BATTERY AND ASSAULT

Arkansas Battery/Assault Defense Attorney

If you are facing assault charges, you need an assault attorney to look at your assault case as soon as possible. A conviction on battery or assault charges can carry serious penalties including expensive fines and jail time (up to 40 years or even life).

Bobby Forrest Jr., top criminal defense attorney and co-founder of King & Forrest Law Group, has extensive experience crafting trial-tested defense strategies to help those accused of assault defend their freedoms. Using both his past experience as a police officer and education, Mr. Forrest is the best attorney for the job.

Credible representation is just a phone call away. If you’ve been charged with any battery or assault crimes, contact an battery & assault attorney in Little Rock at King & Forrest Law Group by calling 501-918-0798 today.

We offer a free consultation and are available 24/7 to assist you with your assault charges.

What is considered 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.

Injuries: Level of Harm Inflicted

Penalties for battery crimes often hinge on the level of harm the offender inflicts on the victim. Arkansas law punishes unlawful conduct that results in serious physical injuries more severely than conduct that results in physical injuries.

Serious physical injury. The law defines serious physical injury as one that creates a substantial risk of death or causes prolonged disfigurement, impairment of health, or impairment or loss of the function of any body part or organ. Examples of serious physical injuries include a gunshot wound and a cut requiring 47 stitches.

Physical injury. Physical injury means:

  • impairment of physical condition

  • infliction of substantial pain, or

  • infliction of bruising, swelling, or a visible mark associated with physical trauma.

Risk Involved: Use of Deadly Weapon or Firearm

Battery using a deadly weapon or firearm creates an increased risk of harm, which can also bump up the penalties.

Deadly weapon means a firearm or anything made for the purpose of inflicting death or serious physical injury or anything used in a manner that could have the same effect. Examples include handguns, brass knuckles, knives, sawed-off shotguns, and explosive devices.

Firearms include any device designed, made, or adapted to shoot an object by the action of an explosive, or any item readily convertible to that use. The definition includes these devices even if they are unloaded or missing a necessary component, such as an ammunition clip.

What Are the Penalties for Battery Crimes in Arkansas?

Arkansas divides battery offenses into different categories depending on the accused's intent, whether the accused used a weapon, and the seriousness of the injuries or risks involved. A person convicted of battery faces anywhere from county jail to life in the Arkansas Department of Corrections.

Battery in the Third Degree: Crime and Penalties

A person commits misdemeanor battery by purposely or recklessly causing physical injury to another. It's also a misdemeanor to act with criminal negligence in causing another physical harm by using a deadly weapon. Finally, a person can commit misdemeanor battery by purposely drugging someone without their consent.

Arkansas classifies third-degree battery as a Class A misdemeanor, which carries up to one year in jail and a $2,500 fine.

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 (as opposed to 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 (other than a firearm) or knowingly targeting a vulnerable victim, such as a law enforcement officer, firefighter, teacher, elderly adult (60+), child (12 and under), 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.

Battery in the First Degree: Crime and Penalties

First-degree battery constitutes Arkansas' most serious battery charge. Generally, these penalties apply when both the harm and the risk of harm increase.

The following actions that result in serious physical injury to another are considered first-degree batteries:

  • purposely harming another by using a deadly weapon

  • engaging in conduct with extreme indifference to human life

  • knowingly harming a victim who is 12 or younger or 60 or older, or

  • committing a felony.

 

First-degree battery also occurs when the victim receives physical injuries and the defendant purposely engaged in the harmful conduct while using a firearm or knowingly targeted a pregnant woman and caused serious harm to the unborn child. Finally, Arkansas considers it first-degree battery when the victim suffers serious and permanent disfigurement or disability, such as permanently losing their sight or a limb.

Arkansas classifies first-degree battery as either a Class B or Class Y felony. Penalties for battery in the first degree can include a fine of up to $15,000 and 5 to 20 years in prison (Class B) or 10 to 40 years in prison (Class Y).

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.

How a Battery Attorney in Little Rock can Defend A Battery or Assault Case

Battery/Assault charges carry serious penalties both in the courtroom and out. Not only can an assault conviction send you to jail and burden you with fines, but you may also find it nearly impossible to find gainful employment when a battery or assault conviction appears on your background check

That’s why it’s critical that you hire an experienced criminal defense lawyer (and preferably one with lots of experience as a battery attorney in Arkansas) immediately after being charged. Once the State charges you with the crime, they must prove that case beyond a reasonable doubt.  Then a defense attorney can raise an affirmative defense, which the State would then have to disprove beyond a reasonable doubt.  While there is no single defense strategy in an assault case, a quality defense attorney can help you in a number of ways, including:

  • Alleging self-defense: In many cases, assault doesn’t just happen in a vacuum. If you were attacked or threatened by your accuser prior to striking or injuring them, you and your lawyer may be able to allege self-defense by working with witnesses, analyzing evidence, and even working with reconstructionists, analysts and other expert witnesses who can help a jury understand what truly happened in your case.

  • Alleging defense of property: If someone was attempting to invade your home or steal/damage your property in a way that required reasonable force to stop or made you fear for your life, your attorney can use these conditions to craft a defense.

  • Disproving key elements of the accusation: In order to be convicted of a crime, the prosecution must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that you committed the offense you are accused of. With that burden of proof, the details matter. Inconsistent stories, bad witnesses, and shaky evidence are all things an experienced defense attorney can identify and call into question when defending your case in court.

  • Collecting evidence and working with experts: In serious assault cases, sometimes the most critical work is done outside the courtroom. A quality Texas assault lawyer will work with you to analyze the conditions of the incident, returning to the scene of the alleged offense, searching for any video/audio recordings or eyewitnesses, and working with esteemed experts to analyze/reconstruct elements of the accusation.
     

  • Fighting for fairer charges and sentencing: Sometimes a client is guilty, but not of the level of offense the prosecution wants to charge them with. When this happens, it’s vital that your attorney work to reach a fairer agreement with the prosecuting attorney to ensure that you are tried fairly for your offense.

Meet with an experienced Battery & Assault attorney in Arkansas

If you have been charged with battery or assault crimes, you need experienced representation from a credible lawyer, and ASAP. King & Forrest Law Group is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to defend your name, your rights, and your future. 

Your reputation is on the line, call 501-918-0798 today.