You will often hear the words “assault and battery” used together, but there are legal differences between the two, and it is important to know the distinction.
Battery is generally associated with assault, and they are often charged together against the accused person. In Arkansas, assault and battery are distinct crimes. You may be solely charged with assault; however, if you are charged with battery, then you are also allegedly guilty of assault. Simply put, battery occurs when there is physical contact. For example, brandishing a baseball bat could lead to an assault charge, but the action of striking a person with the baseball bat could then lead to battery charges. Due to the complex nature of assault and battery charges, it is critical you contact a criminal defense attorney who is experienced in these types of cases. The longer you wait, the more difficult it will be to defend you.
Assault and battery charges often occur within the home or among family members. This can lead to charges of domestic assault or domestic battery. A conviction in a domestic battery case can have lasting effects on a person's life - even a misdemeanor conviction can lead to the suspension of a person's rights to carry firearms.
It's a common misconception that the victim gets to decide whether someone is charged in domestic battery cases. Only the prosecutor can make this decision.
First Degree Battery typically involves intentional serious injury to another person, such as amputation, disfigurement or permanently disabling a person, either with a deadly weapon, or with a reckless indifference to human life. If the victim of a First Degree Battery is a child under the age of four, or is a law enforcement officer acting within the scope of his or her duties, the crime is a Class Y Felony – meaning there is the potential for life imprisonment, or a sentence of between 10 and 40 years. Otherwise, First Degree Battery is a Class B Felony, which is punishable by a sentence of between 5 and 20 years.
Second Degree Battery charges can appear in cases where a person intentionally causes serious injury to another person, or where they intentionally cause some injury to another person by use of a deadly weapon. These charges are also seen when a person injures a law enforcement officer or paramedic who is acting within the scope of his or her duties. Second Degree Battery is a Class D Felony, which is punishable by a sentence of between 0 and 6 years.
Third Degree Battery is a misdemeanor charge where the person charged has intentionally or recklessly caused physical harm to another person, or where they have injured another person by using a deadly weapon in a negligent manner. Third Degree Battery is a Class A Misdemeanor, which is punishable by a sentence of up to 1 year in the county jail.
There are many other factors which will play an important role in the outcome of a Battery charge of any kind. Rhoads & Armstrong can help draw out those facts which may help your case.
If you or a loved one has been arrested for a felony or misdemeanor battery or assault crime, the sooner you retain a criminal defense lawyer, the better your chances of seeing a favorable outcome to your case. Once you retain Rhoads & Armstrong , we will begin our investigation immediately, gathering information, devising a defense strategy and actively working to protect your constitutional rights. Do not face the criminal justice system and the harsh penalties alone and, most importantly, do not wait to get the legal representation you deserve!
Rhoads & Armstrong is committed to providing each client with a strategic, aggressive defense. In every case, we work toward a dismissal or a “not guilty” verdict. But in instances where this is not possible, we are frequently successful in securing downgraded charges and milder penalties.
If you or a loved one has been arrested for a battery or assault crime in Arkansas, do not delay in contacting Rhoads & Armstrong . Arrange a fully confidential, no-cost case evaluation by calling us at 479-254-0135 or reaching out to us online.