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YLS In Brief

Arkansas Felonies

The Arkansas Department of Correction has a boot camp program for persons who meet certain requirements. These requirements include (but not limited to):

  1. First time offenders
  2. Non-violent criminal
  3. Sentence must be less than ten (10) years

The boot camp program generally lasts from ninety (90) to one hundred twenty (120) days.  This time period is vastly shorter than most inmates would otherwise serve before being eligible for parole. Once participants complete the program they are placed under the supervision of parole.

It is important to consult with an attorney about this program if you are looking at a sentence that involves incarceration. A client may be charged with an offense that is not eligible for boot camp. However, in exchange for a plea, the prosecuting attorney can amend the charge and recommend a sentence that will allow the client to be eligible for boot camp.

Call Eisele & Huffman, P.A., for your free consultation today. 501-315-5293.

The offense of Endangering the Welfare of a Minor in Arkansas is punishable at three levels. Arkansas Code §§ 5-27-205 to 207 cover these offenses. Anyone charged with these offenses should consult with an attorney and read the statutes thoroughly. The highlights of the different statutes are below:

  1. Endangering the Welfare of a Minor in the First Degree (5-27-205). This offense is a Class D Felony. This crime  involves purposeful conduct on behalf of the accused to either put their child in substantial risk of serious physical injury or death, or to abandon a minor (less than 10 years) in a manner that causes a risk of serious physical injury or death.
  2. Endangering the Welfare of a Minor in the Second Degree (5-27-206). This offense is a Class A Misdemeanor. This crime involves a defendant knowingly engaging in conduct that creates a substantial risk of serious  harm to the physical or mental welfare of another person known by the defendant to be a minor.
  3. Endangering the Welfare of a Minor in the Third Degree (5-27-207). This offense is a Class B Misdemeanor. This crime involves a defendant recklessly engaging in conduct that causes a substantial risk of serious harm to the physical or mental welfare of another person known by the defendant to be a minor.

Many parents or guardians that are not generally in the criminal justice system can find themselves charged with one of the above offenses for a single accident or mistake. It is important to consult with an attorney if you are charged with the above offenses as sometimes the offense level can be reduced or the offenses dismissed based upon the facts in the case.

The 2008-2009 Arkansas Legislative session produced several slight, yet impactful, amendments to previously established laws.  It is important for attorneys, as well as citizens, to remain up-to-date on any changes to the laws impacting Arkansas’s criminal system.  The following few selections highlight the most recent changes in our state’s statutes:

  1. The fine limits misdemeanors and violations were increased effective July 1, 2009:
    1. Act 209 increased the fine limits for misdemeanors: Class A to $2500; Class B to $1000; and Class C to $500.
    2. Act 341 increased the maximum fine for violation of municipal ordinances from $500 to $1000 and increases continuing violations from $250 to $500.
  2. Major changes to Arkansas DWI offense with regard to driver’s license suspension were also made:
    1. Act 922 reduced the time for which a restricted license is imposed for both second and third DWI offenses from three hundred sixty five (365) days to forty five (45) days, after which time an interlock device may be installed.
    2. Act 1293 increased the period of license suspension for a first time DWI from one hundred twenty (120) days to one hundred eighty (180) days.
  3. Multiple new criminal offenses were enacted by the Arkansas General Assembly during this past session: 
    1. Act 33 created the offense of “Aggravated cruelty to a dog, cat, or horse.”  A person commits the offense if he or she knowingly tortures one of the abovementioned animals, and the offense is treated as a Class D felony.
    2.  Additionally, Act 33 prohibits all animal fighting in the state of Arkansas.
    3. Act 976 provides that a person who exercises control over private property shall not knowingly allow an individual, who is less than twenty-one years of age and not a family member, to consume alcohol on his or her private property.  For the property owner to be cited, they must be present at the time of the minor’s consumption, which is punishable under a Class C misdemeanor.
  4. Sentencing changes were also implemented by the Arkansas General Assembly.  Act 650 increased the penalty for negligent homicide to a Class B felony, and provides that a prior conviction of negligent homicide constitutes a previous offense for the purposes of enhancing DWI sentencing.
  5. Laws regarding families in Arkansas were amended as well:
    1. Act 332 encompasses strangulation under the crimes of aggravated assault and assault in the first degree.
    2. Further, aggravated assault on a family or household member was added to the list of offenses that will increase domestic battering from a Class A misdemeanor to a Class D felony for a prior conviction occurring within the past five years pursuant to Act 333.

Remember, staying updated on current legal issues can make a significant impact on the sentencing phase of a criminal case.  If you have any questions regarding these most recent Legislative updates, contact our firm at jeisele@eiselelaw.com.

In Arkansas, there are various classifications of felonies. Here is the prison sentence range for each (found at Arkansas Code 5-4-401):

(1) For a Class Y felony, the sentence shall be not less than ten (10)
years and not more than forty (40) years, or life;

(2) For a Class A felony, the sentence shall be not less than six (6)
years nor more than thirty (30) years;

(3) For a Class B felony, the sentence shall be not less than five (5)
years nor more than twenty (20) years;

(4) For a Class C felony, the sentence shall be not less than three (3)
years nor more than ten (10) years;

(5) For a Class D felony, the sentence shall not exceed six (6) years;
and

(6) For an unclassified felony, the sentence shall be in accordance
with a limitation of the statute defining the felony.

The Hope Part:

Most felonies in Arkansas allow for a possible probation sentence. It is important to talk to an experienced Arkansas criminal defense attorney when facing felony criminal charges.