John Wesley Hall

Little Rock Criminal Law Blog

How is stalking handled as a crime in Arkansas?

It can be difficult for some people to let go of a relationship. For others, their attraction to a person may lead to fantasizing that a relationship exists when it does not, which may in turn lead to behavior that can qualify as stalking. It is important for you and other Arkansas residents to understand stalking laws in the state before you are accused of a crime.

Which behaviors constitute stalking, you may wonder? According to FindLaw, stalking may be comprised of numerous behaviors that can put the target in fear for his or her safety or life. The behaviors may also annoy, intimidate or make the other person feel uncomfortable, especially if the person has requested more than once that the behavior stop. Some examples of stalking may include the following:

  • Being unable to move on after a relationship has ended and repeatedly calling or following the other person
  • Learning where the person lives and following him or her home from work
  • Manipulating or destroying property belonging to the other person
  • Taking photographs of the other person without permission
  • Following the other person on social media and sending unwanted texts and private messages

15 people arrested in Little Rock-based drug trafficking bust

A federal investigation dubbed Operation Mad Hatter led to the arrest of 15 individuals authorities say are tied to a central Arkansas drug trafficking organization. According to a news report, the U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of Arkansas said a grand jury indicted 19 individuals in connection with the case in August of 2019.

Operation Mad Hatter has been going on since 2018, with the first arrests coming in February of 2019. In all, the operation led to the arrest of 15 individuals, with four additional defendants facing charges. Authorities also seized a significant amount of drugs, money and weapons, portraying the group as an organized distribution ring.

Common types of white collar crime

White collar crime is common throughout the country and Arkansas, and there are many ways that an individual or organization can scam people out of money. Due to the seriousness of these crimes and the devastation they can bring to companies and families, the federal government spends a lot of time and effort to investigate them, and the penalties can be severe.

According to King University, the annual cost related to white collar crime in the United States is around $300 billion, and yet many people still do not understand exactly what constitutes a white collar crime. In general, this type of crime is nonviolent, and the perpetrators commit it with the goal of obtaining, or not losing, money, services or property in order to have a business or personal advantage. Those who commit these crimes may be individuals or companies.  As a result of their actions, victims can include families, businesses, taxpayers and investors.

What is tax evasion?

No one enjoys paying income taxes, but if you are like most Arkansas residents, your fear of what the IRS could do to you if you fail to do so far outweighs your aversion to computing your taxes, filing your tax return and sending in your check.

Findlaw agrees that failing to file your tax return does indeed constitute tax evasion. Unfortunately, however, the IRS can also accuse you of tax evasion if you do any one of the following:

  • File a fraudulent tax return
  • Deliberately fail to report the full amount of income you earned during the year
  • Deliberately take deductions you know you are not entitled to
  • Deliberately hide or destroy your written or electronic financial records so as to avoid leaving a paper trail
  • Deliberately transfer ownership of your property to another so as to avoid claiming the income that the property generates

Can you rescind a plea bargain?

If you face federal white collar crime charges in Arkansas, the prosecutor likely will offer you a plea agreement. As Forbes reports, upwards of 90% of federal defendants enter into a plea bargain.

Despite the fact that a plea bargain may well represent the best way to dispose of your case, however, you need to realize that a plea bargain can present you with substantial negatives such as the following:

  • You give up your constitutional right to a trial by a jury of your peers.
  • You will have to verbally plead guilty to the charges against you in open court.
  • You normally give up the right to appeal your conviction.
  • You normally cannot rescind your plea bargain.

What is a RICO violation?

A RICO violation represents one of many federal white collar crimes with which you can be charged in Arkansas. But what exactly is a RICO violation and what proof does the prosecutor need in order to convict you?

The Department of Justice explains that the acronym RICO stands for the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organization Act, the federal legislation passed in 1970 to combat racketeering by the Mafia. Since that time, however, the feds have used RICO to prosecute those suspected of a variety of crimes including the following:

  • Bribery
  • Mail fraud
  • Money laundering
  • Counterfeiting
  • Embezzlement

The hidden consequences of facing a criminal charge

When facing a criminal charge, you are often consumed with fear about the immediate repercussions. As you work with your criminal defense attorney, you will create a plan of action for moving forward in the court system and discuss the consequences that you may face from the judge or jury. From community service and probation to serving weeks, months or even years in prison, the severity of your sentence will depend on the crime you are charged with and the legal defense that your attorney provides.

In addition to facing legal consequences for criminal actions, you also will find that there are hidden consequences that may continue to reveal themselves for years to come. tress disorder are not uncommon among those who serve time in prison for criminal convictions. 

Mail fraud is a federal crime

Crimes of deceit that come into or leave Arkansas via the U.S. Postal service or private interstate carriers are mail fraud. Because it crosses state lines, it falls under the jurisdiction of federal agencies. If you are facing charges, it is imperative that you understand the theory of the case and evidence against you.  At John Wesley Hall, our team often represents clients such as government officials, executives and other individuals unexpectedly facing criminal charges.

Spamlaws reports that mail fraud uses the postal system to secure valuable items or money illegally. This type of hoax can take several different forms:

  • Impersonation – Any communication sent across state lines misrepresenting the identity of the sender is mail fraud. It often takes the form of a message, emulating one that comes from the U.S. Government or legitimate business. The letter requests that recipients send banking details, social security numbers and other sensitive information. Once the scammer receives the victim’s data, they often use it for damaging crimes involving identity theft.
  • Misrepresentation of products - The internet enables criminals to swindle victims easily, as they never have contact with them. It often begins with a website that looks legitimate and has products for sale. If the organization accepts credit card payments, but never ships the product, or ships a lower quality item, it is mail fraud.
  • Internet auctions - These events qualify for mail fraud if victims receive emails requesting payment for non-existent or undeliverable merchandise.

What is negligent discharge?

Arkansas residents like you may be legally allowed to own or carry firearms. However, that doesn't mean you're exempt from wielding them with care. Today, John Wesley Hall will discuss what negligent discharge means, how it may differ from accidental discharge, and the repercussions therein.

Negligent discharge is any firing of a firearm done in a negligent fashion. It may or may not be unintentional, which is the primary way in which it differs from accidental discharge. With the latter, there was never any intent to fire the weapon at all, and it was simply fired due to freak accident.

Is drug court an option for you?

Arkansas drug convictions can lead to serious penalties, and some of those penalties have the potential to impact everything from your job and finances to your personal relationships. In some cases, though, you may be able to enter a state drug court program, instead of facing traditional criminal consequences, so that you can deal with your addiction while taking accountability for your crime.

According to the Arkansas Judiciary, there are nearly 40 drug court programs currently in operation across the state, and many of these programs operate in a similar manner. If you are able to enter one, you will typically need to undergo frequent drug testing and counseling, and you will also need to appear regularly in front of a judge or program administrator who can make sure you are staying compliant. You will typically also need to hold down a job throughout the duration of your drug court program, which is typically a period of about 18 months.

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Little Rock, AR 72202

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