First Time Charge For Domestic Battering Or Assault In Arkansas – What Happens?
Even if you’ve never been in trouble before, a charge for domestic battering or assault on a family or household member is a serious offense. A misdemeanor conviction could land you in jail, force you to move out of your home or prevent you from contacting family members. It will also put you one step away from a felony.
It Does Not Work Like That
Many people think they can plead guilty to a misdemeanor, pay a fine and put the past behind them. That may be the case with a traffic ticket, but we talk to people all the time that think a domestic batter case will be dropped because:
It might not make sense to you, but there is another victim in the case. The victim that decides your fate is the State of Arkansas. The crime is against the State, the prosecutor works for the State and has the power to subpoena the alleged victim to court.
If your case moves forward, the alleged victim cannot stop your prosecution or determine your sentence. There probably an order of protection in place, so you can’t discuss things with them anyway, unless you want additional charges.
You need an experienced criminal defense attorney that knows how to work these cases.
My Case Is Different
Arkansas is in the top 20 states with the highest rate of domestic violence against women and in the top 10 in domestic violence against men. Arkansas prosecutors and judges take ALL domestic abuse cases seriously.
Do not accept a plea without consulting an attorney.
Because Arkansas has such a high rate of domestic abuse, your prosecutor has heard “this was just a misunderstanding” or “not a big deal” hundreds, if not thousands of times.
Even if your case is unique and you are correct, you do not need to make this argument on your own. The stakes are too high.
Unemployment, Gun Rights And Other Issues
The judge might sentence you to jail, fines, probation, community service, counseling classes and/or issue an order of protection. However, the long-term problems with a misdemeanor conviction may include:
There is no simple domestic battering or assault case. Even misdemeanor charges can have serious long-term impact. Hire an attorney experienced in domestic violence criminal cases.