Criminal Defense

With offices in North Little Rock, Bryant, Clarksville, Batesville, and Cabot, the criminal defense lawyers at Wilson & Haubert aggressively represent clients in criminal matters throughout the state of Arkansas. If you are being investigated or charged with a crime in state or federal court, please contact us immediately. The sooner we start on your case, the better.

Arkansas Criminal Defense

What you need to know if you're arrested

Good legal advice is essential at every stage of a criminal case. There will likely be an investigation, even before you are actually charged with a crime. The police will probably interview you and collect any other evidence that is available. This is one of the most important times to have an experienced, aggressive criminal defense lawyer. What you say can make or break your case. With the right help, a prosecutor may never even be able to charge you.

Once you have been charged, we adopt a hands-on approach to your case. We then conduct our own investigation, getting information from the government, interviewing witnesses, visiting the crime scene, and gathering any other facts or information relevant to your case. Only then can we best serve your interests by understanding the case better than the prosecutor.

Driving While Intoxicated (DWI or DUI)

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The laws about DWI’s (Driving While Intoxicated) can be confusing, and everyone seems to think that he or she is an expert. In our experience, most of the advice that people give is wrong. If you’ve been charged with a DWI, you need someone who knows the law and knows what to do to give you a fighting chance—an aggressive Arkansas DWI attorney. Some DWI’s really are winnable, but many are not. Because we are DWi attorneys and understand the law, we will be able to tell you where you stand.

Common Questions regarding DWIs in Arkansas:

What does it mean to be “intoxicated” while driving?

What does it mean to be “driving?

Under the Arkansas DWI law, you can be convicted of a DWI for EITHER of these two things:

  1. being in physical control of or operating a motor vehicle while intoxicated, or
  2. being in physical control of or operating a motor vehicle with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08 or over. This number is 0.04 if you are a commercial driver (even if you’re not on the job!) and 0.02 if you’re under 21.

This is important. It means that the prosecutor doesn’t need your BAC to convict. He or she simply has to show beyond a reasonable doubt that you were intoxicated while you were in control of the vehicle. The term “intoxicated” is pretty broad; it pretty much means that your driving is affected and it doesn’t matter whether it was drugs, alcohol, or both that were responsible.

The term “intoxication” can be interpreted differently. A good DWI attorney will force a prosecutor to prove that the substance is truly an intoxicant.

The penalties for an Arkansas DWI increase significantly every time you get one. A first DWI carries a penalty of no less than one day and no more than one year and a fine between $150 and $1000. The person will also have his or her license suspended for 120 or 180 days, depending on BAC.

The fine and jail time are dependent on several factors, which include the following:

  1. Whether there was a passenger under 16 in the car at the time of offense
  2. The driver’s BAC (anything over .15 is a harsher penalty).

DWI’s stack up based on a five-year basis. So, when a person is convicted of a DWI, the Court will look back five years and any other DWI’s will dramatically increase the sentence.

A second offense faces imprisonment of not less than 30 days and a fine from $400 to $3,000. A third offense is 90 days and from $900 to $5,000. Again, having a passenger under 16 in the car and one’s actual BAC are both factors that might make sentence more severe.

Although most DWI’s are misdemeanors, it is important that you do whatever you can to protect yourself. A DWI can affect current or prospective employment and will make your insurance rates rise significantly. You are better off finding an experienced, aggressive DWI attorney who understands the law and can make sure that you are able to fight a DWI conviction. If you need help with your situation, do not wait. Please call us at one of our two locations: North Little Rock (501) 372-1212 or Cabot (501) 941-1937.

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Felonies

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An Arkansas felony is any crime that is punishable by incarceration in a state prison (Misdemeanors are only punishable by time in local jails.) If you have been charged with a felony in Arkansas, you need to contact a criminal defense attorney immediately because you may face serious jail time, as shown below.

Arkansas divides felonies up into several classes: Class Y Felonies, Class A Felonies, Class B Felonies, Class C Felonies, or Class D Felonies. There are also “unclassified felonies,” which are unclassified because the particular law will tell you your punishment.

Class Y Felony carries a minimum sentence of ten years, but no more than forty years or life. Examples include murder, rape, arson, and kidnapping

Class A Felony carries a minimum sentence of six years, but no more than thirty years. Examples include aggravated robbery, human trafficking, and many sex and drug crimes.

Class B Felony carries a minimum sentence of five years, but no more than twenty years. These crimes include burglary, theft of property and forgery

Class C Felony carries a minimum sentence of three years, but no more than ten years. Common offenses include receiving stolen property, vandalism, failure to appear, financial identity fraud, and intimidating a witness

Class D Felony carries a maximum sentence of six years. Examples include aggravated assault, breaking and entering, cruelty to animals, and defacing a firearm.

