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Chattanooga Criminal Law Blog

The dangers of internet fraud

Tennessee residents who attempt to defraud online victims may be charged with offenses related to internet fraud. This type of crime includes using software with internet access or internet services to deceive victims in some manner. Every year, millions of dollars are stolen from people online, and the internet crime schemes responsible for the theft have many forms.

One common form of internet fraud is to use a business e-mail compromise scam. These scams target companies that conduct business with foreign suppliers that routinely use wire transfer payments. Legitimate business e-mails are compromised using various forms of computer intrusion methods or through social engineering to execute unauthorized funds transfers.

A shoplifting accusation can affect your employability

If you were shopping in a mall or store in the state of Tennessee and were accused of shoplifting, you may have panicked or feared the consequences of being found guilty.

If you have prior convictions of a shoplifting offense and gain another one, the charge can be much more serious, and you may face jail time. In addition, being found guilty of any type of shoplifting charge will go on your record, and this can seriously limit your ability to gain employment in the future.

Baseball player accused of DUI challenged police

Tennessee baseball fans may be familiar with the performance of former Washington Nationals outfielder Jayson Werth on the field. However, he has run into some legal difficulties after being arrested for drunk driving in April. A video shows Werth refusing a field sobriety test at the time of his arrest. The player, who retired from professional baseball several months after the incident, was in Scottsdale, Arizona, at the time.

While he was initially pulled over by the police for driving with an expired registration, the officer conducting the traffic stop accused him of DUI during the incident. Werth said that it wasn't his car, so he didn't have the registration information involved. He also showed the police officer a card citing his status with Major League Baseball, noting that MLB works frequently with police agencies. Despite this appeal, however, the officer asked Werth to exit the car and perform field sobriety tests.

Marijuana possession a point of emphasis for law enforcement

There were 659,700 people taken into custody for marijuana offenses in the United States in 2017. Of those, 599,282 were taken into custody for being in possession of the substance. This was an increase from 587,516 in 2016, and there are calls to reduce the amount of time and energy spent by law enforcement focusing on those who use the drug in Tennessee and other states where it has not been legalized.

A representative from the Marijuana Policy Project said that it wasn't a good idea to focus on a drug that hasn't killed anyone while opiods kill 100 people per day. Overall, there were 1,632,921 people taken into custody for drug crimes in 2017. There was a drug bust once every 19 seconds on average in the country during that year while a marijuana drug bust took place once every 48 seconds.

Football player accused of drunk driving

Los Angeles Rams fans in Tennessee may have been celebrating their football team's resounding 34-0 victory over the Arizona Cardinals on Sept. 16. However, a member of the team's practice squad was arrested by police the same evening on suspicion of drunk driving. Aaron Neary, 25, was pulled over by Simi Valley police after they received multiple reports of a driver moving erratically and colliding with stationary objects like a bus stop sign, mailboxes and trash cans.

While reports noted that the driver had left the scene of the small accidents, police found Neary elsewhere in Simi Valley behind the wheel of his vehicle. They pulled him over in a traffic stop near El Monte Drive and El Lado Drive and administered a breath test. According to police, Neary had a blood alcohol concentration level of .17 percent, well above the legal limit of .08 percent. He was taken from the car, arrested and booked at the East County Jail.

Man accused of selling drugs at Bonnaroo pleads guilty

A man is facing up to 40 years in a federal prison after admitting to selling LSD and MDMA at a Tennessee music festival. The dealer, who police claim regularly visited music events and festivals to sell drugs using the name Molly Poppins, appeared before the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Tennessee on Aug. 29 to enter guilty pleas to charges of drug possession with the intent to distribute.

Court documents reveal that undercover agents with the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation approached the man to purchase drugs during the 2017 Bonnaroo music festival, which was held in Manchester between June 8 and June 11. The four-day Bonnaroo festival was first held in 2002 and has gone on to become one of the country's most popular music events. While this has been good news for music fans in the Volunteer State, protecting festival visitors from drug dealers and other criminals has become a major challenge for state and local law enforcement.

5 steps to take after a protective order is taken out against you

If you have read our previous posts on Tennessee protective orders, you understand the type of restrictions that accompany these orders and the consequences respondents face should they disregard this court order.

Law enforcement and judges take a hard line when handling domestic violence cases and enforcing protective orders. As a result, it is crucial to respond to this order in a lawful manner to avoid long-term repercussions. You have a right to defend yourself against these allegations, but you will need to take the appropriate steps to do so.

Tennessee traffic stop leads to felony drug charges

A routine traffic stop on the afternoon of Sept. 2 led to the discovery of large quantities of methamphetamine and heroin and felony drug charges for a 27-year-old Tennessee man. The Maryville resident faces felony charges of drug possession with the intent to deliver, and reports indicate that more severe penalties could be applied because the traffic stop took place in a school zone.

According to a Blount County Sheriff's Office report, the sequence of events began when deputies pulled over a Chevrolet SUV near the intersection of Roddy Branch Road and Old Knoxville Highway in Rockford at approximately 1:00 p.m. after observing it commit an undescribed traffic violation. Reports do not reveal what led deputies to suspect that the vehicle contained evidence of ongoing criminal activity, but they do indicate that a drug-sniffing police dog and members of the Fifth Judicial Drug Task Force were summoned to the scene.

Meth arrests climb despite lowered production

While the number of meth labs is in decline in Tennessee, arrests on drug charges related to methamphetamine continue to rise. In 2017, authorities claimed that meth was the second most trafficked illegal drug in the state, and problems associated with meth continue to be a significant concern. The state was previously known for a large number of meth labs that served as distribution points for the drug throughout the area. The signs of these old labs can still be seen as there are hundreds of boarded-up homes that remain contaminated from their use in meth manufacturing.

However, 2018 marks the fifth straight year of declining arrests related to the manufacturing of methamphetamine. In 2012, police conducted 2,000 raids on meth labs. That number was reduced to only 200 in 2017. However, there were almost 10,000 incidents associated with meth reported by Tennessee police last year. This means that arrests for drug crimes related to methamphetamine have risen by 41 percent from 2016. Police say that most of the meth available in the area is now being brought in by more organized syndicates.

Penalties for identity theft in Tennessee

In the state of Tennessee, identity theft is a felony punishable by up to 12 years in prison and a fine of $5,000. Furthermore, the state may recoup legal costs in a criminal case in addition to a prison sentence and fine. In a civil case, victims of identity theft can be awarded up to three times their actual damages. They may also be awarded the greater of $10,000 or $5,000 a day that their identity was assumed.

Victims of identity theft may be reimbursed for their losses because of identity theft as well as interest on that amount. In some cases, the state attorney general will order an injunction that freezes the assets of a person who engages in identity theft. If that injunction is violated, it could result in a penalty of $5,000 as well as contempt of court sanctions.

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