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Newport Legal Blog

The serious implications of tax fraud charges

Federal charges of any kind are quite serious, including white collar crimes. Rhode Island readers may underestimate the serious nature of white collar crimes, assuming that the penalties will be less because no one got hurt or the persons responsible turned themselves in. In reality, conviction of any type of federal crime is serious, no matter what.

Tax fraud is a common federal charge, and if you are currently under investigation for this type of crime or you are already facing charges, there is no time to lose in seeking full protection of your interests. Conviction of this type of crime could result in jail time and various other penalties that could have a serious, long-reaching impact on your life.

Drunk driver allegedly crashes into DUI cruiser

A Rhode Island man allegedly crashed into a police cruiser that was patrolling for drunk drivers. According to Turnto10.com, the Smithfield officer was part of Operation Rhode Island Blue Riptide, a group of law enforcement agencies working to decrease the number of drunk driving instances in the state.

The officer was on the side of the road on Douglas Pike sitting in his cruiser writing a ticket to a different motorist when he was struck by the allegedly drunk driver. His emergency lights were flashing when the cruiser was hit from behind by the other vehicle. Both vehicles sustained damage. The driver was unharmed in the crash, and the officer was treated for minor injuries. In addition to a DUI, the driver was cited with a number of other violations, including having expired vehicle registration, lacking car insurance, and refusing both a breathalyzer and a blood alcohol test. 

Improper use of medical marijuana could be a major problem

In Rhode Island, medical marijuana is available to certain individuals who have specific medical conditions. The use of this drug is thought to help alleviate some of the symptoms associated with various diseases and disorders. In order to lawfully have medical marijuana, a person must have a prescription from a doctor and a qualifying medical condition.

Just because the use of medical marijuana is legal in the state, it does not mean that just anyone can have it. The regulations surrounding the use of marijuana for medicinal purposes are strict, and improper use could lead to serious legal trouble. If you are facing marijuana-related criminal charges for this reason, you would be wise to secure defense help fast.

Rhode Island and the outlook of cocaine laws

As America has recently seen a shift in views toward marijuana, views regarding cocaine remain largely the same. Although common and easily accessible in the state of Rhode Island, cocaine generally has a negative reputation, with its high connection to other crimes. However, it is important to know the variety of factors that can determine the severity of a case, including the quantity of the drug, the type of cocaine and past criminal records.

On top of the severe penalties that can take place as a result of cocaine possession or distribution, recent news from the Providence Journal warns the public of fentanyl-laced cocaine. A powerful synthetic opioid that has gripped the country, fentanyl has found its way into cocaine in large amounts. Rhode Island law enforcement has found large amounts of this laced drug during recent drug arrests, and officials report that fentanyl is the second most common drug detected in drug samples seized by law enforcement in 2017. It appears that such drastic measures have forced change regarding social perspective on illegal drugs, wherein health experts and law enforcement have recently had to prioritize helping and saving users in danger over arresting them.  

How do moving offense charges stack?

Rhode Island residents like yourself may not know that simple traffic violations can stack up quickly, resulting in more of an impact on your life than you might have expected. At Lynch & Pine, we lay out all of the possible consequences of one or more traffic violations to highlight just how heavily you might be affected by stacking traffic violations.

Moving offenses can stack up to equal some hefty punishments. In Rhode Island, if you get four or more convictions for moving offenses, you can face any or all of the following:

  • 60 hours of driving retraining
  • 60 hours of community service
  • $1000 in fines
  • 2 year license suspension

Opioid addiction help urged

Rhode Island residents who are arrested for and charged with drug crimes understandably may be concerned about the penalties they may face if they are ultimately convicted of the offenses. In addition to criminal or legal consequences, however, many people must also struggle with the problems associated with serious addictions to substances. In recent years, there has been a growing amount of pressure across the country to tackle the issues relating to opioid addiction.

Opioids are pain medications that require prescriptions to obtain. However, many street drugs have emerged as some efforts to curb the prescribing of these medications increased once the addiction problem became obvious. The President of the United States has a Committee on Combatting Drug Addiction and the Opioid Crisis. This committee published a report that is urging for the President to declare a national state of emergency to give the country more ability to provide help to people who are addicted to these drugs.

Speeding tickets, running red lights and the law

Oftentimes, pressing situations can tempt drivers to accelerate at speeds well beyond posted speed limits. Despite such demanding situations, the law requires drivers to obey speeding signs and follow through with court procedures when they show neglect to such signs. Rhode Island has its own set of traffic violations, including speeding regulations to ensure safety on the road.

The State of Rhode Island General Assembly offers online links to Chapters 31-14 Speed Restrictions. In the section titled "reasonable and prudent speeds," restrictions hold that no person shall drive a vehicle on a highway at a speed greater than is reasonable, noting that all drivers must take heed of such guidelines and understand the potential hazards on the road. Such regulations can help drivers avoid collisions with other vehicles, pedestrians or other conveyance on or entering the highway. The restriction details close with reference to violations and the potential fines of speeding. Of course, there are a number of other factors involved when determining a traffic violation, but it is important to understand such restrictions and know drivers' rights concerning speeding tickets.

Installing an ignition interlock device to get a hardship license

Drunk driving in Rhode Island can bring various penalties that may have a significant impact on your life. From your personal freedom to your right to drive, you may find it beneficial to confront these charges in the hopes of mitigating some of these penalties. 

One of these penalties may be the loss of your driving privileges. This could affect your ability to drive to school, work and transport your kids. However, it may be possible to secure a hardship license upon installation of an ignition interlock device. It may be beneficial to better understand these devices and your potential requirement to have one installed in your vehicle.

The outlook of marijuana laws

A highly controversial topic that has only gained traction over recent years, cannabis laws in America are ever-changing and researched continually. Marijuana is still seen as a Schedule I drug according to the federal Controlled Substances Act of 1970, but is more recently exempt from such laws due to its various uses in some states. Rhode Island was one of the states on the East Coast that contained marijuana legalization measures on the ballot for the November 2016 election.

 

Possession of a knife can implicate weapons violations

Firearms are not the only kind of weapons addressed under Rhode Island’s weapons violations laws. Rhode Island has a robust set of criminal laws designed to curb violence by restricting the possession or carrying of various weapons. While most people are aware of the existence of stringent laws regarding firearms, many may be less familiar with the prohibitions on other weapons as well.

According to Rhode Island’s criminal offense law found under § 11-47-42, the mere possession of various non-firearm type weapons may result in a criminal charge. The type of items prohibited include, among other weapons, a blackjack, slingshot, stun gun and metal knuckles. It also prohibits the concealed carrying of blades over 3 inches long. One does not need to have any intent to do harm to be in violation of the law. In this law, the length of the blade is a critical element to the crime.

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