another person can be charged as negligent homicide, and carries a sentence from 6 to 30 years in jail. A DUI accident that results in the death of another person can also be charged as negligent homicide.
Arkansas Violent Criminal Defense
If you or someone you know has been charged with a violent crime, you may not know where to turn for help. You don’t have to face the judge and prosecutor alone. The Morledge Law Firm is a qualified Little Rock attorney and criminal defense lawyer who has successfully defended his clients facing violent crime charges can help you navigate the difficult road ahead. Your lawyer will be able to clarify the individual issues at hand, identify the elements of the case, and fight for your rights in court.