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Violent Crimes Defense Lawyer
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Violent Crimes Defense Lawyer

Violent crimes are serious crimes that require defense attorneys with an experienced and delicate touch.  Each violent crime case is different and there may be many possibilities for action for any given case.  To discuss the specific details of your violent crime case, schedule a FREE consultation with Stuart Cearley today.

What Constitutes a Violent Crime?

According to the FBI’s Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) Program, violent crimes are defined as offenses that involve physical force or threat of force or violence against an individual, this includes murder/nonnegligent manslaughter, rape, robbery, and aggravated assault. The degree of violence can vary and may include the use of weapons, physical force or even the threat of bodily harm. 


Murder and homicide are categorized in 6 different degrees, each varying based on its severity and punishment.  The 6 degrees of murder include:


Penalty for murder is categorized by felony, with the exception of capital murder.  A person found guilty of capital murder will receive either a death sentence or life in prison. All other types of murder is subjected to its appointed felony sentence, with prison time ranging from 3 years to 40 years.  

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Sexual Assault and Rape

  • Sexual assault and Rape are considered violent crimes and have serious repercussions. In Arkansas, rape is broken down into four degrees of sexual assault, with appointed felony charges dependent on the degree of sexual assault being charged:


  • First-Degree Sexual Assault (Class A felony) - engaging in sexual intercourse with a minor who isn’t the offender’s spouse, and the offender is employed by the Department of Correction while the victim is in the department’s custody.



  • Third-Degree Sexual Assault (Class C felony) - being a minor engaging in sexual intercourse with someone who is less than 14 years of age and isn’t the offender’s spouse.


  • Fourth-Degree Sexual Assault (Class D felony) - being 20 years of age or older and engaging in sexual intercourse with a minor who is less than 16 years old and who isn’t the offender’s spouse.


In the state of Arkansas, a person is considered to have committed robbery if, with the purpose of committing theft, employs or threatens to employ physical force upon another person.  

Robbery is considered a Class B felony and is punishable by fine of up to $15,000 and imprisonment of 5-20 years. 

Aggravated Assault and Battery

Assault and Battery is a combination of two separate charges.  Aggravated assault is defined as a crime of attacking another person resulting in serious bodily harm, including the use of dangerous weapons such as guns, knives, swords, axes, or other blunt instruments and shows an extreme indifference to the value on someone’s life. Aggravated assault is considered a Class D felony.


Battery  refers to the wrongful act of physically harming another person and is classified under various degrees of felonies and misdemeanors.  The punishment for the categories depends on the degree of the crime.

Aggravated assault is considered a Class D felony and is punishable by fine of up to $10,000 and up to 6 years in state penitentiary. 

Penalties and Sentencing for Violent Crimes

In Arkansas, penalties for violent crimes and sex crimes carry some of the heaviest penalties but vary based on the nature of the offense. The most serious crimes are rated as felonies and have the most severe punishments ranging from lengthy jail time, large fines or even a death sentence.  The less serious crimes can be charged as misdemeanors and have less jail time and lower fines.


Arkansas Sentencing Guidelines for Violent Crimes are as follows:
  • Unclassified felonies: imprisonment as determined by statute.

  • Class Y felony: 10 to 40 years in prison or life imprisonment or death penalty

  • Class A felony: 6 to 30 years in prison and a maximum fine of $15,000

  • Class B felony: 5 to 20 years in prison and a maximum fine of $15,000

  • Class C felony: 3 to 10 years in prison and a maximum fine of $10,000

  • Class D felony: 0 to 6 years in prison and a maximum fine of $10,000

  • Class A misdemeanor: up to 1 year in jail and a maximum fine of $2,500

  • Class B misdemeanor: up to 90 days in jail and a maximum fine of $1,000

  • Class C misdemeanor: up to 30 days in jail and a maximum fine of $500

Criminal Defense Strategies for Violent Crime

Schedule your FREE Legal Consultation today

​Defense strategies are critical. When defending violent crime charges, we use multiple approaches. First, we create a solid case by conducting a thorough investigation. Working on establishing an alibi,  determining whether you were acting in self-defense, or intervening on the behalf of a third party, demonstrating a lack of evidence to convict, proving how the evidence may have been obtained by illegal search and seizure and  showing that there is not enough evidence to prove guilt are all methodologies utilized by our defense team to challenge the charges you are facing. We work to get your charges dismissed and keep the charges off your records, when applicable.  If brought to court, we strive for a not guilty finding or try to reduce the charges.  We always aim for the best possible outcome for our clients.

Facing violent crime offenses is a life altering and frightening situation.  Having a credible and skilled attorney is crucial for the most positive outcome.  In the USA you are innocent until proven guilty, but having the best possible defense team is essential.  Stuart Cearley has 20+ years of experience as a former Prosecuting Attorney, a Chief Deputy Prosecutor for Washington, and Benton Counties and as a Death Penalty Qualified Attorney, ensures you will have a top criminal defense lawyer who has the insight, knowledge, skill, and expertise you need to ensure that you receive the best legal representation possible.  The serious allegations that you face will be handled professionally and skillfully.  You will feel confident with Stuart at the helm.

If you or a loved one is facing violent crime charges and need a defense lawyer, contact us to discuss the specific details of your case and find answers to your questions.  Find out why Stuart is the defense lawyer to turn to in Northwest Arkansas.

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