Under Arkansas law, a felony is a crime punishable by incarceration in an Arkansas state prison. Felonies are more serious charges than misdemeanors, which are punishable by a sentence in a local jail. Defendants who are facing a felony conviction should hire experienced legal representation as soon as possible.
A felony conviction can have long-lasting effects, even after you finish serving your sentence. If you’ve been charged with a felony in Northwest Arkansas, contacting a criminal defense lawyer can be beneficial. Founding attorney Bryce Cook of the Law Offices of Bryce Cook is dedicated to protecting clients. He skillfully advocates for them through some of the most difficult challenges of their lives. Contact our law firm today to schedule your initial consultation.
Murder and Manslaughter Felony Charges Defense Lawyer
Murder is the most serious felony charge that a defendant can face in Arkansas. A capital murder conviction carries a punishment of a life sentence or the death penalty. Arkansas’s criminal code recognizes both capital murder and murder in the first degree. Capital murder is the most serious type of homicide within Arkansas. Those convicted face the death penalty. Capital murder includes murders that happen under the following conditions:
- Committing murder while committing other serious felonies, or while fleeing the scene
- Have a deliberate and premeditated purpose of killing another person
- Agreeing to kill another person in return for something else, and then killing that person
- Hiring a person to kill someone else
- Purposely firing a gun in certain situations and causing the death of another
- Knowingly causing the death of someone age 14 or younger
Arkansas law is somewhat unique in that deliberate and premeditated killings can be classified as capital murder or murder in the first degree. Prosecutors determine which type of murder charge to bring based on the circumstances that surround the killing. You could face murder charges even if you didn’t intend to kill the person who died. For example, if you’re committing certain felonies and someone dies, you could face first-degree murder charges.
The Arkansas criminal code recognizes voluntary manslaughter and involuntary manslaughter. If you’re facing murder charges, time is of the essence. You need an experienced criminal defense lawyer as soon as possible to begin building your defense. Voluntary manslaughter is an intentional killing when the defendant did not intend to kill anyone. Involuntary manslaughter happens when the killing is not intentional, but negligent. An intoxicated driver who causes an accident that results in someone’s death can face involuntary manslaughter charges.
Facing Rape and Sexual Assault Crimes Charges in Arkansas
The Arkansas criminal code categorizes the crime of sexual assault into four degrees. Every degree of sexual assault is a felony in Arkansas. Sexual assault includes rape, inappropriate touching, attempted rape, and child molestation. More generally, the crime of sexual assault consists of any wrongdoing in which the defendant subjects the victim to unwanted sexual activity. First-degree sexual assault is the most serious sexual assault charge, carrying a penalty of between six and thirty years of imprisonment.
Rape is a type of sexual assault in which the defendant has sexual intercourse or engages in a deviate sexual activity with the victim by force. Rape can also include sexual intercourse with someone who isn’t able to consent, is under the age of 14, or is a minor and related to the suspect. The crime of rape carries severe penalties. Those convicted of sexual crimes must also register with the Arkansas Sex Offender’s Registry. If you’ve been charged with a sex crime, hiring an experienced lawyer is incredibly important.
The Crime of Aggravated Assault in Arkansas
Aggravated assault is a Class D felony offense in Arkansas. Prosecutors need to prove several elements to succeed in securing a conviction. At the Law Offices of Bryce Cook, we help our clients develop compelling defense strategies, including showing that prosecutors cannot meet their burden of proof. The crime of aggravated offense happens when a person purposely does one of the following while manifesting extreme indifference to the value of human life:
- Engages in conduct that creates a substantial danger of death or of a serious physical injury to another person,
- Displays a firearm in a way that creates a substantial danger of death or serious injury to another person, or
- Impedes or prevents another person’s blood circulation or breathing by applying pressure on the neck or throat, or by blocking the mouth or throat
Penalties for Felony Charges in Arkansas
The penalties for felony crimes in Arkansas depend on the specific offense. Those charged with capital murder and treason face life imprisonment or the death penalty. Other felony drug charges are punishable by one to five years in prison. Arkansas uses a classification system to categorize sentencing, as follows:
- Class Y felonies carry with a sentence between ten and forty years, or life
- Class A felonies carry a sentence between six and thirty years
- Class B felonies carry a sentence between five and twenty years
- Class C felonies carry a sentence between three and ten years
Arkansas also imposes fines for defendants convicted of felonies. When an Arkansas statute states that the crime is a felony, but doesn’t assign a classification to the felony, judges will presume that the charge is a Class D felony. Judges can impose a maximum fine of $10,000 for Class C and Class D felonies, while Class A and B felonies have a maximum fine of $15,000.
Arkansas law also recognizes Unclassified Felonies. The applicable criminal statutes limit these felonies and provide prosecutors and judges with the specific sentencing guidelines. Arkansas law also imposes specific fines for Unclassified Felonies, as stated in the statute.
Contact An Experienced Felony Defense Lawyer Today
If you’re facing a felony charge of any kind in Arkansas, time is of the essence. The sooner you speak to an experienced lawyer, the more time your lawyer will have to develop your defense strategy. Don’t delay, contact the Law Offices of Bryce Cook as soon as possible to learn how to advocate for your rights.