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The Law on Riot and its Punishments in
Arkansas

A kind of civil disorder, a riot is typically featured by a group of people who lash out violently in a public location against people, property, or authority. Usually, riots involve acts like vandalism, destruction of property (private or public), and theft. The property targeted during a riot varies from case to case and target can be religious buildings, state-owned institutions, restaurants, bars, and shops. A riot often takes place because of dissent or a grievance.

A riot under the federal law of the United States has been defined as the following:

It is a public disturbance that involves:

  • Acts or an act of violence where at least 1 person belonging to a gathering of 3 or more individuals cause a clear danger that leads to injury or damage to someone else’s property; or
  • It refers to threats or a threat to commit acts or an act of violence by a minimum of 1 person belonging to an assembly of at least 3 persons having collectively or individually the ability to execute such threats or threat immediately and the conduct of such violent acts or the threatened acts could either have a present and clear danger of or could lead to injury or damage to any other person’s property.
Arkansas Riot Law

While discussing the subject of riots, it is imperative to note that every state in the United States of America has defined a riot in their different ways. Often, law enforcement agencies find it tough to deal with riots. The police force often has to use CS gas or tear gas for controlling the rioters. The police force may also have to use certain less-than-lethal techniques to control the mob including shotguns, which fire baton rounds for injuring or dispersing the riots or incapacitate the rioters so that they can be easily arrested.

Riot and Punishment in Arkansas

A person is said to have committed the criminal offense of a riot with at least 2 (two) other persons when they purposefully get involved in violent or tumultuous conduct, which results in a substantial possibility of:

  • Injuring or damaging a person or property
  • Disrupting a government body’s performance; or
  • Causing public alarm

Punishment: The state of Arkansas considers riot a Class A misdemeanor.

Aggravated Riot and Punishment in Arkansas 

An individual is said to have committed the crime of aggravated riot when:

  • They knowingly hold a deadly weapon
  • Or, the person is aware that another individual with whom they are acting holds a deadly weapon.

Punishment: The offense is considered a Class D felony in Arkansas.

Arkansas
Inciting Riot and Punishment in Arkansas

In Arkansas, an individual is said to have committed the crime of inciting to riot when he/she purposely:

  • By conduct or speech urges others to take part in a riot while the circumstances are such that there is a present and clear danger of them taking part in a riot.
  • Or, issues signals, instructions, or commands to others to further a riot.

Punishments: The state treats the offense as a Class D felony when damage to property or injury to an individual is the outcome of such an offense. Else, the state considers it a Class A misdemeanor.

Arming Riots and Punishment in Arkansas

The crime of arming rioters is said to have been committed by a person when he/she:

  • Gives an explosive device or deadly weapon to someone else with the knowledge that the explosive device or deadly weapon would be used in the riot; or
  • Instructs another person to use or prepare an explosive device or a deadly weapon with the knowledge that such a device or weapon would be deployed in a riot.

Punishment: The state regards the offense of arming rioters a Class B felony.

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