Misdemeanor Guide

Arkansas Misdemeanor

Arkansas Class A Misdemeanors
Arkansas breaks its misdemeanors into three different classes. The harshest of misdemeanors reside in Class A. Class A Misdemeanors are punishable with a maximum of three hundred sixty-five days in a county jail. Inmates may at times be held in the state penitentiary. A fine might also accompany a jail sentencing.

Sentencing for a Class A Misdemeanor depends on the crime committed and whether or not people were injured. With a verdict of guilty an individual may be charged with various sentences. Probation, community service, and other fines are common with this class of misdemeanors.

Misdemeanor Fines
The fine limits for misdemeanors and violations increased and became effective as of the first of July in 2009. This increase took place because of Act 209 and changed the fine limits in all classes: Class A Misdemeanors advanced to twenty-five thousand dollars, Class B Misdemeanors advanced to one thousand dollars, and Class C Misdemeanors advanced to five hundred dollars.

Act 341 increased violation fines of municipal ordinances from five hundred dollars to one thousand dollars and continuing violations from two hundred fifty dollars to five hundred dollars.

DWI Offenses
Changes were also made to the DWI offense laws in regards to the suspension of drive's licenses. Act 922 reduced the restricted license time for both third and second DWI offenses from three hundred sixty-five days to forty-five days. After the time has suspended an interlock device can then be installed.

Act 1293 increased the suspended license time for first time DWI offenders from one hundred twenty days to one hundred eighty days.

General Laws
Act 33 states that any aggravated animal cruelty to a dog, horse, or cat is an offense. This offense, if done knowingly, is now treated as a Class D Felony. Act 33 states that an animal fighting in the state of Arkansas is illegal.

Act 976 states than any individual who knowingly gives a person under the age of twenty-one alcohol, who is not a family member, while on his or her own private property, shall be charged with a Class C Misdemeanor. The property owner can only be charged if he or she is present at the time of the alcohol consumption.

Act 650 increased the negligent homicide penalty to a Class B Felony. Act 650 also states that a prior conviction of negligent homicide constitutes as a previous offense and enhances the DWI sentencing.

Aggravated assault in the first degree was amended in relation to strangulation crimes under Act 332.

Aggravated assault against a household or family member was included in the list of offenses of domestic battery and was changed from a Class D Felony from a Class A Misdemeanor. This is for those with a prior conviction within a five year history.

Arkansas Misdemeanor Expungement
When a person has completed probation, the court may place the accused's record to be expunged of the conviction. This is only if the conviction was under the age of twenty-six at the time of the felony offense and has no previous felony conviction of capital offense, first degree murder, second degree murder, first degree rape, kidnapping, or aggravated robbery; was over the age of eighteen and has no previous convictions of a controlled substance; or has no prior felony convictions.

See also:
Arkansas Expungement External link (opens in new window)
Arkansas Felony External link (opens in new window)
Arkansas Gun Laws External link (opens in new window)