Arkansas, like other states, has domestic violence laws that deter individuals from harming other family members. These domestic violence laws not only protect individuals against physical injury but also prohibit and offer protection against verbal, emotional and sexual abuse. If you are facing issues related to criminal domestic violence, you need to speak to a CDV defense lawyer as soon as possible.
Criminal domestic violence laws have really evolved over the last few years. Today, there are laws in place that even make it a crime to participate in behavior that can lead to or create significant serious harm or increase the risk of death for any member of a household. Depending on the seriousness of the domestic violence, the penalties can vary from a misdemeanor to a felony. Talk to a CDV defense lawyer in this regard.
Arkansas Criminal Domestic Violence Laws
In general, the Arkansas criminal domestic violence laws apply to both victims and offenders who are part of a family or are considered members of a household. This includes the following:
- Any child residing in the home
- Children belong to biological parents
- Current or former spouse
- Individual related to the family by blood
- Individuals who are presently living together or have lived together previously
- Individuals who have a child together
- Individuals who are presently in a relationship or were in a relationship previously
In case of two individuals living in the same household but who are not married, the court will consider the type, frequency of interactions, and length of the relationship between the victim and the offender in case any act of criminal domestic violence is reported. Individuals who are only colleagues at work or have a casual relationship are not considered to be family household members.
What Are The Penalties For Criminal Domestic Violence in Arkansas?
In Arkansas, the penalties for domestic violence depend on the degree and level of injury that the victim suffers. The most serious is a first-degree battery, which also carries the harshest penalties. Both second and third-degree battery cases are considered less serious compared to a first-degree battery, and thus the penalties are less severe. However, any form of domestic violence is dealt with very seriously as per the law.
Degrees of Criminal Domestic Violence
When an individual is charged with first-degree battery against a household member, they have:
- Used a deadly weapon with the intent of causing a serious injury
- Caused serious injury that has resulted in disfigurement or permanent disability
- Caused a life-threatening injury with complete indifference to the value of human life
- Caused serious physical harm to a household member with the knowledge that they are over the age of 60 or under the age of 13.
For first degree battery, the penalty depends on the Felony Class. Class A felony can result in 30 years’ incarceration, whereas Class B felony carries up to 20 years in prison.
Second-degree battery is said to have occurred when the offender:
- Intends to and causes serious physical injury
- Recklessly uses a deadly weapon to inflict some type of physical injury
- Causes physical injury to a family or household member who is over the age of 60 or less than 12 years of age.
Second-degree domestic battery is classified as a Class C felony, which carries a maximum prison sentence of ten years.
The third-degree domestic battery is said to have occurred when the defendant:
- Intends to and causes physical injury
- Recklessly causes harm
- Uses a deadly weapon in a negligent fashion
- Intentionally cause mental or physical harm to a family member with a chemical or other related agent.
Domestic battery in the third degree is considered a Class A misdemeanor, which is punishable by 0-12 months in prison. For all the above domestic battery cases, the penalties are increased if the victim is pregnant or if the offense is recurrent.
Criminal Domestic Violence is a serious charge. If you need more information about the criminal domestic violence laws and how they can affect you, you can call our CDV defense lawyer at Arkansas Lawyer. Penalties can vary depending on the extent of the injury, the type of violent act that caused the injury and the profile of both the victim and the offender. Keep in mind that even if the act of violence was a result of a disagreement and even if the offender did not plan to cause injury or harm a member of their household, the fact is that if they cause harm, physical or emotional, to another person, they can be charged with domestic violence. Speak to a CDV defense lawyer for any help related to any issue of criminal domestic violence.