Conviction of a Misdemeanor in Arkansas can result in 1 year of Jail and thousands of dollars in fines and court costs.
At wh Law, we have the experience and skill to fight for you. We work to achieve the outcome you are looking for. Just ask any of our past or current clients, this is why we have hundreds of 5 star reviews across the web.
We have handled thousands of misdemeanors in Arkansas and with a team of experienced trial attorneys and former prosecutors, we know how to achieve the results you are looking for. We have successfully helped our clients get their misdemeanor charges Dismissed, kept off their record, reduced and found not guilty at trial. We want to do the same for you. We all know the deck is stacked against you when you are charged with a crime, but we are here to level that playing field and give you the tools to successfully defend your rights.
Under Arkansas law, Misdemeanors are broken down into four classes:
- Class “A” Misdemeanors – punishable by up to one year in jail and a fine of up to $2,500.
- Class “B” Misdemeanors – punishable by up to ninety days in jail and a fine of up to $1,000.
- Class “C” Misdemeanor – punishable by up to thirty days in jail and a fine of up to $500.
- “Unclassified” Misdemeanors – statute-specific fines and jail time are set out for each offense, such as DWI.
What should I do if I have been charged with a Misdemeanor in Arkansas?
Step one, contact an experienced criminal defense attorney immediately.
If you have contact with a police officer, you have the right to remain silent and not incriminate yourself. You should always exercise that right.
You also have another very important right, the right to an attorney. This is quite possibly one of the most important rights you have. Experienced criminal defense attorneys, like the ones at wh Law, can properly evaluate all evidence the State wants to use against you and formulate your best defense options to get the results you want.
It is important to contact an attorney as soon as possible. If you are unable to personally contact an attorney due to being in jail, have a trusted friend or family member reach out on your behalf. Certain evidence, such as body cameras and police car videos, is only required to be preserved by the State for a short period of time. Hiring an attorney quickly will give the attorney the ability to file the appropriate motions to secure the preservation of valuable evidence in your case that could help prove your innocence.
It is a common misconception of people who feel they are guilty of the charged crime, that pleading Not Guilty at your first court appearance can hurt your case later. This is not true. The criminal process is designed for you to plea not guilty and have an opportunity for your attorney to review all the evidence and be able to put you in the best possible situation. This ensures you are fully informed of what the state is alleging you have done and that you have the opportunity to best defend your rights.
SOME EXAMPLES AND EXPLANATIONS OF THE MOST COMMON ARKANSAS MISDEMEANORS INCLUDE:
- Possession of Drug Paraphernalia – The type and purpose of the paraphernalia will determine if it is charged as a misdemeanor or felony. In Misdemeanor cases, paraphernalia used for Marijuana is the most common type of drug Paraphernalia in Arkansas.
- Possession of Controlled Substance – Whether or not the controlled substance is a misdemeanor or felony depends on the type and weight of the substance. In Arkansas, the most common type of Misdemeanor Controlled Substance is Marijuana which is a Schedule VI Drug in Arkansas.
- Battery 3rd Degree – this is usually your typical bar fight where no one is seriously injured. The prosecution must prove that you caused some degree of harm to another person and that you had the actual intent to cause that person harm.
- Domestic Battery 3rd Degree – Some type of domestic relationship (Husband, Wife, Brother, Sister, Roommate, Cousin, ect.) must exist and the prosecution must prove that you caused some degree of harm to another person actually intending to cause that person harm.
- Assault – Engaging in conduct that creates a substantial risk of death or serious physical injury to another person, or purposefully impeding or preventing 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 person’s nose or mouth.
- Harassment – This is a sustained pattern of bothering someone who does not want contact with you.
- Public Intoxication – A person commits the offense of public intoxication if he or she appears in a public place manifestly under the influence of alcohol or a controlled substance to the degree and under circumstances such that the person is likely to endanger himself or herself or another person or property, or the person unreasonably annoys a person in his or her vicinity.
