FAQs About Assault and Battery in Arkansas
Assault and battery in Arkansas is a serious offense. And, understanding the extent of the penalties you may face can help you prepare a more effective defense. But, after reviewing Arkansas laws, you may still have questions about criminal assault and battery and how you can defend against a misdemeanor or felony charge.
What is the difference between assault and battery in Arkansas?
A common misconception is that battery and assault are the same offense, and that 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.
Understanding the differences between assault and battery and the range of associated penalties will help you plan your defense. For example, you can be charged with assault even if you do not physically touch or injure anyone. Purposefully creating the fear of injury or death – threatening someone with a firearm or cutting off circulation or respiration, for example – can result in a misdemeanor third degree assault charge up to a felony charge of aggravated assault.
I was just defending myself! I didn’t start anything.
There are many reasons why you might be charged with assault or battery, and it may be that your actions were legal and justified. An experienced defense attorney can help you understand the charges you are facing and what steps you can take to defend yourself against erroneous charges.
Is assault or battery a felony?
The charges for assault or battery can range from a misdemeanor to a felony. Penalties can include severe fines and extended incarceration, and there are a variety of factors that can play a role in your case and sentencing.
What if the victim wants to drop the charges?
After an arrest has been made, it is the state of Arkansas that must decide whether charges will be dropped. The complainant can express that they don’t wish to pursue charges, and the State may take that into consideration. But, even if the victim is a friend or family member, he or she may not be able to have the charges dismissed after an arrest. In some cases, the State may not even need the complainant present at the trial to prove their case. This can make it that much more important to have an experienced assault and battery attorney if you are being charged.
What if this isn’t the first time I’ve been charged with assault or battery?
As with many criminal offenses in Arkansas, subsequent charges within a set period of time can result in significantly larger fines and longer incarceration. If you have previously been convicted of assault, battery or another criminal offense, you should communicate that with your attorney as it may impact your defense options.
Do I need a trial lawyer?
If you have been charged with battery or assault in Arkansas, or if you believe you may be charged, it may be in your best interests to consult with an experienced criminal defense attorney. Many attorneys offer free initial consultations to help you gather information and make an informed decision about whether or not you pursue legal representation.
What if I haven’t been charged yet?
You don’t want to wait until you are charged to find an attorney you can trust. If you believe you may be charged with assault and/or battery, a free and confidential consultation can help you understand your rights and decide if Ben T. Roberds is the right defense attorney for you. The Roberds Law Firm has extensive experience defending clients in assault, battery and domestic violence cases in Arkansas.