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Home - Category: Federal Crimes in Northern KY (Page 2)

Category: Federal Crimes in Northern KY

Do I Have to Appeal if Money is Seized?

Posted on June 25, 2015 in Federal Crimes in Northern KY General Criminal Law Issues - Northern KY

You do not have to respond, however the government will keep your money if you do not file Petition/Appeal of the ruling.  If your money is seized by TSA or any other agency, you will (should) receive a letter from US Department of Justice in approximately 30 days outlining the amount seized as well as your rights to petition/appeal.  Following is a sample letter from DOJ (redacted):

Sample DOJ - redacted

As stated in the letter, you have only 30 days to send letter of petition and timing is crucial. If you want to try to get your money back, you MUST FOLLOW THE PROCEDURE.  If the 30 days is insufficient and you need more time to hire an attorney or to gather evidence, you must still send in a letter of appeal, tell them that you need additional time to gather information/evidence and retain counsel.

You are permitted to travel with over $10,000; that is not illegal.  If traveling out of the country, you must declare the amount of cash.  When they seize money, the government presumes that it was obtained illegally.  To get it back, you must prove only that it was legally acquired which is generally done by gathering document gathering.  Common documents are payment records, deposits and withdraws, sale of assets (house, boat, vehicles).

If there were no drugs or other illegal contraband was found while you were traveling then the federal agency does not typically conduct further investigation.  If they had found drugs or contraband, you would likely be facing federal felony charges and the seizure would be included in an indictment.  If no charges were made, no charges or other inquiry will typically arise simply because you choose to forfeit your money.

Contact me directly if you have further questions or to inquire about representation.  Call Michael Bouldin at 859-581-6453 or email at mwbouldin@fuse.net

What Are Felony Sentencing Guidelines?

Posted on May 20, 2015 in Federal Crimes in Northern KY

Criminal sentences are supposed to be proportionate to the crime. That is, they should “fit the crime.” Therefore, felonies carry harsher sentences than misdemeanors do. To ensure defendants with similar criminal histories who commit similar crimes get similar punishments, both the federal government and the many states have sentencing guidelines for judges to consult.

Sentencing Depends on the Class of Felony

Sentencing guidelines provide a framework for judges to determine an appropriate punishment for various types of crimes. In general, felony offenses, whether state or federal, carry a minimum sentence of one year in prison. Federal felony crimes are divided into classes, with increasing maximum sentences based on the severity of the crime:

  • Class “E” felonies are the least serious and carry penalties of up to three years in prison.
  • Class “D” through “B” felonies are increasingly serious and carry maximum prison terms from six years to 25 years.
  • Class “A” felonies are the most serious and can earn you life without parole or any other period of time. They may also be eligible for the death penalty.

Using the federal Guidelines Manual and Sentencing Table (PDF), a judge can see recommended sentences that take into account the felony class as well as the defendant’s criminal history. This allows for someone with no criminal history to get a lighter sentence than a career criminal for the identical crime, while still staying within the published guidelines.

States classify felonies in a manner similar to the federal system, although some states have more or fewer classes, and some use number rather than letter classifications. The sentence ranges for each class also vary by state.

Deviating From Felony Sentencing Guidelines

For state crimes, sentencing guidelines are just that: guidelines. Judges are free to consider the specifics of each case in handing down a final sentence and may give sentences outside the suggested range.  That said, the Federal Judges in Eastern District of Kentucky generally sentence within the guidelines unless an exception occurs.

One common factor judges consider is the defendant’s behavior before, during, or after the crime.  Actions that can cause a judge to increase the sentence above the suggested maximum are called aggravating factors. For example, higher sentences may be warranted if the crime included:

  • Death of one or more persons
  • Serious physical injury to a victim
  • Use of a weapon during the crime
  • Abduction

In addition, there may be mandatory sentences under federal law if one or more the aggravating factors exist.  

The judge may also consider mitigating factors that could be used to justify a sentence less than the suggested minimum, such as:

  • Assisting authorities in bringing additional perpetrators to justice
  • The victim’s conduct contributing significantly to provoking the defendant
  • The defendant having been coerced or having committed the crime under duress

If you or a loved one has been accused of a felony, contact an attorney.  For consultation in Northern Kentucky, contact Michael Bouldin at mike@bouldinlawfirm.com or call 859-581-6453.

Should I Take a Plea Deal?

Posted on May 14, 2015 in Federal Crimes in Northern KY General Criminal Law Issues - Northern KY

Should I take a plea deal?  This is probably the most commonly asked question by a criminal defense client to their attorney.  The attorney generally can bring the deal but is seldom in a position to advise whether or not to take a deal.

