The Arkansas Assault Laws in Washington County with the help of Morton Law Firm. Assault offenses in Arkansas range from a misdemeanor to a felony whether it is in the first, second, and third degree or an aggravated assault.
To have the charges of assault one must either threaten with words behaviors or inflict minor harm. The victim of the assault must have feared being injured by the actions or threats.
To have aggravated assault charges the incident must include serious injuries with or have weapons involved in the encounter. For example, if someone simply pointed a gun at someone then they could be charged with aggravated assault.
Types of First Degree Assault
- Engages in an action that creates a substantial risk of death or serious physical injury to another person;
- Purposely impedes or prevents the respiration of another person or the circulation of another person’s blood by applying force to the throat or neck or by blocking the nose or mouth of the other person.
- First-degree assault is a Class A misdemeanor.
Types of Second Degree Assault
- Committing assault in the second degree is if he or she recklessly engages in conduct that creates a substantial risk of bodily harm to another person.
- Second-degree assault is a Class B misdemeanor.
Types of Third Degree Assault
- Committing assault in the third degree is if he or she purposely creates the apprehension of imminent physical injury in another person.
- Third-degree assault is a Class C misdemeanor.
Aggravated assault charges do not apply to a law enforcement officer acting within the scope of his or her duty; or a person acting in self – defense or the defense of a third party.
- A person commits aggravated assault if, under the circumstances manifesting extreme indifference to the value of human life, he or she purposely:
- Engages in actions that create a substantial danger of death or serious physical harm to another human;
- Displays a firearm in a way that suggests significant danger of death or serious bodily injury to another person;
- Impedes or prevents the respiration of another person or the circulation of another person’s blood by applying force to the throat or neck or by blocking the nose or mouth of the other person.
- Aggravated assault is a Class C Felony.
A Common Misconception Between Assault and Battery
It is common for most people in society to think assault and battery are the same. The two terms are commonly paired together in a multitude of cases however they serve different meanings. Each definition can vary from state to state. A primary distinction between the two is assault does not include contact. Battery includes offensive or illegal contact.
Assault means an attempt to injure someone else through verbal threats or threatening behavior. A criminal “act” is required however to be considered an assault which includes an overt or direct act making the person fear for their safety. An assault usually includes more than spoken words alone unless combined with acts that put the victim in imminent harm. To be charged with assault needs to have “general intent” which is means it is enough evidence that if the offender intended the actions which make up an assault they are held liable. Simplified as an intent to frighten another person can be enough to charge someone with assault.
Battery is harmful touching or intentionally offensive contact with another person without their consent. The act required for battery charges to be places is an offensive or harmful contact which means anything from one punch to a beating. To decide if a particular contact is categorized as offensive is evaluated from the perspective of the “ordinary person.” Springingly enough battery doesn’t require any intent to harm the victim, instead only need an intent to contact or cause contact. Often battery charges are changed to assault if they are viewed as reckless and negligent.