Arkansas Criminal Lawyer

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In the state of Arkansas, more than 111,00 crimes involving property were reported in 2006 alone, along with 1,300 rapes and 205 murders. Across the United States, roughly 12,658 murders occur each year. Under Arkansas law, defendants have the right to a jury trial for criminal cases, though they can waive that right.

In Arkansas there is a criminal code, and it is the State which brings the criminal cases, not the victim of the crime. The prosecuting attorney makes the decision about whether or not to charge an individual who is suspected of committing a crime. The charges brought against the suspect do not have to be in agreement with the victim's wishes, but are determined wholly by the district attorney, whether the crime has been committed on a local, state or federal level.

There is a separate court division in Arkansas for people who are considered children, called a juvenile justice system. This focuses not on the punishment of the offenders, but on the rehabilitation of the perpetrator and restitution for the victim. These proceedings are usually more private than trials which involve adult criminals.

If you have been accused of a crime, whether you are guilty or not, you will have to hire an Arkansas criminal lawyer or attorney to help you with your case. Arkansas criminal lawyers and attorneys represent individuals who have been charged with crimes by arguing their cases in courts of law.

Four different types of courts that have the jurisdiction to hear criminal cases exist under the accepted law in Arkansas. Misdemeanor cases are heard by the district courts, though Circuit courts can hear felony and misdemeanor cases. Criminal appeals are authorized to be heard by the Arkansas Court of Appeals and the Arkansas Supreme Court. A person that has been convicted of a crime has 30 days to file an appeal.

The Arkansas Crime Victim Rights laws came into effect in 1998, and mandates different basic rights for those who have been victimized by a crime. Only specific crimes and victims are subject to this, such as a victim who is a minor, a victim of a sex offense, a victim of any felony in which a deadly weapon was involved, a victim of physical injury, a victim of stalking, and a victim of first-degree terroristic threatening.

If you have been arrested for a crime, you must request an attorney or contact a private criminal lawyer or attorney immediately. There are many things to look for when hiring an Arkansas lawyer or attorney. A good criminal attorney will, of course, be familiar with the laws of the state of Arkansas, and will also be familiar with important precedents and recent trends in criminal law that may affect your case.

Arkansas attorneys will also be familiar with Arkansas court customs and procedures. They may be able to broker a plea deal with the district attorney's office, in which your charges or sentence are reduced in exchange for your fulfillment of some requirement. If your case does go to a bench or jury trial, however, your attorney will spend significant amounts of time on your case, in order to ensure that justice is served at every step of the process.

If you are suing a convicted criminal for damages resulting from the crime, you will need to hire a civil lawyer or attorney. Even if the person was not convicted and you feel they should have been, and you want to sue them for damages, you should hire an Arkansas civil lawyer or attorney.

If you are ready to contact an Arkansas criminal lawyer or attorney, visit the American Bar Association. The ABA offers free access to their lawyer locater, which can help you search for a criminal lawyer or attorney in Arkansas.