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Little Rock Arkansas Criminal Defense Blog

Federal officer charged with bribery, drug crimes

Law enforcement officers occupy a sensitive role within our communities. They are charged with keeping people safe and maintaining law and order all while building the trust of individuals in marginalized communities. Many of the law enforcement officers who work in Arkansas are upstanding individuals and work tirelessly to protect and serve their fellow citizens.

From time to time, though, law enforcement officials find themselves on the wrong side of the law and facing criminal charges. Recently a Little Rock-based agent with the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) was charged with several crimes. In particular, the allegations claim that the officer took bribes from alleged drug dealers in exchange for providing them with information about upcoming drug investigations.

Penalties for controlled substance convictions are serious

Anyone who says that a drug arrest is not that serious has not looked at the criminal penalties that Arkansas residents can face if they are convicted of controlled substance-based offenses. Different classes and schedules of controlled substances have differing levels of punishment, but for most drug-based convictions, individuals will face significant time in jail for their alleged crimes.

For example, a person who is convicted of a narcotics or methamphetamine charge at a small quantity of the substance can be sentenced to 10 to 40 years in prison. They may also be fined in the tens of thousands of dollars.

Arkansas expungement: Can I wipe my criminal record clean?

Most areas of the United States - including the state of Arkansas - provide a means for those convicted of certain crimes to expunge their criminal records as long as specific circumstances are present.

The advantages of the expungement process are clear: Those who qualify will not lose job and rental opportunities as a result of their criminal records. They may also qualify for certain education and student loan opportunities. Following expungement, for example, an individual can testify to a potential employer that he or she does not have a criminal conviction.

What is embezzlement?

Some crimes occur when individuals take specific and prohibited actions against each other in a physically violent or inappropriate way. Others occur when individuals undertake to harm others through trickery and the desire to become financially enriched. The latter category of crimes is sometimes referred to as white collar crime as it often occurs in settings of employment and financial management.

Embezzlement is a particular white collar crime that Arkansas residents may have heard of but that they may not know how to define. Generally, embezzlement is the illegal taking of someone else's property or money by a person who was entrusted to protect or be responsible for the taken asset. Embezzlement is often alleged in accounting and insurance settings, as well as in businesses and other money-focused enterprises.

Know your rights if a traffic stop turns into a drug crime arrest

Traffic stops can run the gamut of annoyances that disrupt drivers' days to events that change the course of individuals' lives. What may begin as a simple stop for speeding or a broken tail light may turn into a serious legal battle for an Arkansas resident, if a law enforcement official alleges that the driver had illegal substances in their vehicle.

A traffic stop may start when a law enforcement official witnesses a driver breaking a law. After initiating a stop, a law enforcement official may approach the stopped driver's window and ask for identification and other pertinent information. During the course of their brief investigation, if the law enforcement official sees or finds illegal drugs, they may proceed with an arrest of the individual.

Is marijuana legal in Arkansas?

In recent years a number of states have taken it upon themselves to legalize marijuana for limited medical uses. Others have expanded their permissible uses of marijuana to recreational pursuits, while other states have maintained a firm stance against any legal use of the substance within the states' borders. Arkansas voters approved an amendment to the state's constitution several years ago that allows certain patients to obtain marijuana for medical use and to establish dispensaries where such patients can acquire it.

Despite this exception to the state's general law on marijuana, all uses of marijuana are illegal under the federal laws of the United States. Therefore, while a person may have the right to obtain marijuana for an approved medical purpose within the state, they may still be breaking federal laws when they obtain and use the substance for their medical purpose.

Man accused of heroin distribution arrested on felony drug crimes

When Arkansas law enforcement moves forward with an investigation into drug crimes, it will be relentless in its pursuit and in attempting to secure convictions for the alleged crimes. This is especially true when the case involves heroin. For people who are arrested as part of these investigations, it is imperative to understand how harshly prosecutors will treat people who are said to be involved with selling heroin and the penalties that accompany a conviction. Having a law firm that handles drug crimes is vital for a strong defense.

A man may need one of these strong defenses after he was arrested as one of the final suspects in an extensive investigation into heroin sales. The 35-year-old was taken into custody at a residence. He is facing charges of delivering heroin. This particular offense is a felony with the possibility of 20 years in jail. He is also facing two felony warrants issued after he failed to appear.

Unlawful computerized communications and white collar crime

People in Arkansas and across the nation often say things online they would otherwise not say in person. They might be under the impression that it is harmless and that no criminal charges are possible if they have neither the intent nor the means to carry out what they have said. However, if the target of that statement is negatively impacted by those online statements, then it can lead to white collar crime charges for violating unlawful computerized communications.

While this might not sound serious, the charges are legitimate and can result in real penalties. Therefore, it is important to understand the critical nature of having a strong legal defense experienced in helping those accused of these violations. If a person is accused of unlawful computerized communications, it means that those communications, made via computer, are alleged to have been intimidating, threatening, abusing, or harassing.

Never take your defense against drug charges lightly

These days, facing drug charges can result in serious consequences and significant jail time, even for relatively small violations. While cultural attitudes around recreational drug use continue to shift, the laws that govern the land are still much more strict than the court of public opinion. This often leads to surprisingly harsh punishment.

Due to the risk of severe legal punishment, it is never wise to forego a strong legal defense any time you face drug charges. If you think that the charges are not that serious, you may want to re-examine just how many areas of personal liberty, future opportunity and financial burden a drug conviction can impact.

Arkansas woman charged with DWI, job threatened

To illustrate how anyone can be accused of driving while intoxicated under the influence of alcohol or drugs, even those who have a job with a mandate to help those who are abusing these substances can be charged with drunk or high driving. While the background surrounding an arrest will not necessarily enhance or make matters worse in a legal sense, it can negatively impact one's professional career. This can make it even more important to have legal assistance to defend against DWI allegations.

A 26-year-old woman who is employed as a substance abuse counselor may need such assistance after she was arrested for DWI. The incident occurred in the evening shortly after 9 p.m. when law enforcement was contacted about a driver whose vehicle was being operated in an erratic manner. When the traffic stop was made, the driver told officers that she felt as if she was drifting and, in retrospect, should have pulled over. The woman was given field sobriety tests and allegedly did poorly on them. She admitted to taking two anti-seizure medications before getting behind the wheel, but she did not register as having alcohol in her system when she was breathalyzed. The woman was arrested and is on leave from her job while the case is dealt with.

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