While a misdemeanor charge is not as serious as a felony, a misdemeanor conviction can still result in severe penalties, fines, and a criminal record. If you have been charged with a misdemeanor, it is in your best interests to talk to an experienced criminal defense lawyer at the Law Offices of Craig L. Cook as soon as possible to learn about your options and how to defend against the allegations against you. Scroll down for some information about the types of misdemeanor charges that you might face in Oklahoma and Arkansas.
Types of Misdemeanor Charges
Under Ark. Code § 5-1-107, the different types of misdemeanor charges fall into the following four classes in order of descending severity:
- Class A misdemeanors – Penalties of up to 12 months in jail and a fine of up to a maximum of $2,500
- Class B misdemeanors – Penalties of up to three months in jail and a fine of up to a maximum of $1,000
- Class C misdemeanors – Penalties of up to one month in jail and a fine of up to a maximum of $500
- Unclassified misdemeanors – Penalties of jail and fines set by different statutes
Unlike Arkansas, Oklahoma does not separate misdemeanors into different classes. Instead, the different types of misdemeanor charges are differentiated by the potential sentences they carry. Under Okla. Stat. tit. 21, §216, all crimes that do not result in sentences to prison are classified as misdemeanors. If you are convicted of a misdemeanor offense in Oklahoma, you can face up to 12 months in jail and a maximum fine of up to $500.
Examples of Misdemeanor Offenses in Arkansas and Oklahoma
Some of the most common types of misdemeanor offenses that might be charged in Arkansas include the following:
- Possession of marijuana of fewer than 4 ounces without a medical card
- Possession of drug paraphernalia
- Third-degree battery
- Third-degree domestic battery
- Public intoxication
- Disorderly conduct
- DWI or BWI
- Theft of property worth $1,000 or less
- Minor in possession of alcohol
There are many offenses in Oklahoma that are misdemeanor crimes. Some examples of some of these crimes include the following:
- Petit larceny up to $500
- Theft of less than $1,000
- Driving under suspension
- Driving without insurance
- Writing bogus checks
- Domestic abuse
What Should You Do If You Have Been Charged with a Misdemeanor?
While misdemeanors are not considered to be as serious as felony charges in either Oklahoma or Arkansas, they can still seriously disrupt your life. In addition to potentially spending time in jail and paying a stiff fine, a misdemeanor conviction on your record can also affect other aspects of your life. Many employers conduct criminal background checks on prospective employees and might hesitate to offer you employment.
Certain types of misdemeanors can also make it more difficult for you to find a job. For example, if you have a misdemeanor theft conviction on your record, you might not be hired for any job in which you might be required to handle money. If you have a domestic abuse conviction on your record, it could interfere with your ability to buy or possess firearms. Courts in Arkansas and Oklahoma also will hold your past misdemeanor convictions against you if you end up being convicted of a subsequent offense.
If you are arrested and charged with a misdemeanor offense, you should assert your right to remain silent and to have an attorney represent you. Do not answer any questions about the alleged offense and instead tell the police that you want to remain silent and that you want an attorney. You should never try to talk yourself out of being arrested. Anything that you might say can and will be used against you.
Talk to a Criminal Defense Lawyer
After you have been arrested for a misdemeanor, you should schedule a consultation with the Law Offices of Craig L. Cook. We can review your case and explain the different options that might be available. Contact us today to request a free consultation by calling 479-783-8000 (Fort Smith), 918-912-2132 (Tulsa), or 479-455-2210 (Fayetteville) or sending us a message online.