When should i take a plea deal?  You should accept a plea deal when you are guilty and the likelihood of a sentence following a conviction will be greater than the bargained for deal.  For example: if you were weaving on the road, ran a red light, were pulled over after drinking a 12 pack of beer; then failed all field sobriety tests and then blew a .149 on the breathalyzer, the likelihood of a conviction for DUI is very high.  If the offer on a plea is the state minimums for license suspension, no jail time, minimum fine and other expenses, it may be a good deal.  If you also had an accident, the likelihood of jail time or extended suspension increases if the case proceeds to trial.

What if I have probated time in addition to the new crime?  The prosecution holds a number of cards when you also have probated time hanging over your head.  If they revoke the probated time, any new charge is likely going to run consecutive to the probated time.  That means, if you have 3 years of probated time and you have a new crime where the time will be 5 years, consecutive time means a total of 8.  A plea deal that involves concurrent time (5+3=5) would be hard to pass up in such a case.

What if I am not guilty?  If you are not guilty and continue with your innocence, you still need to understand the likelihood of conviction.  If the facts stack up against you, the likelihood of conviction must be taken into account.  For example, if the plea deal is for probation and you are looking at a 10 year sentence if convicted, you must balance that with the likelihood of a conviction.  Alternatively stated, you must balance the probation (bird in the hand) with the possibility that you will still be convicted and sentence to a lengthy prison sentence.

This is why it is important to choose an attorney you trust.  An attorney can give you an accurate assessment of the strengths and weaknesses of your case and will generally give you a range of odds of winning, losing or something in between.  For example, there is a chance that you are still convicted of a lesser charge.

For a consultation in Norther Kentucky, contact Michael Bouldin at mwbouldin2@gmail.com or call 581-MIKE, 859-581-6453.

 

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Kentucky Embezzlement Laws

Posted on March 22, 2015 in Federal Crimes in Northern KY State Crimes in Northern Kentucky

Kentucky embezzlement laws are codified under KRS 514 in the THEFT statutes of criminal law.  Embezzlement is defined as theft or misappropriation of funds placed in one’s trust or belonging to one’s employer.

Generally in Kentucky, persons are charged with KRS 514.030 theft by unlawful taking or KRS 514.040 theft by deception. Occasionally a prosecutor may charge under KRS 514.070 theft by failure to make required disposition.  The cases may be handled in state court or may be transferred to federal court.  The ultimately decision rests with the prosecutor, but is generally determined by the agency investigating the case.

Theft by unlawful taking (KRS 514.030) is a class D felony if over $500 but less than $10,000 and is considered as a class C felony if more than $10,000 but less than $1,000,000.  The charge and penalty increases to a class B felony if the amount exceeds $1,000,000.

Theft by deception (KRS 514.040) is a class D felony if amount is over $500 but less than $10,000.  Similar to theft by unlawful taking, the charge and penalties increase to a class C felony if more than $10,000.

As previously discussed elsewhere herein, class D felonies are generally punishable by 1-5 years, class C felonies 5-10 and class B felonies 10-20 years of incarceration.  All felonies are likely eligible for probation and most theft charges also include restitution as part of any criminal sentence.

major consideration in nearly all embezzlement cases is the possibility, if not likelihood, of separate or competing federal criminal embezzlement charges.  When selecting a criminal defense attorney, make sure that your attorney has history working in both the state and federal system.  There are many times that avoidance of federal court may greatly benefit the defendant, especially when dealing with the Federal Sentencing Guidelines.

If you have been charged with theft or embezzlement in Kentucky or federal court, contact an experienced criminal defense attorney.  For a consultation, contact Michael Bouldin at the Bouldin Law Firm by email at mwbouldin2@gmail.com or call 581-MIKE 859-581-6453.

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What Are Kentucky Penalties for Drug Trafficking?

Posted on February 25, 2015 in Federal Crimes in Northern KY General Criminal Law Issues - Northern KY

Drug trafficking penalties in Kentucky vary by the substance being trafficked as well as by the amount of drugs sold.

