John Wesley Hall

Little Rock Criminal Law Blog

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.

Penalties associated with lying on your taxes

When you file your taxes in Arkansas, you may, like many others across the state, find the process confusing and complicated. Unfortunately, tax laws change all the time, and not keeping up with new changes has the potential to come back to bite you. So, too, can “guessing” or omitting certain information when filing your tax return. Attorney John Wesley Hall understands that often, state residents make errors on their tax returns not out of malice, but because they lack information, but he also recognizes that the penalties associated with lying on your taxes remain the same, regardless.

According to H&R Block, lying or omitting information when filing your taxes has the potential to land you in serious and considerable trouble. Just what types of penalties might you face for being untruthful on your taxes? If you are lucky, you may simply receive notification from the Internal Revenue Service that it caught a discrepancy in your tax return. Under these circumstances, you may be able to simply pay the difference you owe and move on with your life.

Pine Bluff becomes 3rd Arkansas employer to 'ban the box'

Even after you have paid your debt to society, your criminal record can affect your life for years. Depending on the nature of the crimes you were convicted of, you could struggle to find a job, get credit from a bank or rent a home.

A movement called “ban the box” has sought to help people with criminal records get a second chance and pursue their careers. “Ban the box” refers to the line in many job applications in which the applicant is asked to check a box if they have ever been arrested or convicted of a crime.

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.

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John Wesley Hall
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Little Rock, AR 72202

Phone: 501-371-9131
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