Drug-related offenses are one of many serious felonies in Arkansas. In the state, controlled substances (CDS) are classified into 6 “schedules,” with Schedule I being the most dangerous.Examples of certain schedules of drugs are:
- Schedule I – opiates, hallucinogens
- Schedule II – raw opium, amphetamines
- Schedule III – pentobarbital, anabolic steroids
- Schedule IV – changed tramadol
- Schedule V – pseudoephedrine
- Schedule VI – marijuana, salvia divinorum
It is a serious felony to deliver or sell drugs in Arkansas, and even possession with intent to deliver is just as punishable. Note that intent to deliver is based on evidence showing that the accused intended to sell the drugs, such as:
- possessing weight scales and packaging materials;
- having records indicating drug-related transactions;
- being in physical control of a firearm; or
- possessing multiple controlled substances in any amount.
Felony drug crimes can fall under one of 6 classes – unclassified, Y, A, B, C, and D – with the most serious felonies being Class Y. In special cases, a few delivery-related crimes may be charged as Class A misdemeanors.
Visit our page on drug offenses to learn more about the specific penalties for drug-related crimes and enhanced penalties that may be imposed under further circumstances.
Domestic Violence Offenses
In addition to drug crimes, domestic violence offenses are also serious matters with felony and misdemeanor consequences. A domestic violence offense can be first degree, second degree, or third degree, depending on the level of injury allegedly suffered by the other person. First degree battering, a Class B felony, is the most serious form of domestic battering, where someone inflicts on a household or family member:
- serious physical injury by use of a deadly weapon while intending to cause such an injury;
- serious permanent disability or disfigurement with the intent to cause such an injury;
- serious physical injury under circumstances that demonstrate an extreme indifference to the value of human life; or
- serious physical injury to a household or family member who the person knows is either under the age of 13 or over the age of 60.
Second degree domestic battering against a family or household member, a Class C felony, occurs if a person:
- causes serious physical injury while intending to cause physical injury;
- inflicts physical injury by use of a deadly weapon while intending to cause such injury;
- recklessly causes serious physical injury by use of a deadly weapon; or
- knowingly causes physical injury to a household or family member that the person knows to be 60 years of age or older or 12 years of age or younger.
Lastly, third degree domestic battering against a family or household member, a Class A misdemeanor, is when a person:
- causes physical injury while intending to cause such injury;
- recklessly or negligently causes physical injury by use of a deadly weapon; or
- intentionally causes physical or mental impairment by administering to the family or household member (without that person’s consent) a drug or any other substance.
Visit our page on domestic violence for more information on the penalties associated with each felony level of domestic battering.
Note that an alleged victim of domestic violence may petition a court for a protective order, which legally protects them from contact from the defendant. Any violation of a protective order is a Class A misdemeanor punishable by up to 1 year in jail. If the violation occurs within 5 years of a previous conviction for violating a protective order, the defendant could face a Class D felony for a violation.
Driving While Intoxicated
One of the most common crimes committed are DWI. Under Arkansas law, a person can be charged with DWI for operating or being in actual physical control over a vehicle while they are intoxicated (have a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08% or greater), or while their reaction and motor skills are substantially altered due to the ingestion of alcohol, a controlled substance, or any other intoxicant. Note that drivers under the age of 21 may be charged with an underage DWI if they have a BAC of .02%.
The penalties a judge may impose depends on a variety of factors, such as how many prior DWI convictions a person has within the last 5 years, including convictions from other states:
- 1st offense: 24 hours to 1 year in jail; $150-$1,000 in fines; and at least 24 hours of community service
- 2nd offense: 7 days to 1 year in jail; $400-$3,000 in fines; and at least 30 days of community service
- 3rd offense: 90 days to 1 year in jail; $900-$5,000 in fines; and at least 90 days of community service
Arkansas also implements implied consent laws that require all drivers lawfully arrested for DWI to submit to a chemical or breath test. A test refusal could result in significant periods of license suspension or revocation.