Misdemeanor is part and parcel of the criminal law which refers to the offences and the criminal acts that are less in the degree of damage done to the other person or society in which it is involved. The Encarta Encyclopedia of 2009 version defines it as "any offense other than felony". Felony on its part, involves serious and dangerous injury done to the other party that is involved or to the organization where the crime was committed.
In the State of Arkansas in America, misdemeanor crimes actually do occur every now and then in the lives of mainly young adult coming up in life. The Arkansas Misdemeanor therefore refers to any kind of minor crime committed within the confines of the state. Some of those offences include: minor theft, prostitution, rape, vandalism, criminal surveillance, assaults, conspiracy, and other such minor by real offences being committed by many Arkansas young men and women.
Currently, the Arkansas Misdemeanor Laws prohibit lots of activities, which if left unchecked are capable of disturbing public peace or even cause damages to the lives of the individuals that are involved. Gambling is one of the misdemeanors prohibited in every part of Arkansas. In the State, gambling houses are very illegal. The Arkansas Misdemeanor law, according Diane in the blog with the reference (http://blog laborlawtalk.com/2006/12/09/arkansas-misdemeanor-laws/) states that "Every person who shall keep, conduct or operate or who shall be interested, directly or indirectly, in keeping, conducting, or operating gambling house or place where gambling is carried on shall be deemed guilty of felony and on conviction shall be confined in Department of correction for not less than one (1) year or more than three (3) years". This law is indeed treated as a felony, but some attorneys have a way of arguing it down until it comes to the realm of e tmisdemeanor.
For the game of gambling, if a Sheriff or their second in command is informed of such Gambling acts going on, they are required to go and arrest those guys for prosecution. If the Sheriff fails to go for the arrest, the Arkansas Misdemeanor laws states, that the Sheriff is guilty of a misdemeanor and should be fined. Normally the sum of one hundred dollars is charged to the Sheriff.
Meanwhile, every Arkansas Misdemeanor is punishable by some spelt out acts and fines depending on the kind of offence and the degree of damage it has done.
Misdemeanors in Arkansas
Each Arkansas Misdemeanor involves various kinds of offences which are usually seen often in the state. The crimes include:
- Reckless driving
- Prostitution and soliciting Prostitution
- DWI or DUI (Driving While intoxicated or under the influence)
- Disorderly conduct in the public
- Public intoxication or getting drunk in the public
- Driving on suspended a license due to DWI (Driving With Influence)
There are so many other minor cases. The above are the common ones stipulated in the current 2009 Arkansas Criminal Law Charges posted online. Examining each Arkansas Misdemeanor one on one will throw more light to the penalties involved.
- Reckless DrivingThis is a very serious Arkansas Misdemeanor . It is punishable by jail term or a fine. The Arkansas Code of 27-50-308 states in its "a" part that "Any person who drives any vehicle in such a manner as to indicate a wanton disregard for the safety of property is guilty of reckless driving".
- ProstitutionThis is another major Arkansas Misdemeanor . Not only ladies who engage in the act are arrested, but also people who solicit for such acts especially those who promote the act through any means. This offence is classified as a B misdemeanor and it's liable to the appropriate punishment as deemed fit by the law of the state.
- DWI OR DUIDWI refers to "Driving While Intoxicated" while "DUI" refers to "Driving under the Influence". Both terms refers to the same issue of driving a car while drunk with heavy wine or alcohol. This is capable of causing serious motor accident on the roads.This is a punishable offence in the State of Arkansas. The law also states that one has to be fewer than twenty-one to be guilty of DUI, but there are no age requirements for DWI.4. Disorderly ConductThis is another Arkansas Misdemeanor . It involves the act of disturbing public peace or causing public inconvenience, alarm or annoyance. It also include: being involved in fighting in the public, making unnecessary loud noise to disturb people in the area, using abusive or obscene gestures or language to provoke others, obstructing vehicular or pedestrian movement, exposing one's private parts in public and other minor offences.These misdemeanors are liable to appropriate punishments.5. Public IntoxicationThis involves the act of getting drunk with wine or alcohol in the public. It is a big offence contained in the Arkansas Code at 5 -71-212. It involves all manner of getting drunk in bars, on the roads and indeed any where which may lead to public commotion.6. Driving on a Suspended License due to DWI
In Arkansas, once someone is caught under DWI (Driving While Intoxicated), such a person is suspended from driving for some time even after paying his fine or going to jail. Normally, the authorities will cease the person's diver's License. However if the person continues driving after being suspended, then they are liable to at least ten days jail and a fine of up to $1,000.
