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Category: General Criminal Law Issues – Northern KY

What is DUI Aggravator?

Posted on January 24, 2017 in DUI General Criminal Law Issues - Northern KY

Kentucky DUI law, as stated in KRS 189A.010, outlines certain criteria (referred to as aggravators) that increase the mandatory penalties for a DUI conviction.

Those criteria are identified as aggravators.  The follow are those criteria or “aggravating circumstances” that increase the jail sentence if convicted:

  1. Refusal of request for testing breath, blood or urine;
  2. Having a blood alcohol level over .15;
  3. Having an accident with death or serious physical injury;
  4. Going the wrong way on a limited access highway;
  5. Driving over 30 miles per hour above the speed limit; or
  6. Having a child under the age of 12 in the vehicle.

There are six (6) criteria that mandate the increased penalties.  (see KRS 189A.010(11))  Those penalties only affect the jail sentence associated with the DUI.  For a first offense, the minimum jail sentence is 0 days but with an aggravator, there is a minimum 4 day sentence. Second offense within 10 years carries a minimum jail sentence of 7 days and 14 if aggravated.  Third offense within 10 years has minimum 30 days incarceration and that doubles to 60 days if an aggravating circumstance exists. Fourth offense within 10 years is a felony, but 120 days in jail is the minimum which doubles if aggravated.

If you have been charged with a DUI, you should hire an experienced criminal defense attorney.  For consultation in Boone, Campbell or Kenton county, call the Bouldin Law Firm at 859-581-6456.  Contact Mike Bouldin at 581-MIKE or email at mwbouldin2@gmail.com.

Can I Appeal My Jail Sentence?

Posted on January 14, 2017 in General Criminal Law Issues - Northern KY

If you took the case to trial and were convicted, there is nearly guaranteed a right to appeal.  The Notice of Appeal must be filed within 30 days of the conviction.  What follows is a series of legal steps, including: designation of evidence, clerk’s certification of record and evidence, briefing schedule set forth by the appellate court, brief of the appellant/defendant, brief of the appellee/prosecution and then the potential for counter arguments and oral arguments to the court of appeals.

If you plead or have pled guilty, there is little chance that you can appeal the conviction or the resulting sentence; regardless of whether the sentence includes incarceration, jail, probation or fines.

If you were convicted in District Court, the local Circuit Court acts as the appellate court and will rule on issues.  You do not get to retry the case.  Often I receive phone calls from convicted persons who think that they can retry the case and present new evidence to the court of appeals.  In a very limited setting, new evidence may be presented.  This must be “newly discovered evidence” that was unavailable at the time of the trial.  the court draws a hard line in this regard.  Simply because your trial attorney did not present evidence, chose to ignore or not present evidence, or could not find or timely subpoena a witness does NOT give you the right to present it on appeal or get a new trial. Civil Rule 59.02 and 60.02 outline the specifics of newly discovered evidence.  

Generally, the appellate court only reviews the evidence that was presented.  In general, the groudns for appeal is regarding legal rulings on issues before the court. If you filed a Motion to Suppress which was denied, you can ask the court to review that ruling.  The trial court will not substitute their decision over that of the jury.  They are looking at LEGAL ISSUES in addition to potential prosecutorial misconduct.  (That is generally when a prosecutor fails to disclose evidence to the defense or presents arguments of facts which were not put into evidence.)

Appeals are not cheap and often legal fees exceed those of the trial attorney.  Additionally, if you WIN on appeal the case may be dismissed OR may be reversed and remanded for a new trial.  You will need an attorney for the retrial of the case as well.

If you have been convicted, speak to your attorney or public advocate about rights on appeal. Make sure that any appeal is filed timely.  If you want a second opinion, contact a criminal defense attorney.  To discuss, call Michael Bouldin at 581-581-6453 or email at mwbouldin2@gmail.com.

Busted for Heroin in Northern Kentucky

Posted on January 11, 2017 in General Criminal Law Issues - Northern KY State Crimes in Northern Kentucky

If you were arrested for heroin or any other controlled substance in Kentucky, you are facing felony charges.  When facing felony charges, you should hire an experienced criminal defense attorney.  Simple possession is generally a class D felony with penalties ranging from 1 – 3 years.  That said, if it is a first offense you may be eligible for probation or diversion.

Diversion allows an individual to be placed on probation for a period of time (typically 2-3 years).  If the diversion is successful, the defendant can have the charges dismissed and ultimately expunged.  Diversion DOES require a guilty plea and admission to the charges. If the diversion/probation is not successful, the judge can enforce the felony and sentence the defendant to a period of incarceration.

The statute is codified in KRS 218A.1415 Possession of controlled substance in first degree

  1. A person is guilty of possession of a controlled substance in the first degree when he or she knowingly and unlawfully possesses:
    1. A controlled substance that is classified in Schedules I or II and is a narcotic drug;
    2. A controlled substance analogue;
    3. Methamphetamine;
    4. Lysergic acid diethylamide;
    5. Phencyclidine;
    6. Gamma hydroxybutyric acid (GHB), including its salts, isomers, salts of isomers, and analogues; or
    7. 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:
    1. The maximum term of incarceration shall be no greater than three (3) years, notwithstanding KRS Chapter 532;
    2. 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;
  3. Deferred prosecution under paragraph (b) of this subsection shall be the preferred alternative for a first offense; and
  4. 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 questions or need a consultation, please call the Bouldin Law Firm at 859-581-6453 or email at mike@bouldinlawfirm.com.  Call 581-MIKE today.

