Arkansas Battery Laws

Assault and Battery are similar criminal offenses in many regards, and in many cases being charged with one may mean you could be charged with the other. But what is the difference between the two? And if you are being charged with assault, should you be prepared to defend against battery charges as well?

Arkansas Battery LawsThis article and our related post on Assault Laws in Arkansas should be used as guidelines only regarding Arkansas battery laws, as laws and their enforcement may change over time. And while we try to keep all information in these posts up-to-date and accurate, with any charge of assault or battery you should consider consulting with an experienced criminal defense attorney.

BATTERY IN THE FIRST DEGREE

A person may be charged with battery in the first degree for any of the following offenses:

  • The purposeful causing of serious physical injury to another person by means of a deadly weapon;
  • The purposeful serious and permanent disfiguration of another person or the purposeful destruction, amputation, or permanent disabling of a member or organ of that person’s body;
  • Causing serious physical injury to another person displaying an extreme indifference to human life;
  • If, acting alone or with others, while committing or attempting to commit a felony, whether in the course of or in immediate flight from the felony, a person or an accomplice causes serious physical injury to another person displaying an extreme indifference to human life, or if another person resisting the felony or flight causes serious physical injury to another person;
  • The purposeful causing of serious physical injury to an unborn child, or causing serious physical injury to an unborn child as a result of attempting physical injury on a woman who is pregnant with an unborn child;
  • Knowingly causing serious physical injury to a pregnant woman in the commission of a felony or Class A misdemeanor, and in that pursuit, causing serious physical injury to the unborn child, and the child is then born alive;
  • Knowingly – and without legal justification – causing serious physical injury to a person known to be twelve years of age or younger;
  • The purposeful causing of physical injury to any person through the use of a firearm;
  • Knowingly causing serious physical injury to a person four years of age or younger displaying an extreme indifference to human life (this is considered a Class Y felony).

Except where noted otherwise, battery in the first degree is considered a Class B felony – often carrying sentences between 5 and 20 years incarceration. If the injured person is a law enforcement officer acting in the line of duty, battery in the first degree will be considered a Class Y felony – including a sentence of no less than 10 years incarceration, with up to 40 years to life.

BATTERY IN THE SECOND DEGREE

A person may be charged with battery in the second degree for any of the following offenses:

  • With the purpose of causing serious physical injury to another person, causing serious physical injury to any person, including by means of a deadly weapon other than a firearm;
  • Recklessly causing serious physical injury to another person by means of a deadly weapon;
  • Knowingly, and without legal justification, causing serious physical injury to a person known to be a law enforcement officer, firefighter, code enforcement officer, or employee of a correctional facility acting in the line of duty

It should be noted that “employee of a correctional facility” applies to persons working under professional service contract with the Department of Correction, Department of Community Correction, or the Division of Youth Services of the Department of Human Services.

Additionally, “code enforcement officer” applies to persons charged with enforcing municipal codes, ordinances, or regulations. This includes teachers acting in the course of employment, persons 60 or over and 12 or under, medical and health care professionals, and individuals defined as incompetent in 5-25-101.

Battery in the second degree is classified as a Class D felony, carrying a sentence of no more than six years incarceration.

BATTERY IN THE THIRD DEGREE

A person may be charged with battery in the third degree for any of the following offenses:

  • With the purpose of causing physical injury to another person, causing physical injury to any person;
  • Recklessly causing physical injury to another person;
  • Negligently causing physical injury to another person by means of a deadly weapon;
  • Purposefully causing stupor, unconsciousness, or physical or mental impairment or injury to another person by administering any drug or other substance to the other person without that person’s consent.

Battery in the third degree is classified as a Class A misdemeanor, carrying a sentence of up to one year incarceration.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

A common misconception is that Assault and Battery are the same offense, and defending against one is the equivalent of defending against the other. The truth is a little more complicated, and you should consider consulting with an experienced attorney if you are facing Assault and/or Battery charges.

You may also be interested in our posts on Assault Laws in Arkansas and Arkansas Misdemeanor and Felony Penalties.

If you are being charged with Assault or Battery, call the Roberds Law Firm on the Bentonville Square for a free consultation at 479-464-0904.

 

Additional Resources:

Arkansas Battery in the First Degree – law.justia.com

Arkansas Battery in the Second Degree – law.justia.com

Arkansas Battery in the Third Degree – law.justia.com

A Guide to Arkansas Felony and Misdemeanor Penalties – avvo.com

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