Wednesday, August 5, 2020

Arkansas Traveler

Committee on Professional Conduct Panel A of the Arkansas Supreme Court imposed reciprocal discipline based on a sanction imposed in Missouri.

Missouri had imposed discipline as a result of a guilty plea to criminal charges in Alabama that were later dismissed after the attorney completed a pretrial program. 

The sanction was a stayed suspension and probation as agreed to by the parties . 

Arkansas Democrat & Gazette reported on a series of arrests in this May 2019 artlice

After being arrested on charges of drunken driving again last week, William Asa Hutchinson III, the governor's son, filed a motion to dismiss his appeal of a previous DWI charge, court documents show.

Hutchinson, 43, pleaded guilty and was sentenced in December to 365 days in jail for a DWI from May 27, when he was found driving a 2017 GMC Yukon SUV southbound on Interstate 49 near West Fork, according to previous reports.

He received credit for the one day he served in jail, and 364 days were suspended. Hutchinson also was ordered to pay a $1,000 fine and $340 in court costs.

Hutchinson's representatives filed an appeal in Washington County Circuit Court in April, stating his charges should be dismissed because there were two separate "charging documents" in the case.

Washington County deputy prosecutor Charles M. Duell later said the 2018 charging documents were proper and that the cases varied greatly.

Hutchinson was arrested last Saturday in Rogers on suspicion of DWI.

On Friday, Hutchinson's attorney William Horton filed a motion to dismiss the circuit court appeal of Hutchinson's DWI charges from May 2018, meaning the case would return to district court if Circuit Judge Mark Lindsay approves the motion.

Duell said on Friday that if the motion is approved, Hutchinson's conviction would be reinstated and he would be considered convicted.

Hutchinson, a lawyer in Rogers, was charged with DWI first offense in the 2018 traffic stop, but he has faced multiple charges -- including drunken driving -- in recent years. If a person has no DWI conviction on his record for the previous five years, it's considered a first-offense DWI.

According to arrest reports, Hutchinson was first charged with DWI in 1996 and again in 2001.

He had another DWI charge arising from a car accident Jan. 24, 2016, on Interstate 49 near Fayetteville, where he reportedly crashed his pickup into a guardrail just before 4 a.m. State police responding to the crash described Hutchinson's eyes as "bloodshot and watery," according to police reports. Hutchinson pleaded innocent.

In November 2017, a Fayetteville judge convicted Hutchinson for driving while intoxicated, careless and prohibited driving, and refusing to submit to a chemical test, but those charges were dismissed because of errors in citations.

In May 2016, after receiving the DWI arrest, Hutchinson was arrested on drug charges in Alabama that accused him of trying to sneak a psychoactive drug into a music festival. He was given a pretrial diversion in that case, according to previous reports.

(Mike Frisch)

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