A felony charge is serious; a felony conviction will affect the rest of your life. If you’ve been charged with a felony (or even if you think you’ll be charged), please contact us to make sure that someone is there to protect your rights.

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Misdemeanors

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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 offence, such as DWI.

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. 
  • Possession of Controlled Substance – Whether or not the controlled substance is a misdemeanor or felony depends on the type and weight of the substance.
  • Battery 3rd Degree – this is usually your typical bar fight where no one is seriously injured.
  • Domestic Battery 3rd Degree – Some type of domestic relationship (Husband,Wife, Brother, Sister, Roommate, Cousin, ect.) must exist. 
  • Assault – This is usually the result of a tussle where no one had any visible injuries.
  • Terroristic Threatening – This is the adult equivalent of running your mouth on the playground and telling someone you are going to beat them up.
  • Harassment – This is a sustained pattern of bothering someone who does not want contact with you.
  • Public Intoxication – Being intoxicated and annoying.
  • Disorderly Conduct – Engaging in behavior that is annoying to others.
  • Obstructing Governmental Operations – Usually happens when you lie to the police about who you are.
  • DWI – Being in control of a motorized vehicle and having a BAC of .08 or higher, or being intoxicated.
  • Minor in Possession – Usually possessing alcohol before you are of legal age to consume the alcohol.
  • Carrying a Weapon – This is a crime of much debate recently.  The law currently requires a culpable mental state for a conviction.
  • Theft of Property – When you are the person who took the property worth less than $1,000.
  • Theft by Receiving – When you possess property that you know or should know is stolen.

And 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 because 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 if you have been accused of a misdemeanor.

When you call, this is what you can expect:

  1. A prompt consultation at one of our three offices (North Little Rock, Cabot, or Clarksville) or, if necessary, in jail.
  2. 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.
  3. A swift and thorough investigation of all the facts of your case.
  4. A creative yet 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. 

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With this information in hand, you will be prepared to make important decisions regarding your case, such as whether you want to select a judge or jury trial or wish to explore the possibility of a negotiated plea agreement. Once you have made these decisions, we proceed along those lines and provide you with vigorous representation to secure the best possible outcome.

Wilson & Haubert offers a diverse range of criminal law representation including:

  • DWI– A conviction for DWI/DUI can seriously affect a clients livelihood.  A conviction can carry consequences from license suspension to fines and mandatory jail time.  DWI trials are very fact intensive and have many complex scientific defenses.  We will analyze your case and highlight the defenses you may have.
  • Drug Possession– The possession of controlled substances such as Methamphetamine, Cocaine, Marijuana, Oxycontin, Steroids, Ecstasy, LSD, and various other narcotics can result in a multitude of State or Federal charges.  We are able to assess your case and protects your rights.
  • Drug Trafficking– The accusation of trafficking large amounts of narcotics can have substantial consequences such as DEA involvement and federal indictments.  If you have been indicted or feel that you may be, we can help.  Our firm will use our wealth of knowledge and resources to assure the best outcome possible.
  • Weapons Charges– Our firm is experienced in dealing with weapons charges ranging from Misdemeanor through the Felony level.  The involvement of a weapon in an alleged crime can tack on many years to a sentence.  It is important to contact us as soon as possible so that we can attempt to minimize any damaging accusations that have been levied against you.
  • White Collar and Organized Crime– From Forgeries to RICO violations, Wilson & Haubert has the tools and ability to defend your rights and reputation.
  • Robbery– A simple Robbery can easily be elevated to an Aggravated Robbery by a slight change in facts and if a gun is involved, this can up the ante again.  A good criminal defense lawyer can analyze the case and make the arguments to present your side in the best light possible.
  • Burglary– Both Commercial and Residential Burglary can carry hefty prison sentences.  We have the experience and knowledge to analyze the facts in your case and make the scientific arguments to preserve your liberty.
  • Homicide– From Manslaughter to Murder, Wilson & Haubert has you covered.  We have the tools and ability to preserve your rights and defend your case.
  • Juvenile Crimes– Being adjudicated delinquent as a juvenile can have lasting consequences; from the inability to get a job to being denied admission to the school of your choice.  At Wilson & Haubert, we have experienced criminal defense lawyers who can successfully navigate the juvenile system.
  • Sex Crimes– Conviction of a sex crime can have implications that last a lifetime; such as having to register as a sex offender, notify neighbors, or even being unable to live within a certain proximity of schools and parks.
  • Appeals– We have the experience and ability to analyze your case and navigate through the appeals process.

We care about your future and want to protect you from the damage of a conviction. If you need help with your situation, do not wait. We have skilled and aggressive criminal defense lawyers who can effectively fight to protect your rights. Please contact us at one of our two locations: North Little Rock (501) 372-1212 or Cabot (501) 941-1937.

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