DOMESTIC VIOLENCE ATTORNEYS
IN LITTLE ROCK
Trial Tested Domestic Violence Attorney
As domestic violence attorneys in Arkansas, Bobby Forrest at King & Forrest Law Group Thiessen understands how emotional and frightening false accusations of domestic violence can be. These charges are taken incredibly seriously, and a conviction of these charges can earn you significant jail time. Additionally, a domestic violence conviction cannot be sealed from your record for a longer period of time possibly damaging your future jobs and/or state benefits.
If you are facing false accusations of domestic violence, you still have options for defending your rights and your name. King & Forrest Law Group can help you explore those options and determine the best course of action for your case.
Bobby Forrest was the public defender chief in 5th division which solely handle all cases for domestic violence and crimes against children for over a year. Attorney Forrest has experience delivering thorough, compassionate defense to clients in challenging situations.
Quality defense is just a phone call away. If you’ve been charged with domestic violence assault in Arkansas, contact a domestic violence attorney at King & Forrest Law Group today at (501) 918-0798. We offer a free consultation and are available 24/7 to assist you with your family violence assault charges.
Types of Domestic Violence Charges
First-degree domestic battering
A person commits domestic battering in the first degree against a household or family member if the person causes:
serious physical injury by use of a deadly weapon while intending to cause such an injury
serious permanent disability or disfigurement with the intent to cause such an injury
serious physical injury under circumstances that demonstrate an extreme indifference to the value of human life, or
serious physical injury to a household or family member who the person knows is either under the age of thirteen or over the age of sixty.
Domestic battering in the first degree is a Class B felony, which carries up to 20 years in prison. Domestic battering in the first degree is a Class A felony if the defendant either knew or should have known that the victim was pregnant, or if the defendant has a prior domestic battering conviction within the previous five years. Class A felonies can be punished by up to 30 years in prison.
Second-degree domestic battering
Someone commits domestic battering in the second degree against a family or household member if the person:
causes serious physical injury while intending to cause physical injury
inflicts physical injury by use of a deadly weapon while intending to cause such injury
recklessly causes serious physical injury by use of a deadly weapon, or
knowingly causes physical injury to a household or family member that the person knows to be sixty years of age or older or twelve years of age or younger.
Domestic battering in the second degree is a Class C felony, carrying a maximum prison sentence of ten years. If the defendant knew or should have known that the victim was pregnant, or if the defendant has a prior domestic battering conviction within the previous five years, the new conviction for domestic battering in the second degree is a Class B felony.
Third-degree domestic battering
A person commits domestic battering in the third degree against a family or household member if the person:
causes physical injury while intending to cause such injury
recklessly causes physical
negligently causes physical injury by use of a deadly weapon, or
intentionally causes physical or mental impairment by administering to the family or household member (without that person's consent) a drug or any other substance.
Domestic battering in the third degree is a Class A misdemeanor, punishable by up to a year in jail. If the defendant knew or should have known that the victim was pregnant, or if the defendant has a previous domestic battering or aggravated assault conviction within the previous five years, the new offense is a Class D felony, punishable by up to six years in prison. If the defendant is convicted of third-degree domestic battering and has one previous convictions within the previous five years for acts of battery against a family or household member, the new conviction is a Class D felony.
Aggravated Assault on a Family or Household Member
A person commits aggravated assault on a family member or household member by engaging in conduct that creates a substantial danger of death or serious physical injury to a family or household member. Ark. Code § 5-26-306 requires that the conduct demonstrate the defendant's extreme indifference to the value of human life in order for the defendant to be convicted of the offense.
What are the collateral consequences of a family violence conviction?
In addition to the criminal penalties associated with a family violence conviction, there are additional and often equally severe collateral consequences of a finding of domestic violence.
Firearm prohibitions: An individual convicted of family violence is prohibited from possessing a firearm under both Arkansas and Federal law. This prohibition limits your ability to serve as an armed guard, law enforcement officer, or in the military, and also bars you from owning a firearm for personal protection or hunting.
May limit opportunities: A family violence conviction will stay on your criminal record and can limit employment, housing, and educational opportunities. Most charges stay on your record for five years! Many employers, landlords, and institutions of higher education will automatically disqualify an application from someone convicted of family violence.