KRS 218A.1412 defines Trafficking in controlled substance in first degree and Penalties.
(1) A person is guilty of trafficking in a controlled substance in the first degree when he or she knowingly and unlawfully traffics in: (a) Four (4) grams or more of cocaine; (b) Two (2) grams or more of heroin or methamphetamine; (c) Ten (10) or more dosage units of a controlled substance that is classified in Schedules I or II and is a narcotic drug, or a controlled substance analogue; (d) Any quantity of lysergic acid diethylamide; phencyclidine; gamma hydroxybutyric acid (GHB), including its salts, isomers, salts of isomers, and analogues; or flunitrazepam, including its salts, isomers, and salts of isomers; …
The penalty for violation of KRS 218A.1412 (1)(a)-(d) is 5-10 years in prison as a class C Felony for first offense and B Felony for second or subsequent offenses.
KRS 218A.1413 defines Trafficking in controlled substance in second degree and Penalties.
(1) A person is guilty of trafficking in a controlled substance in the second degree when: (a) He or she knowingly and unlawfully traffics in: 1. Ten (10) or more dosage units of a controlled substance classified in Schedules I and II that is not a narcotic drug; or specified in KRS 218A.1412, and which is not a synthetic drug, salvia, or marijuana; or 2. Twenty (20) or more dosage units of a controlled substance classified in Schedule III; (b) He or she knowingly and unlawfully prescribes, distributes, supplies, or sells an anabolic steroid for: 1. Enhancing human performance in an exercise, sport, or game; or 2. Hormonal manipulation intended to increase muscle mass, strength, or weight in the human species without a medical necessity; or (c) He or she knowingly and unlawfully traffics in any quantity of a controlled substance specified in paragraph (a) of this subsection in an amount less than the amounts specified in that paragraph.
The penalty for violation of KRS 218A.1413 is 1-5 years in prison as a class D Felony for first offense.

The majority of drug trafficking cases are charged as Class C felonies.  That charged can also be increased if the trafficking is within 1000 linear feet of a school or daycare.  Marijuana trafficking is not included in this post may be a Class A misdemeanor or a Class D felony.  See prior post relating to marijuana trafficking.

If you have been charged in Kentucky or Federal court for trafficking of drugs, you need a criminal defense attorney. For consultation and representation in Boone, Campbell, Kenton or federal court, contact Michael Bouldin at mike@bouldinlawfirm.com or call 859-581-6453.

 

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What is Jail Time for Class D Felony in Ky?

Posted on February 5, 2015 in Federal Crimes in Northern KY General Criminal Law Issues - Northern KY

A class D felony in Kentucky is punishable by 1-5 years of incarceration. This may be served in the state prison or, more likely, in local county jails.  Class D is the lowest form of felony in the commonwealth of Kentucky and most first time offenders are eligible for probation.  Certain crimes may also be eligible for felony diversion.  Felony diversion is available to first-time, non-violent felons, but must be with the consent and agreement of the prosecution.

Felony diversion is a program that allows a person to enter a plea then be sentenced to a period of probation. If that person successfully completes probation, the case can ultimately be dismissed.  This enables the defendant to proceed as if they have not had a crime on their record. **in certain cases,  this may be used in sentencing if the defendant commits and is sentenced on a subsequent federal felony.

If you have been charged with a crime, including felony or misdemeanor charges, in Kentucky, contact an experienced criminal defense attorney.  For a consultation in Northern Kentucky, call the Bouldin Law Firm and schedule an appointment to meet with Michael Bouldin.  Call 859-581-6453 or email mwbouldin2@gmail.com.

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What is RENU?

Posted on December 9, 2014 in Federal Crimes in Northern KY

The Regional Narcotics Unit in Hamilton county is comprised of officers and investigators from various agencies in and throughout Hamilton County.  It is akin to the Northern Kentucky Drug Strike Force in Northern Kentucky.  RENU and NKY prosecute cases in both the state court as well as federal level.

The RENU is comprised of officers from Hamilton County Sheriff’s Office, Cincinnati Police Department, Green Township Police Department and Anderson Township. Often, the RENU also works in association with Federal ATF, DEA and FBI.

If you or a loved one has been arrested by RENU, you will likely have great difficulty finding information on line.  In the event that the defendant can be of assistance, it benefits him/her to not have their information readily available online.  For example, if the defendant may be giving information relative to suppliers or other dealers, having their information online of being arrested will allow the others to locate their information and avoid further information becoming public.

Your attorney will work with the RENU and should be able to tell you all information regarding court dates.  Much information is intentionally

If you have been arrested by RENU, you have BIG concerns.  You are likely facing felony charges for trafficking narcotics and need to hire an experienced criminal defense attorney.  For consultation and questions, call Michael Bouldin at 859-581-6453 or email at mwbouldin2@gmail.com.

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What is a Terry Stop?

