Stricter penalties for weapon-related crimes in Arkansas

On Behalf of | Nov 25, 2023 | Blog, Criminal justice |

Arkansas takes a strong stance against crimes involving weapons. This is due to the increased potential for harm and danger they pose to individuals and communities. The use of a weapon in a violent crime impacts both the charging and sentencing processes.

The use of a weapon not only increases the severity of the charges but also leads to a more aggressive prosecution strategy.

Enhanced charges

The presence of a weapon during the commission of a crime often leads to enhanced charges. Prosecutors may pursue specific offenses such as “aggravated assault with a deadly weapon” or “armed robbery.” These charges set the stage for a more aggressive prosecution strategy.

Mandatory minimum sentences

Arkansas imposes mandatory minimum sentences for offenses involving weapons. This ensures that individuals convicted of such crimes face significant prison time. The severity of the sentence depends on factors such as the type of weapon, the nature of the crime and the harm caused to victims.

The “three strikes” law

The “three strikes” law imposes harsher sentences for repeat offenders. If an individual has prior convictions for violent crimes involving weapons, a subsequent offense can result in a longer prison sentence. The state aims to deter repeat offenses by implementing stricter penalties.

Truth-in-sentencing policy

Arkansas follows a truth-in-sentencing policy. This requires individuals convicted of violent crimes to serve a significant portion of their sentence before becoming eligible for parole. This approach emphasizes accountability and ensures that those convicted of weapon-related offenses spend a substantial amount of time behind bars.

Arkansas’s approach to weapons-related crimes is in part a response to the fact that the state has consistently high crime rates. In a recent study, it had the highest violent crime rate in the country at 709 per 100,000 people. The stringent legal consequences for weapon-related offenses represent an ongoing effort to create a safer environment for residents.