2020 Arkansas Code
Title 5 - Criminal Offenses
Subtitle 1 - General Provisions
Chapter 1 - General Provisions
§ 5-1-111. Burden of proof — Defenses and affirmative defenses — Presumption

Universal Citation: AR Code § 5-1-111 (2020)
  1. (a) Except as provided in subsections (b), (c), and (d) of this section, no person may be convicted of an offense unless the following are proved beyond a reasonable doubt:

    1. (1) Each element of the offense;

    2. (2) Jurisdiction;

    3. (3) Venue; and

    4. (4) The commission of the offense within the time period specified in § 5-1-109.

  2. (b) The state is not required to prove jurisdiction or venue unless evidence is admitted that affirmatively shows that the court lacks jurisdiction or venue.

  3. (c)

    1. (1) The issue of the existence of a defense does not need to be submitted to the jury unless evidence is admitted supporting the defense.

    2. (2) If the issue of the existence of a defense is submitted to the jury, the court shall charge that any reasonable doubt on the issue requires that the defendant be acquitted.

    3. (3) A “defense” is any matter:

      1. (A) Designated a defense by a section of the Arkansas Criminal Code;

      2. (B) Designated a defense by a statute not a part of the Arkansas Criminal Code; or

      3. (C) Involving an excuse or justification peculiarly within the knowledge of the defendant on which he or she can fairly be required to introduce supporting evidence.

  4. (d)

    1. (1) The defendant shall prove an affirmative defense by a preponderance of the evidence.

    2. (2) An “affirmative defense” is any matter designated an affirmative defense by a:

      1. (A) Section of the Arkansas Criminal Code; or

      2. (B) Statute not a part of the Arkansas Criminal Code.

  5. (e) When the Arkansas Criminal Code or a statute not a part of the Arkansas Criminal Code provides that proof of a particular fact gives rise to a presumption as to the existence of a fact that is an element of the offense, the provision has the following consequences:

    1. (1) If there is evidence of the fact giving rise to the presumption, the issue as to the existence of the presumed fact shall be submitted to the jury unless the court determines that the evidence as a whole precludes a finding beyond a reasonable doubt of the presumed fact; and

    2. (2)

      1. (A) If the issue as to the existence of the presumed fact is submitted to the jury, the court shall charge that evidence of the fact giving rise to the presumption is for the jury's consideration under all the circumstances of the case and to be weighed in determining the issue.

      2. (B) However, the evidence of the fact giving rise to the presumption alone does not impose a duty of finding the presumed fact, even if the evidence is unrebutted.

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