Meanwhile, the above discussed misdemeanors in Arkansas are grouped into three classes namely: Class A, Class B and Class C.
- Class A consists of misdemeanors that inflict certain injury to the other person or the one that disturb the public good. Some of the crimes in this class include: reckless driving, DWI or DUI, Driving on Suspended License, and the like.
- Class B consists of misdemeanors that are lesser in the kind of injury or disturbance they exert on the other person or the public: these include: disorderly conduct, Prostitution, and other likely offences.
- Class C refers to misdemeanors that do little or no harm to the other person or the public. It could do some damage to self. These include: Public intoxication with wine, smoking marijuana, minor theft, vandalism, and other minor offences.
The Misdemeanor Charges for these crimes are also grouped in three faces:
- For Class A misdemeanors ?fine not more than $1,000 with anywhere up to one year of imprisonment.
- For Class B misdemeanor ? fine not more than five hundred dollars with jail term anywhere up to 90 days
- For Class C misdemeanors ? fine not more than one hundred dollars with jail term anywhere up to 30 days.
Meanwhile in the recent times, the 2008 ? 2009 Arkansas Legislative sessions has come up with amendments to the former stipulated Misdemeanor charges as stated above. The following are the latest amendments made for the charges:
With effect from July 1, 2009, the Misdemeanor charge for Class A offences stands at $2,500, Class B goes for $1,000 while Class C stands $500.
The amendment was done first to checkmate the rising spate of crime in the Arkansas state in the recent times. It was also amended to bring the charges to the current rate when compared with that of the other states in America.
However, it is very important to know how to survive a case of Misdemeanor. Having a working knowledge of what to do at any point in time makes you scale through the hurdles of the misdemeanor charges and all they entail.
The following points will be of great help.
a. You need to know what happens when you are charged The law enforcement agency that charges you normally gives your citation and releases you without taking you to prison. The citation contains the offence committed, the number of the statue you have been charge with, the date and time of the crime as well as the date and time you have to appear to court. Your first appearance in court is usually called 'arraignment'.
b. You need to know what happens on the arraignment day you'll be appearing for the first time in court on the arraignment day. You be placed to face large crowd that usually gather for cases in the court. When the clerk calls your name, you'll be required to walk up to the court room for the trial to commence. The Judge will read the charges against you and ask you to plead. You can plead 'guilty', 'not guilty' or 'no contest'. The judge may sentence you to jail or ask you to pay the equivalent fine depending on the crime. He/she may also refer you to participate in a diversion program for character development. This normally completes your full charge term.
If you plead 'not guilty', the judge will normally set another court date to hear your case unless you are charged with a provable DUI (Driving under the influence) which attracts direct jail term or fine.
C. You may need an attorney to help you out
Pleading 'not guilty' when you actually committed the crime is okay but, it is not as if you are lying as it will not be held against you by the court even if you later change your plea to 'guilty' or later loose the case. Pleading 'not guilty' is the ideal way of preserving your options especially to give you the change to engage the services of an attorney to help you in the case. This is why you need a good lawyer to come in. However; the issue is that you still have to pay the lawyer for the services they'll render to you. If you don't want to engage the services of a lawyer, then, be ready to serve the jail term or fine the judge will impose on your case.
Getting the services of a qualified attorney has a way of helping the matter. Such lawyers know all about the law and what they entail. They have a way of arguing your case out to better condition. For instance, if you were to serve a one year term for a simple case of rape, the lawyer may argue out the case by interrogating the young lady raped on certain questions. A lady may be out there on odd hours only to be raped by a hungry young man. The lawyer could therefore beat your charges down to manageable size.
In the court of law, only sound and logical arguments win the case. There is nothing like pity or sentiments. That's why; you need to engage a proficient lawyer. In various cities of Arkansas, there are wonderful law firms whose services you can engage. Some of them have a repayment plan. They can help you out in the law court with little or no money only for you to pay up gradually as soon as you regain your freedom.
In the final analysis, Arkansas Misdemeanor crimes are something anyone could better avoid. This is because such crimes may not deny you your civil rights but they may dent your image badly.