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Month: June 2017

Sex Offender Registration & FaceBook

Posted on June 28, 2017 in Uncategorized

The United States Supreme Court struck down a North Carolina law that criminalizes use of social media by registered sex offenders in Packingham v. North Carolina on June 19, 2017.  A link to that Supreme Court decision is attached. This was a unanimous U.S. Supreme Court ruling, essentially stating that even a registered sex offender has first amendment rights regarding freedom of speech. 

Kentucky, like many states, restricts convicted sex offenders from using social media.  This is expanded after the parole or probation period ends and is included with sex-offender registration which can include a 10 year, 20 year, or lifetime registration requirement.

Kentucky law also criminalizes registrants from “knowingly or intentionally use a social networking Web site or an instant messaging or chat room program if that Web site or program allows a person who is less than eighteen (18) years of age to access or use the Web site or program.” Of course, this includes Instagram, Twitter, FaceBook, SnapChat and many other social media websites.

The supreme Court stated: A fundamental First Amendment principle is that all persons have access to places where they can speak and listen, and then, after reflection,s peak and listen once more.  Today, one of the most important places to exchange views is cyberspace, particularly social media, which offers “relatively unlimited, lo-cost capacity for communication of all kinds.

It is unclear whether this change will also apply to persons who are on probation or parole, where the use of certain media may be limited as a condition of probation/parole.  There are other crimes in Kentucky regarding registration which may be impacted, but not directly addressed by this Court ruling. Those include registration of your email addresses, FaceBook and other social media accounts. Best legal advice is to report all accounts until/unless the law changes. Time and case law will ferret out whether failure to report your account remains a criminal act.

If you have questions or concerns, contact a criminal defense attorney. For consultation in Kentucky, call Michael Bouldin at 859-581-6453 or email mike@bouldinlawfirm.com

Think Global, Hire Local Counsel

Posted on June 22, 2017 in General Criminal Law Issues - Northern KY

While it is important to be open to new ideas and strive to better yourself both as a person and a human being, when hiring a criminal defense attorney, make sure that they know their audience.
If you consider hiring an attorney from outside of the area, ask these questions:

  1. Does an outside attorney know the area?
  2. Do they know the prosecutor(s)?
  3. Do they know the judge(s)?
  4. Are they familiar with juries in the area and who may be potential jurors? AND
  5. Is the case likely to go to trial?

Why bold the Question: Is the case likely to go to trial?  The answer is complicated and simple.  If the case is likely to settle and you need the influence of the local prosecutor and/or judge to resolve the case or negotiate a favorable plea deal, often a local attorney will best suit your needs.  The best deals are not reserved to high price attorneys from larger cities, especially in more rural counties.

If, on the other hand, your case is likely or definitely headed toward a jury trial, an outside attorney may have the advantage of being able to ruffle some feathers without the care of local counsel.  That must be considered together with the fact that a local attorney may get some better pretrial rulings and will better know the jury and the trial strategy of the prosecutor.

What is local?  Typically, a local attorney is someone who regularly practices in the county of the charge.  They may have their office or home in that county or an adjacent county.  If you are seeking a lawyer, ask them the names of the prosecutors and judges who may or will be handling your case.  The local attorney shoudl be familiar with the “players.”

If you have questions or concerns about a case in Boone, Campbell or Kenton counties in Northern Kentucky, call Michael Bouldin at 859-581-6453 or email at mwbouldin2@gmail.com.

Felony Drug Possession

Posted on June 8, 2017 in General Criminal Law Issues - Northern KY State Crimes in Northern Kentucky

In Kentucky, possession of narcotics is almost always a felony charge.  Most people arrested are charged with PCS, Possession of Controlled Substance, first offense.  This is codified as KRS 218A.1415. If you have been charged, you shoudl hire an attorney.  For consultation, call 581-MIKE; 859-581-6453.

Under PCS statute in Kentucky states:

  • (1) A person is guilty of possession of a controlled substance in the first degree when he or she knowingly and unlawfully possesses:
    • (a) A controlled substance that is classified in Schedules I or II and is a narcotic drug;
    • (b) A controlled substance analogue;
    • (c) Methamphetamine;
    • (d) Lysergic acid diethylamide;
    • (e) Phencyclidine;
    • (f) Gamma hydroxybutyric acid (GHB), including its salts, isomers, salts of isomers, and analogues; or
    • (g) Flunitrazepam, including its salts, isomers, and salts of isomers.
  • (2) Possession of a controlled substance in the first degree is a Class D felony subject to the following provisions:
    • (a) The maximum term of incarceration shall be no greater than three (3) years, notwithstanding KRS Chapter 532;
    • (b) For a person’s first or second offense under this section, he or she may be subject to a period of: 1. Deferred prosecution pursuant to KRS 218A.14151; or 2. Presumptive probation;
    • (c) Deferred prosecution under paragraph (b) of this subsection shall be the preferred alternative for a first offense; and
    • (d) If a person does not enter a deferred prosecution program for his or her first or second offense, he or she shall be subject to a period of presumptive probation, unless a court determines the defendant is not eligible for presumptive probation as defined in KRS 218A.010.

If you have been charged with or arrested for Possession of a Controlled Substance, you are facing serious felony charges and need an experienced attorney.  For consultation in Northern Kentucky, call Michael Bouldin at 859-581-6453 or email mike@bouldinlawfirm.com.

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