The breakdown of Arkansas Battery Laws in Washington County with the help of Morton Law Firm.
Forms of First Degree Battery
Battery in the first degree is carrying a sentence between five and forty years to life. A person may be charged with first-degree battery for any of the following offenses:
- With the purpose of causing physical injury to another person using a deadly weapon;
- With the purpose of seriously and permanently disfiguring another person or destroying, amputating, or permanently disabling a member or organ of the other person’s body;
- Causing serious physical injury to another person manifested by extreme indifference to the value of human life;
- If, acting alone or with other persons, while committing or attempting to commit a felony, whether in the during or in immediate flight from the crime, a person or an accomplice causes serious physical harm to another person displaying an extreme indifference to human life, or if another person resisting the felony or flight causes serious injury to another person;
- Purposefully causing serious injury to an unborn child or to the women who are pregnant with an unborn child, causing serious physical harm to the unborn child;
- The person knowingly causes physical harm to a pregnant woman in the commission of the felony or a Class A misdemeanor, causing serious physical injury to the pregnant woman’s unborn child and the unborn child is subsequently born alive,
- The person knowingly, without legal justification, causes serious physical injury to a person he or she knows to be of the age of twelve years old or younger;
- Purposefully causing physical injury to any person with the use of a firearm;
- Knowingly causing severe physical injury to a person four years of age or younger and displaying an extreme indifference to human life is considered a Class Y felony.
Forms of Second Degree Battery
Battery in the second degree is carrying a sentence of no more than six years incarceration.
- With the purpose of causing severe physical injury to another person, the person causes serious physical injury to another person, using a deadly weapon other than a firearm;
- The person recklessly causes serious physical injury to another person, using a deadly weapon;
- Knowingly, without legal justification, causes physical injury to or incapacitates a known code enforcement officer, firefighter, employee of a correctional facility, or law enforcement officer acting in the line of duty.
Forms of Third Degree Battery
Battery in the third degree is carrying sentence of up to one-year incarceration.
- With the purpose of causing physical injury to another person, the person causes physical injury to any person;
- The accused recklessly causes physical injury to another person;
- The person negligently causes physical injury to another person using a deadly weapon;
- Purposely causes stupor, unconsciousness, or physical or mental impairment or injury to another person by administering to another person, without the person’s consent, any drug or other substance.
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.