In Arkansas, the crime of domestic battering (or domestic assault) can come in many forms, and can be either a felony or misdemeanor depending on the circumstances. Domestic battering in the second degree and first degree are felonies, while domestic battering in the third degree is a misdemeanor. Your basic options when charged with this crime are to either admit guilt and work out the best possible settlement, or to maintain your innocence and have a trial. Trials can be expensive and stressful, but if the charge is felony domestic battering, you have a prior criminal record, and the allegations are serious, you may not get much of a settlement offer from the state. You may wish to make the state prove its case and have a trial.
At trial, the state of Arkansas must prove each element of the crime beyond a reasonable doubt. Sometimes this isn’t easy in domestic cases because of the personal, often intimate relationship between the victim and the accused. The state must bring the victim to court and have him or her testify. Sometimes they don’t want to (but they’ll be subpoenaed). Sometimes their story changes. It doesn’t always happen but it’s something to think about if your case goes to trial.
With a misdemeanor domestic battering charge you have these same options, but you stand a better chance of getting a good deal. This is especially true if you’re a first-time offender. “Good deal” means being able to later have the charge removed from your record and also not serving a jail sentence. But misdemeanor domestic battering charges in Arkansas are serious–they carry up to one year and if you’re a first-time offender a conviction can be trouble for your future. You want to do whatever it takes to avoid a permanent conviction. An Arkansas domestic battering lawyer can help. Patrick Stegall specializes in criminal defense throughout the eastern part of the state. For help in your case, contact him at (901) 205-9894 or firstname.lastname@example.org.