Immigration complications: A family violence finding or admission of guilt to family violence can have devastating consequences for an individual’s immigration status and can lead to deportation and inadmissibility for non-citizens. Even deferred adjudication in a family violence case is considered an admission of guilt and can carry all of the same collateral consequences as a conviction for family violence.
Enhanced penalties: A previous family violence conviction or finding can be used to enhance any future criminal charges if you are arrested for family violence in the future.
Depending on your circumstances, there may be additional collateral consequences as well. It is very important that consult with a criminal defense attorney so that you adequately understand all of the possible consequences for a family violence conviction.
Defense for false accusations of family assault violence
While an experienced domestic violence attorney is keenly aware how victims of domestic violence can be impacted by domestic abuse, we are also some of the few individuals who know that false accusations can and do occur, and that those who are unfairly accused deserve thorough defense.
Depending on the circumstances, a domestic violence attorney may deploy a variety of defenses against false accusations of abuse, including:
Proving self defense: While violence in the home (or anywhere) is never OK, people do have a right to react within reason as a means of protecting themselves against violence.
Disproving key elements of the accusation: Sometimes the crime you’re charged with bears relation to — but does not match — what actually happened. For example, you may have grabbed your spouse during an argument, but the injuries they allege resulted from that action were actually incurred in an completely unrelated accident. When it comes to protecting your freedom, these details matter, and can make the difference between liberty and being convicted of a crime that didn’t really happen.
Proving the injuries were the result of an accident: Intent matters in assault cases. If you are responsible for the injuries, but they did not occur as the result of a deliberate action meant to threaten or harm the other person, your lawyer can work with you and any necessary experts to analyze the evidence and testify to your innocence in court.
An experienced domestic violence attorney knows how to work to disprove trumped up, unfair allegations being made against you. In fact, here at King & Forrest we have given you three steps you can take and the actions you should avoid if you want to get a headstart on building a strong and credible defense.
You don’t go through life expecting to need to know what to do if you’re accused of assault. And when you are falsely accused of a crime — whether you’re falsely accused of assault and battery or another crime — it’s only natural to wonder “if only…”
If only you could explain yourself…
If only you could clear up this simple miscommunication…
If only you could sort things out with the accuser…
There might be a thousand “if only’s” floating through your brain. However, it’s important to remember to stop and clearly think about things. Here’s what not to do and what to do if you’re accused of assault.
Step One: Do not try to clear things up.
While it might seem counterintuitive, the first thing you need to know about what to do if you’re accused of assault is to NOT try to talk things through with the person who has falsely accused you of a crime. That’s right, the first step you should take to defend yourself against false accusations is to not do anything.
Why? If you do attempt to fix things on your own, you will likely only make the situation worse. In fact, approaching the person who accuses you could be seen as suspicious or even as a form of intimidation.
And keep in mind, keeping quiet also goes for your interactions with the police. Do not think you have to explain everything to law enforcement — you could unknowingly make the situation worse. Instead, err on the side of keeping your mouth shut and ask for an attorney.
Step Two: Contact an Attorney.
As soon as you’ve been falsely accused of a crime, stop what you’re doing (or, as we just discussed, not doing), and contact an attorney. Even if you are falsely accused of domestic assault or another serious crime, you could potentially be convicted. False convictions happen all the time — so take things seriously from the very beginning.
There are a variety of reasons you might be falsely accused of a crime (from misleading evidence to a downright false statement). Because of this, an attorney is absolutely critical. He or she can help you overcome a false accusation by uncovering or disproving evidence, negotiating a deal, removing the accuser’s credibility, and more.
Step Three: Gather Evidence.
While you shouldn’t exactly go have drinks with your accuser, it is important to figure out everything you can evidence-wise regarding the accusations. Make a list. Pay attention to what they have to say. Figure out as much as you can. Then, hand it off the information you have to your attorney.
Who is a possible witness? Do you have any receipts, records, or written documents? What types of objects were present during this so-called crime?
Again, as much as possible, try to refrain from collecting this evidence by talking to your accuser on your own. Leave that to the professionals. You want to shed as little suspicion on yourself as possible so that you can prove your innocence.
Meet with an experienced domestic violence attorney in Arkansas
If you have been charged with family violence, you need experienced representation from a domestic violence 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.