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Criminal Defense Attorney Serving El Dorado, Arkansas

In Arkansas, a person may be arrested and charged with a misdemeanor or felony for committing a crime, depending on the nature of the offense. As a result, the defendant must trudge through the state’s criminal justice system to determine their fate. If convicted, the defendant may be subject to severe penalties, including massive fines, lengthy incarceration, a criminal record, license revocation, and other social ramifications. 

If you’re facing criminal charges or under investigation for committing a crime, hiring a strong Arkansas criminal defense attorney is imperative to help build your case. At James B. Bennett Law Office, I’m ready to defend and represent clients in their criminal cases. As your attorney, I can analyze all the facts of your case, dispute the accusations against you with factual evidence, and help keep your record as clean as possible. 

My firm – James B. Bennett Law Office – proudly serves clients across El Dorado, Arkansas, and all of South Arkansas.

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Criminal Charges in Arkansas

A criminal charge is a formal accusation made by a public prosecutor, governmental authority, or police officer against someone indicating that they have committed a crime. In Arkansas, criminal charges may be classified into misdemeanor and felony charges. 


Misdemeanors comprise criminal offenses that are less severe than felonies. In Arkansas, misdemeanor charges are usually handled by the district courts. The different categories of misdemeanors in Arkansas include: 

Class C Misdemeanor: Punishable by up to 30 days in jail and a maximum fine of $500. Examples include: 

  • Public intoxication 

  • Traffic violations 

  • Disorderly conduct 

  • Petty crimes 

Class B Misdemeanor: Punishable by up to 90 days in jail and a maximum fine of $1,000. Examples include: 

  • Cyberbullying 

  • Criminal speeding 

  • Harassment 

  • Prostitution 

  • Drug possession 

Class A Misdemeanor: Punishable by up to one year in jail and a maximum fine of $2,500. Examples include: 

  • Theft of property worth $1,000 

  • Simple assault and battery crimes 

  • Drug-related offenses 

  • Reckless driving 

  • DUI/DWI-related crimes 

  • Domestic violence offense 

However, Class A misdemeanor offenses may be upgraded to a felony charge if there are aggravating circumstances, such as using a deadly weapon to commit the crime. 


Felonies are the most severe type of crime in Arkansas. In addition, felony offenses are further categorized into the following: 

Class D Felony: Punishable by up to six years in prison and a maximum fine of $10,000. Examples include: 

  • Aggravated assault 

  • Simple drug possession 

  • Terroristic threatening 

  • Defacing a firearm 

  • Breaking or entering 

Class C Felony: Punishable by between three and ten years in prison and a maximum fine of $10,000. Examples include: 

  • Theft of property, worth between $5,000 and $25,000. 

  • Theft by receiving 

  • Commercial burglary 

  • Drug possession 

  • Theft 

Class B Felony: Punishable by between five and 20 years in prison and a maximum fine of $15,000. Examples include: 

  • Residential burglary 

  • Battery 

  • Domestic battering in the first degree 

Class A Felony: Punishable by between six and 30 years in prison and a maximum fine of $15,000. Examples include: 

  • Human trafficking 

  • Aggravated robbery 

  • Drug distribution 

  • Several sex crimes 

Class Y Felony: Punishable by between ten to 40 years or life imprisonment. Examples include: 

  • Statutory rape 

  • Rape 

  • Murder 

  • Arson 

  • Drug trafficking 

If you or someone you know has been arrested and charged with a misdemeanor or felony, you need to get in touch with a dependable criminal defense attorney immediately. Your legal representative can tell you about the Arkansas criminal court process and determine your best defenses. 

Arkansas Criminal Court Process

Here are the different stages involved in the criminal court process in the state of Arkansas: 

Investigation: Once the police or law enforcement officers receive a report about a crime, they will conduct an investigation. The police will investigate the crime scene, gather evidence, and submit a report. 

Arrest and Booking: The police may arrest the alleged suspect based on probable cause or by getting an arrest warrant from the court. The defendant will be taken into custody and booked. 

Arraignment: An arraignment is the defendant’s first appearance in court. At the arraignment, the judge will read the charges to the offender and advise them of their rights. Also, the defendant will be asked to enter a plea – “guilty,” “not guilty,” or “no contest.” 

Pretrial: The pretrial phase involves all court hearings and procedures that happen before a formal court trial. The pretrial procedures may include interrogatories, court appearances, exchanging evidence, motions, discovery, and plea negotiations. The case will proceed to trial if it isn’t resolved at this stage. 

Trial: However, the case may be tried by either a judge or jury. The prosecutor and defendant’s attorney will present evidence, interview witnesses, and make arguments. The judge or jury will decide the outcome of the case. 

Sentencing: If the jury or judge finds the defendant guilty of the charges, the judge will issue a fitting punishment based on the state’s sentencing guidelines. 

A seasoned Arkansas criminal defense attorney can outline a solid defense strategy to fight your charges in pursuit of the most favorable outcome for your situation. 

Fight for Your Rights

A criminal conviction or record can jeopardize your future, quality of life, reputation, and career. Unfortunately, defending your accusations without reliable representation can expose you to the risks of getting convicted. Therefore, when facing criminal charges, you need to retain an aggressive criminal defense attorney to help fight for your rights. 

At James B. Bennett Law Office, I have devoted my career to offering experienced legal services and handling criminal cases. Using my broad knowledge, I can help you navigate the Arkansas criminal justice system. Above all, I will represent you intelligently at every phase of the criminal court process, attempt to establish your innocence, and help ensure that those allegations don’t ruin your life. 

Criminal Defense Attorney Serving El Dorado, Arkansas 

If you’re facing criminal charges, don’t face them alone. Call me at James B. Bennett Law Office today to schedule a simple case evaluation. I have the trusted advocacy and comprehensive representation you need in your case. My firm proudly serves clients across El Dorado, Arkansas, and all of South Arkansas.