It is hard to believe that, just a few years ago, Springfield’s violent crime rate was almost at an all-time high. Today, the numbers are much, much lower.
That’s partially due to coronavirus. In some jurisdictions, COVID-19 decreased crime rates by as much as 70 percent, especially when spring 2020 lockdowns were in full effect. The effect of a disaster like coronavirus could be long-lasting. For example, in New York City, the violent crime rate dropped significantly after the World Trade Center attack. The 9/11 effect continues to this day. The violent crime rate in the Big Apple was almost four times higher in the 1990s than it is now.
Even moreso, the Springfield, TN crime decrease is also a testament to emergency responders and community activism. The downward trend began in 2019, before the coronavirus outbreak touched the United States. Violent crime and property crime both decreased by about 30 percent. The number of car crashes decreased as well, a decline which Springfield Police Chief Jason Head attributed to aggressive DUI enforcement. Local police were also very active on the drug possession front. Officers seized over $90 million worth of illegal narcotics. Furthermore, as outlined below, some COVID-19-related infractions have increased as well.
The bottom line is that Springfield is a much safer and nicer place to live than it was four or five years ago. Our police force deserves pretty much all the credit for these improvements.
That being said, drug charges and DUI charges are among the most serious criminal matters in Robertson County. And, prompt jail release is often the key to successfully resolving these charges. So, if you were arrested on these charges, reach out to the Clarksville, TN bail bondsman at Fizer Bonding Company as soon as possible. The longer you remain behind bars, the more difficult it is for an attorney to defend you against these charges.
Coronavirus Criminal Charges
Criminal trespass, usually related to the failure to wear a facemask when patronizing certain private businesses or government offices, is becoming one of the most common coronavirus-related criminal matters. Most private businesses, especially national chains, have facemask requirements. Visiting such a business without a facemask is like not wearing shoes or a shirt if the business has one of those “No Shoes, No Shirt, No Service” signs.
Apropos of nothing, a few businesses still sport “We Reserve The Right To Refuse Service To Anyone” signs. These signs are relics of former times and completely unenforceable.
Typically, criminal trespass is a Class C misdemeanor. Aggravated criminal trespass, which is trespassing if the defendant “is reckless about whether such person’s presence will cause fear for the safety of another,” is a Class A misdemeanor. Arguably, not wearing a facemask could satisfy this requirement.
Disorderly conduct or related charges, due to failure to wear a mask in public, could be an issue as well.
Both Robertson County and Montgomery County have limited facemask ordinances. In July 2020, Montgomery County Mayor Jim Durrett ordered all public-facing employees to wear facemasks until further notice. At roughly the same time, Robertson County Mayor Billy Vogel ordered everyone over age 12 to wear facemasks in public, unless they have a documented health condition, they are in a place of worship, or they are eating or drinking.
Legally, disorderly conduct, which is a Class C misdemeanor, is a very vague offense. It prohibits conduct such as creating “a hazardous or physically offensive condition by any act that serves no legitimate purpose.” That phrase could encompass almost anything, including a failure to wear a mask in public.
Pragmatically, police normally do not respond to disorderly conduct or criminal trespass calls unless the person is causing a scene and disturbing others. Even then, if the person agrees to leave, officers usually drop the matter and thank them for their cooperation. However, if the person refuses to stand down, questions an officer’s authority, or has an outstanding warrant, an arrest is basically inevitable.
Following public laws or store policies is an important element of facemask etiquette. It’s like not going into the handicapped restroom even if that stall is vacant. Additionally, during this time when stress and anxiety about COVID-19 is so high, it’s usually best to avoid confrontations over facemask requirements.
Since both these offenses are nonviolent misdemeanors, pretrial release is usually available, especially since officials are very wary of jail overcrowding during the coronavirus era.
Drug Charges, DUI Charges, and A Bail Bondsman Near Me
We put these two crimes together because, from a bail bonds perspective, they are roughly the same.
Typically, DUI and drug possession charges are misdemeanors. Most DUIs are first or second time offenses, and these infractions are both misdemeanors. And, about 40 percent of all drug arrests are for marijuana possession. These charges are almost always misdemeanors.
DUI is operating a motor vehicle with a BAC level above the legal limit, which is usually .08, or operating a vehicle after having lost the normal use of one’s mental or physical faculties. Possessing illegal drugs is, well, possessing illegal drugs. In addition to physical proximity, prosecutors must also establish knowledge and control of the illegal substance.
On a related note, it is not always easy for the state to prove that the possessed substance was illegal. Marijuana, which is illegal, and hemp, which is legal, are physically indistinguishable. From a historic point of view, hemp was the primary fiber used in making rope, canvas, and the original “Levi’s jeans were made from hemp cloth.
Occasionally, pretrial release is available for these offenses as well. However, especially if the defendant has a prior criminal record, a Fizer Bonding Company agent (bail bond near me) probably needs to file a surety bond for you. A surety bond is essentially an insurance policy which guarantees the defendant’s appearance at trial.
In addition to paying the premium, most surety bond releases include some other conditions. For example, most judges require DUI bonds to include Ignition Interlock Device requirements. IIDs disable the vehicle’s ignition if the driver’s BAC is above a certain level. Other common conditions include reporting to a bail bonds agent and avoiding further trouble with the law.
If you or your family or loved one has found themselves arrested during these Coronavirus days, or have questions about getting bonded for jail release, call Fizer Bonding Company. We are a family owned company with over 40 years of 24/7 bonding experience in the Robertson and Montgomery Counties (Clarksville, TN bail bonds). Our professional bonding agents are available 24/7 every day of the year to get your tail outta jail and we practice Covid-19 friendly procedures. Fizer Bonding Company is a proud member of the Tennessee Association of Professional Bail Agents. For more info about Fizer Bonding Company bail bonds, click here.
“We’ll get your tail outta jail!”
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