John Wesley Hall

Little Rock Criminal Law Blog

An overview of federal wire fraud charges

First coined in 1939, the term white collar crime is now used to describe a wide range of fraudulent or otherwise financially motivated and non-violent offenses. This includes wire fraud. While the state of Arkansas does not have a specific law prohibiting this type of scheme, it is considered a crime under federal law.

Wire fraud involves plans or actions aimed at defrauding others using electronic communications. This includes communications via wire, internet, computer, radio or television. For example, sending an email to someone telling them they are from another country and need a safe place to deposit a large sum of money. In exchange for the email recipient’s banking information, the sender promises to pay him or her but instead uses the information to access the person’s account himself or herself.

Plea Bargaining Available Even to Repeat Offenders

The prospect of losing one’s liberty through criminal sentencing always makes the stakes in criminal defense high. In Arkansas, each felony class has associated fines and sentencing periods. Yet both these felony fines and felony imprisonment ranges may offer opportunities for plea bargaining. 

In the hands of a skilled criminal defense attorney, a plea bargain may result in reduced fines, a lesser charge, or perhaps probation instead of jail time. For example, the recent sentencing of James Phillip Womack, the son of 3rd District Rep. Steve Womack, R-Rogers, involved such a plea bargain.

How does Arkansas state law classify identity theft charges?

When police charge a person with a crime, it is not unusual for the accused person to feel as if a lot of actions are taking place all at once and then to feel as if nothing is progressing. Unfortunately, criminal cases can take a considerable amount of time to address, and if the police have charged you with a crime, you will want to take time of your own to gain information about the allegations.

Most crimes can have differing levels of severity. This fact means that, if you have a charge of identity theft brought against you, you will face a felony charge but could face one of multiple classes of felony.

Teenager accused of violent crimes in Arkansas

A teenager in Little Rock was taken into custody after a shooting on March 12, according to local police. The 17-year-old was arrested at an Arkansas children's hospital and charged with violent crimes, though the exact charges have not been publicly released. It is unclear whether the teen will be tried as an adult, but the prosecuting attorney's office has authorized such a move. 

The details of the alleged incident have not been fully articulated by authorities, but it appears a fight broke out between the teen and another man at an apartment complex near Interstate 30 on March 12. The fight reportedly escalated, and the teen is believed to have shot the other man several times. It is not clear from the report whether the other man, who remains unidentified publicly by police, survived the alleged attack. 

Man charged with drug crimes after fentanyl found near child

A routine traffic stop can quickly spiral out of control. When Arkansas police pull over a driver, they may take advantage of the fact that drivers do not always have a solid grasp of their rights and protections. For example, a driver may consent to a search of the vehicle without realizing he or she has the right to refuse unless officers have a warrant or probable cause. The search of a vehicle sometimes leads to charges for drug crimes, which can place a driver's future on the line.

Police stopped 32-year-old man who was allegedly speeding. Officers claim they smelled marijuana during the traffic stop, and they conducted a search. The search apparently revealed a white powder rolled into a dollar bill on the back seat of the car within the reach of a 1-year-old child. The passenger in the car allegedly informed police that the powder was fentanyl.

Cardiologist cleared of drug crimes

Charges have been dropped against a cardiologist working out of a Rogers hospital. The Arkansas man and his wife had previously faced felony charges for alleged drug crimes, including possession of marijuana. The hospital where the man is employed has not taken disciplinary action against him in this matter, though his wife will face a considerable term of probation. 

The investigation began last September when the man was believed to have taken part in a marijuana grow operation outside of Pineville. Three cameras were set up to observe the alleged operation, but when special task force members went to retrieve the cameras, they discovered two missing. Footage from the third camera allegedly showed the cardiologist and his wife removing the first two cameras as well as several plants believed to be marijuana. 

The serious nature of filing a false police report

There are numerous reasons why someone would lie to the police. Most often, the individual fears getting into trouble or getting someone else in trouble. Additionally, someone may tell the police false information without knowing the information is untrue. However, there are times when someone intentionally misleads police by filing a false report.

You may remember from childhood when you blamed a friend or sibling for doing something wrong even if you knew the other person was innocent. While you may have gotten scolded or punished for your actions, as an adult, the consequences can be much more severe. In fact, in Arkansas, filing a false police report in some circumstances can be a felony.

3 arrested for drug crimes in Arkansas

Three individuals, one of whom is believed to be a ranking member of the white nationalist Aryan Brotherhood organization, were arrested for alleged drug trafficking in Garland County, according to local sources. Arkansas authorities have charged the trio with drug crimes following the execution of a search warrant of a couple's residence and the third woman's vehicle. These arrests come at the end of a months-long investigation into their alleged activities. 

According to drug task force operatives and the prosecuting attorney, the investigation began in Dec. 2018 after it was suspected that the 54-year-old man and his 35-year-old female partner were engaged in distributing methamphetamines and firearms in the Hot Springs area. The prosecution has claimed that confidential informants were used to make controlled purchases of large quantities of meth and guns over this period. A second woman was also implicated in these purchases after a traffic stop in early February reportedly revealed her vehicle to contain portions of what is believed to be meth. 

Are you facing extortion charges?

Words matter, and sometimes in the heat of the moment, you may say words that others may interpret as threatening. In fact, you may have such high emotions that you do not even remember what you said or why, but others may claim to have a clear recollection. If that recollection is that you used threats to extort someone, you may be facing serious criminal charges.

Extortion is a felony that involves one person making threats against another and demanding money or something else in return for not following through on those threats. Extortion can take many forms, and there are countless examples of the kinds of threats and demands the crime may include. If you are facing such accusations, you would be wise to seek legal assistance about your options.

Police officer in Arkansas charged with drug crimes

A police officer in Marion is facing serious charges following a months-long investigation into his alleged illegal activities. The man voluntarily surrendered to Arkansas law enforcement. The officer, a lieutenant in the Marion Police Department, faces charges of drug crimes, including possession of a controlled substance. 

Reportedly, suspicion about the officer's activities led the Marion Police Department narcotics division to set up hidden cameras in the evidence room. Reportedly, these cameras recorded the man entering the evidence room some 13 times between Oct. and Dec. 2018. During some of these visits, they say the video shows the man hiding drug-based evidence in his pants before leaving the room. 

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