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Little Rock Arkansas Criminal Defense Blog

The elements of a credit card fraud charge

Practically every adult in Arkansas has at least one credit card. While some may prefer to pay for their purchases with cash or to use debit cards to track their spending, most online retailers require shoppers to use credit devices to make their purchases. A credit card allows a person to spend money on their account and then pay it back at a later point in time.

Because credit cards have spending power and may be used online, in person, or in other contexts, credit card numbers can be found in many different places. When someone uses a credit card that is not theirs, they may be accused of committing a crime. Credit card fraud is the crime of using someone else's spending device without their permission or using one's own credit card after it has been cancelled or revoked.

What is drug paraphernalia?

Many of the posts on this Arkansas-based criminal defense blog focus on the severe and life-altering criminal charges that individuals can face when they are found to be in the possession of drugs. Whether they are found to simply have drugs or are charged with selling or distributing them, an individual's life can change quickly due to their pending charges. This post introduces a related topic that readers may not know much about in the realm of drug charges, and that is possessing paraphernalia.

Drug paraphernalia is gear or equipment that an individual may use to take, contain, prepare or hide an illegal drug. It can be illegal to own or possess drug paraphernalia, but arrests based on this alleged crime are often wrought with problems, as there is extensive gray area in what should and does constitute paraphernalia.

How are drugs classified for alleged drug crimes?

There is no question that Arkansas residents have benefitted from the advancements that drug companies have made over the decades. Formerly incurable diseases now have remedies thanks to modern medicine, and conditions that were once considered untreatable may be managed with prescription medications that individuals can get from their local pharmacies. However, just because a drug has been identified as potentially helpful for treating medical conditions does not mean that it is legal for everyone to possess it.

Drugs are classified on a detailed schedule that identifies them in terms of how they may be possessed. For example, Schedule I drugs have no medical use and include LSD, heroin, and ecstasy. These drugs are illegal for everyone to possess because they may be dangerous and may be highly addictive.

Unreported income can land you in jail

In general, most people are afraid of the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). They are afraid that an audit means that they will go to jail or perhaps not paying enough taxes could be cause to spend time behind bars. In reality, people who commit tax evasion are at the greatest risk of finding themselves facing prison time.

In most cases, people evade taxes by understating income and overstating expenses or by not filing required tax returns. While the IRS usually doesn't take legal action against people who simply can't pay their taxes, they will pursue cases against people and businesses that commit fraud to evade taxes. For example, if you have a side job that you do not report on your tax return, the IRS could come calling. Here is how a typical tax evasion case unfolds.

Elements of an insurance fraud charge

Insurance policies are an important way that Little Rock residents protect themselves from loss. A person may have homeowner's insurance to help them if their residence is damaged or destroyed. Similarly, they likely hold an automobile insurance policy to provide them with financial help if they are in an accident and need to cover the costs of repairing their vehicle.

When a person needs to draw on their insurance to fix an insured item, they must file a claim. Most of the claims that are filed with insurers are legitimate requests for support from individuals who have paid into their insurance policies over time. However, in some cases, individuals fraudulently file insurance claims to collect money that they neither need nor deserve.

Federal drug case has ties to Arkansas

Facing drug charges could be a serious matter. Whether it is a minor offense involving just the accused or a major offense involving many parties, it is important to understand the matter at hand and what criminal defense options are available.

Based on recent reports, federal authorities arrested several people affiliated with a trucking company operating out of a state that borders Arkansas. The trucking firm was contracted with FedEx to help the parcel delivery company ship packages across the country. According to authorities, the firm's management was using their transportation fleet to ship marijuana and cocaine to states across the country, including Arkansas. Federal officials arrested their suspects on charges related to drug trafficking and money laundering, and the group now faces at least a decade in federal prison.

Criminal defense support for DWI charges

Memorial Day is only a few weeks away, and many Arkansas residents recognize that holiday as the official start of summer. Children will be out of school for their break in about a month, and families may be planning their vacations and parties to celebrate with loved ones and friends. Many fun activities happen during the warm months of the year, but unfortunately, many arrests are also made by local police who suspect their residents of driving while intoxicated.

Drunk driving charges, like a DWI, are significant legal hurdles for anyone to overcome. An individual facing such a charge may have been subjected to breath or blood testing to establish their blood alcohol concentration, or may have been asked to perform various assessments for a field sobriety test. In most cases, there is significant evidence to demonstrate that an alleged drunk driver broke the law and that their arrest was justified.

Firearms can enhance drug crime penalties

There are a number of criminal charges that an Arkansas resident may face if they are alleged to possess or sell prohibited substances. Whether their charges involve marijuana or cocaine, heroin or another kind of drug, the actions that they are alleged to have taken with regard to those drugs may impact the severity of the punishments they can face. For example, while drug possession charges are serious, drug trafficking charges may be considered felonies and subject to longer prison sentences.

One factor that may exacerbate an alleged drug crime is the use or possession of a firearm during the commission of the alleged crime. For example, if a person is accused of having a gun on their person when they allegedly went to sell an illegal drug, they may face an enhanced charge or additional charges because of the gun.

Overuse of no-knock warrants in Little Rock for drug crimes

The Fourth Amendment is a critical component of the Bill of Rights and the vast protections that individuals in the United States are expected to enjoy. The Fourth Amendment protects individuals from unreasonable searches and seizures and is generally the source of law used to justify the need for warrants when law enforcement officials wish to search private homes. Law enforcement officers in Little Rock have executed more than 1500 searches based on alleged drug crimes in Little Rock in the last decade and almost all of them have been granted a special status.

That status is of a no-knock warrant. Usually when law enforcement officers are issued a warrant to search a home, they are expected to arrive at the residence and announce their presence. This gives the home's residents notice of their arrival rather than surprising them with a no-knock entry. While no-knock warrants can be granted in special circumstances, the U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that they cannot be granted as the blanket rule in cases arising from the same alleged criminal activity.

Investment professionals can face charges from Ponzi schemes

Handling the money of other people comes with certain legal and social obligations, including the fiduciary duty to do what is right for your investors. There are many kinds of fraud, like a pyramid scheme, that could result in criminal charges against an individual who works in banking, business or investments, some of which have to do with failing to act in the best interest of the people who invested.

One of the better-known schemes that may involve fraudulent behavior is the Ponzi scheme. Anyone facing accusations of a Ponzi scheme will have to deal with a combination of criminal charges related to fraud, as well as the potential for a civil suit from investors who believe that they have fallen victim to the scheme. Understanding the allegations is the critical first step toward protecting yourself from them.

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