- Disorderly Conduct – A person commits the offense of disorderly conduct if, with the purpose to cause public inconvenience, annoyance, or alarm or recklessly creating a risk of public inconvenience, annoyance, or alarm, he or she does one of the following: Engages in fighting or in violent, threatening, or tumultuous behavior; makes unreasonable or excessive noise; In a public place, uses abusive or obscene language, or makes an obscene gesture, in a manner likely to provoke a violent or disorderly response; Disrupts or disturbs any lawful assembly or meeting of persons; Obstructs vehicular or pedestrian traffic; Congregates with two or more other persons in a public place and refuses to comply with a lawful order to disperse of a law enforcement officer or other person engaged in enforcing or executing the law; Creates a hazardous or physically offensive condition; In a public place, mars, defiles, desecrates, or otherwise damages a patriotic or religious symbol that is an object of respect by the public or a substantial segment of the public; or In a public place, exposes his or her private parts.
- Obstructing Governmental Operations – A person commits the offense of obstructing governmental operations if the person: Knowingly obstructs, impairs, or hinders the performance of any governmental function; Knowingly refuses to provide information requested by an employee of a governmental agency relating to the investigation of a case brought under Title IV-D of the Social Security Act, 42 U.S.C. 651 et seq., and is the physical custodian of the child in the case; Fails to submit to court-ordered DNA testing to determine the paternity of a child in a case brought under Title IV-D of the Social Security Act, 42 U.S.C. 651 et seq.; or Falsely identifies himself or herself to a law enforcement officer or a code enforcement officer.
- DWI / BWI – It is unlawful and punishable as provided in this act for any person who is intoxicated to operate or be in actual physical control of a motor vehicle. It is unlawful and punishable for any person to operate or be in actual physical control of a motor vehicle if at that time the alcohol concentration in the person’s breath or blood was eight-hundredths (0.08) or more based upon the definition of breath, blood, and urine concentration in 5-65-204.
- Minor in Possession – It is unlawful for any person under 21 years of age to purchase or have in his or her possession any intoxicating liquor, wine, or beer. In Arkansas, intoxicating liquor, wine, or beer in the body of a minor is not deemed to be in his or her possession. It is also unlawful for an adult to purchase on behalf of a person under 21 years of age any intoxicating liquor, wine, or beer.
- Carrying a Weapon – This is a crime of much debate recently. The law currently requires a culpable mental state for a conviction. A person commits the offense of carrying a weapon if he or she possesses a handgun, knife, or club on or about his or her person, in a vehicle occupied by him or her, or otherwise readily available for use with a purpose to attempt to unlawfully employ the handgun, knife, or club as a weapon against a person.
- Theft of Property – Taking or exercising unauthorized control over or making an unauthorized transfer of an interest in the property of another person with the purpose of depriving the owner of the property; or obtaining the property of another person by deception or by threat with the purpose of depriving the owner of the property and that property is worth $1,000 or less.
- Theft by Receiving – A person commits the offense of theft by receiving if he or she receives, retains, or disposes of stolen property of another person, knowing that the property was stolen; or having good reason to believe the property was stolen.
What common drugs are Misdemeanors in Arkansas?
- Schedule III drugs weighing less than 2 grams.
- Examples: Anabolic Steroids, Buprenorphine.
- Schedule IV or Schedule V drugs weighing less than 28 grams.
- Examples: Clonazepam, Ativan, and other anti-depressants & sleeping medications.
- Schedule VI drugs weighing less than 4 ounces.
- Examples: Marijuana.
Although it is true that misdemeanors are not as serious as felonies, they can easily wreck your life. Many employers ask about misdemeanors. A domestic abuse charge may actually prevent you from owning a firearm. But the most important reason to take Arkansas misdemeanors seriously is that Arkansas courts will hold them against you in the future if you’re convicted of another crime. This can make a huge difference in your future sentence.
The point is that you need to hire an experienced, aggressive criminal defense attorney who will protect your rights if you have been accused of a misdemeanor.
When you call, this is what you can expect:
- A prompt consultation in person, on the phone, or via video conference.
- A careful explanation of what you might be facing and all your options. Some criminal defense lawyers want clients to plead guilty to any misdemeanor because it’s easier. We will never advise you to plead guilty unless it’s necessary.
- A swift and thorough investigation of all the facts of your case.
- A creative and aggressive trial strategy that incorporates the latest technology with time-tested techniques.
We care about your future and want to protect you from the damage of a misdemeanor conviction. If you need help with your misdemeanor, do not wait.