Posted on August 20, 2014 in Federal Crimes in Northern KY General Criminal Law Issues - Northern KY State Crimes in Northern Kentucky

In the United States, a “Terry stop” is a brief detention of a person by police on reasonable suspicion of involvement in criminal activity but short of probable cause to arrest.  The name derives from Terry v. Ohio, 392 U.S. 1 (1968), in which the Supreme Court of the United States held that police may briefly detain a person whom they reasonably suspect is involved in criminal activity; the Court also held that police may do a limited search of the suspect’s outer garments for weapons if they have a reasonable and articulable suspicion that the person detained may be “armed and dangerous”.  When a search for weapons is authorized, the procedure is known as a stop and frisk.

To have reasonable suspicion that would justify a stop, police must be able to point to “specific and articulable facts” that would indicate to a reasonable person that a crime has been, is being, or is about to be committed. Reasonable suspicion depends on the “totality of the circumstances”, and can result from a combination of facts, each of which is by itself innocuous.

The search of the suspect’s outer garments, also known as a pat down, must be limited to what is necessary to discover weapons; however, pursuant to the plain feel doctrine, police may seize contraband discovered in the course of a frisk, but only if the contraband’s identity is immediately apparent.

In some jurisdictions, persons detained under the doctrine of Terry must identify themselves to police upon request. In Hiibel v. Sixth Judicial District Court of Nevada, 542 U.S. 177 (2004), the Court held that a Nevada statute requiring such identification did not violate the Fourth Amendment’s prohibition against unreasonable searches and seizures, or, in the circumstances of that case, the Fifth Amendment’s privilege against self incrimination.

 A traffic stop is, for practical purposes, a Terry stop; for the duration of a stop, driver and passengers are “seized” within the meaning of the Fourth Amendment. Under certain circumstances if the officer has probable cause to stop the vehicle, drivers and passengers may be ordered out of the vehicle without additional justification by the officer.  Drivers and passengers may be searched for weapons upon reasonable suspicion they are armed and dangerous. If police reasonably suspect the driver or any of the occupants may be dangerous and that the vehicle may contain a weapon to which an occupant may gain access, police may perform a protective search of the passenger compartment.

Without a warrant, probable cause, or the driver’s consent, police may not search the vehicle, but under the “plain view” doctrine may seize and use as evidence weapons or contraband that are visible from outside the vehicle.

If you have been charged you should hire an attorney.  If you believe that you have been illegally stopped, this provides another defense to the charges.  For a consultation with a criminal defensse lawyer in Northern Kentucky, contact Michael Bouldin at mwbouldin2@gmail.com or call 859-581-6453 (581-MIKE).

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Criminal Defense Awards

Posted on August 1, 2014 in Federal Crimes in Northern KY General Criminal Law Issues - Northern KY State Crimes in Northern Kentucky

Following are recent ratings, awards and badges from AVVO for attorney, Michael Bouldin

For consultation, contact Michael Bouldin at mwbouldin2@gmail.com or call 859-581-6453.

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Supreme Court Victory for Privacy Rights

Posted on June 26, 2014 in Federal Crimes in Northern KY General Criminal Law Issues - Northern KY State Crimes in Northern Kentucky

The United States Supreme Court ruled in a unanimous decision yesterday, June 25, 2014, that cell phones cannot be searched by police without a warrant during an arrest.  This comes as a major victory for those advocacy right to privacy and opposed to police overreaching.  Reported today by MSNBCCNN, NY TimesWSJ and USA Today.

The supreme court stated, “We cannot deny that our decision today will have an immediate impact on the ability of law enforcement to combat crime.” emphasizing, “Privacy comes at a cost.” This was written by Chief Justice John Roberts.  Those first amendment activists have applauded the decision as a major victory to individual rights.

Under the law, police can search a person under arrest and whatever physical items are within their reach in order to find weapons and preserve evidence.  The ruling makes clear that this does not apply to the contents of a cellular phone or smart phone.  Other cases pending include NSA surveillance methods of phone and computers.

Both beat police as well as investigating agencies have been routinely searching cellular phones in Northern Kentucky.  Due to the question of the law, many have not obtained search warrants.  Without permission of the owner or a proper search warrant, they have no legal right to search a smart phone or flip phone in order to determine if other crimes have been committed or to gain additional evidence regarding a crime.

If you have quetions about the ruling or are facing criminal charges or investigation in Northern Kentucky, contact Michael Bouldin at mwbouldin2@gmail.com or call 581-MIKE; 859-581-6453. 

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