Arkansas Assault, Domestic Violence & Battery Law Firm Protects Your Future
Aggressively defending you from violent crime charges
When you are charged with assault, battery or domestic violence, you need a qualified lawyer to protect your rights. At Huffman Butler, PLLC we draw on more than three decades of combined knowledge and legal experience to determine the best approach for your case. Whether utilizing aggressive trial tactics or skilled negotiation techniques, we work tirelessly to successfully resolve your case.
Facing an assault, battery or domestic violence charge
At Huffman Butler, PLLC we know that good people are often charged with violent crimes. A verbal dispute at a local bar may quickly escalate or an angry spouse may claim abuse in the heat of the moment. In any case, the key to getting on with your life is hiring an experienced central Arkansas and Saline County defense attorney.
Arkansas assault laws
Assault is a separate offense from battery under Arkansas law. There are three degrees of assault, which depend upon the severity of the conduct. With the exception of aggravated assault, which is considered a felony, all other assault crimes are misdemeanors.
You may be charged with assault in the first degree if you:
- Recklessly engage in conduct that creates a substantial risk of death or serious physical injury to another person
- Purposely impede or prevent the respiration of another person or the circulation of another person’s blood by applying pressure on the throat or neck or by blocking the nose or mouth of the other person
You may be charged with second-degree assault if you recklessly engage in conduct that creates a substantial risk of physical injury to another person. Meanwhile, assault in the third degree occurs if you purposely create apprehension of imminent physical injury in another person.
The following circumstances can lead to a charge of aggravated assault:
- Acting with extreme indifference to the value of human life
- Engaging in conduct that creates a high risk of danger or physical injury to another person
- Displaying a firearm in a way that creates a high risk of danger or physical injury to another person
- Preventing a person from breathing by blocking their airways
- Preventing the blood flow of a person by applying pressure to their neck
Arkansas battery laws
Under Arkansas criminal law, battery involves intentionally rather than recklessly causing injury. It is a more serious crime with more serious consequences.
Both battery in the first degree and battery in the second degree are classified as felonies. Convictions can result in incarceration from 5 to 20 years and fines of up to $15,000. The most serious types of battery cases involve intentionally caused serious injuries or weapons and occur in the commission of a felony or injury of a vulnerable member of society (e.g., children and pregnant women). Some examples of acts you may be charged with battery in the first degree include if you:
- With the purpose of causing serious physical injury to another person, cause serious physical injury to any person by means of a deadly weapon
- With the purpose of seriously and permanently disfiguring another person or of destroying, amputating, or permanently disabling a member or organ of that other person’s body, cause such an injury to any person
- Cause serious physical injury to another person under circumstances manifesting extreme indifference to the value of human life while committing a felony, attempting to commit a felony or acting as co-conspirator in the commission of a felony
- With the purpose of causing serious physical injury to an unborn child or to a woman who is pregnant with an unborn child, cause serious physical injury to the unborn child
- Knowingly, without legal justification, cause serious physical injury to a person that you know to be twelve years of age or younger
- With the purpose of causing physical injury to another person, cause physical injury to any person by means of a firearm
Arkansas domestic abuse laws
As a domestic violence lawyer in Arkansas will explain, the state’s domestic abuse laws impose special criminal liability for physically injuring family members and household members. “Family or household member” means:
- A spouse or former spouse
- A parent
- A child, including any minor residing in the household
- Persons related by blood or who presently or in the past have resided or cohabited together
- Persons who have or have had a child in common
- Persons who are presently or in the past have been in a dating relationship
Specific domestic abuse offenses are classified according to the degree of injury suffered by the victim, ranging from first-degree to third-degree domestic battering.
Domestic battering in the first degree requires:
- Causing serious physical injury to a family or household member by means of a deadly weapon
- Seriously and permanently disfiguring a family or household member or of destroying, amputating or permanently disabling a part of his or her body
- Causing serious physical injury under circumstances manifesting extreme indifference to the value of human life
Domestic battering in the second degree requires:
- Causing serious physical injury to a family or household member
- Causing or recklessly causing physical injury by means of a deadly weapon
Domestic battering in the third degree requires:
- Causing or recklessly causing physical injury to a family or household member
- Negligently causing physical injury to a family or household member by means of a deadly weapon
- Causing stupor, unconsciousness, or physical or mental impairment or injury to a family or household member by administering to him or her, without his or her consent, any drug or other substance
A conviction for domestic violence can have serious consequences. If it’s charged as a felony, you face a lengthy prison sentence and significant fines. Domestic battering in the first degree is a Class B felony, which is punishable by up to 20 years in prison. Second-degree domestic abuse is a Class C felony, which imposes a maximum prison sentence of ten years. Domestic battering in the third degree is a Class A misdemeanor. However, if you have had a prior domestic battering or aggravated assault conviction within the past five years, the crime then becomes a felony.
The need for experienced representation
If you have been accused of a battery, assault or domestic violence offense, it’s in your best interests to consult a criminal law attorney who is familiar with these types of cases. Violent crime charges not only put your freedom at risk, but also jeopardize your parental rights and continued family contact. False accusations are common during bitter divorces and child custody disputes. Even if the victim later seeks to “drop” the charges, the prosecutor is the only one that can seek to dismiss the charges. In some cases, the government may elect to continue the case without the victim’s cooperation.
Dedicated Central Arkansas & Saline County criminal defense lawyers at your service
If you have been charged with a violent crime, you need experienced legal representation. At Huffman Butler, PLLC we are always prepared to fight for you, protect your rights and get you the best possible outcome. Call 501-315-5297 or book an appointment on our online scheduler. Our attorneys are available by appointment in the evening and on weekends.