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Expunge Your Record in 2017

Posted on January 9, 2017 in General Criminal Law Issues - Northern KY

Give the gift of freedom to a loved one!!!  If you have tax refund in 2017 or want to give a great gift in the new year, think of expungement of a criminal record.  Whether a gift to a family member or loved one or a gift to yourself, set yourself up to get the best job possible, obtain a CCW permit, purchase a firearm or simply rid the excess baggage by expunging your criminal record.

Kentucky has passed additional laws regarding expungement in 2016 which allows for expunge the following:

  1. Misdemeanor dismissals, acquittals and diversion cases can be expunged after 60 days.
  2. Misdemeanor convictions may be expunged 5 years after the case and any probated/CD time is completed.
  3. Felony dismissals, acquittals and diversion cases can be expunged after 60 days.
  4. Certain felony convictions may be expunged 5 years after probation is completed.

If you have been acquitted or gone through a diversion program, make sure to take the next step and have it expunged.  It is not automatic, you need to file.  The first step is to request a criminal background check.  If you hire an attorney, they can assist you with each step.  The criminal background check can take from 2 weeks to 2 months to complete and depend on the speed of AOC and KSP.  (Administrative Office of the Courts and Kentucky State Police).

For consultation and fees, call Mike at the Bouldin Law Firm at 859-581-6453.  Most cases are fixed fee.  If you were convicted, there is a $100 fee for misdemeanors and $500 fee for felony expungements.  Email mwbouldin2@gmail.com or call 581-MIKE.

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New Felony in 2017

Posted on January 8, 2017 in General Criminal Law Issues - Northern KY

If you have been changed with a felony in Campbell County, Kenton County, or Boone County, call Michael Bouldin for a consultation. You need an experienced criminal defense attorney to guide you through the process and protect your rights.   You can email at mike@bouldinlawfirm.com or call the office to schedule.

Whether you are innocent of the crime or you need to get the best deal possible, you need to hire the best attorney that you can afford knowing your rights and having an attorney to present your case is the best opportunity for a favorable outcome.  Do not assume that everyone is equal.  Price is one factor in determining if you have hired the best attorney to represent you.  You should discuss your case with your attorney and be assured that they have handled these types of case, that they are familiar with the local prosecutors and judges and that they will do their best to provide the best possible outcome.   Make sure you trust that the attorney’s advice is in YOUR best interest.

Mike has bheen practicing criminal defense law in Northern Kentucky for over 22 years and, together with Kris Nevels, a 7 year attorney, they provide a team approach to assuring clients the best possible service.
Call 859-581-6453 (581-MIKE) to schedule a consultation or inquire as to retainer fees to hire the Bouldin Law Firm.

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Give Legal Services – Best Gift Ever!

Posted on November 24, 2016 in DUI General Criminal Law Issues - Northern KY

What’s the best gift you could give a loved one or adult child?  How about defense off their pending DUI, assault or other criminal case?

Many people have trouble paying legal fees associated with DUI our expungement. This is especially true with contested cases or people on a fixed budget. You can help!

Hire an attorney to guide them and file for the process. If they have an attorney, contribute to their fees. A phone call from a relative with even a small payment reminds the attorney of three case and that there see others who care about the outcome.

In northern Kentucky call or email Michael Bouldin. Call 581-MIKE and schedule an appointment for yourself or a loved one.  For immediate response, email Mike at Mwbouldin2@gmail.com.

 

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DUI Day

Posted on November 24, 2016 in DUI General Criminal Law Issues - Northern KY

Thanksgiving weekend is the biggest DUI day of the year nationwide and Northern Kentucky is no exception.

College kids come home, meet their high school friends and share their newfound love of cheap beer. Family gets together and chugs wine to limit annoyance with one another. Elderly teetotalers have their annual cocktails and revel with friends.

It may be the time to begin using Uber or Lyft. If you have made a mistake and been cited for DUI, hire an experienced DUI and criminal defense attorney.

Don’t go it alone! Don’t make the mistake by making decisions which will affect your life, liberty and livelihood  without professional advice.

Call Mike Bouldin. Get advice from a professional with 22 years of experience.  Email at Mwbouldin2@gmail.com. Call 859-581-6453. (581-MIKE)  Email today for immediate reply!!

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Can I Expunge Felony In Kentucky?

Posted on November 20, 2016 in General Criminal Law Issues - Northern KY State Crimes in Northern Kentucky

Yes, you can now expunge certain felonies in the Commonwealth of Kentucky.  In Kentucky, 61 specific felony convictions listed under the felony expungement statute may be expunged. These are Class D non-violent offenses, many of which pertain to drug possession or theft. Some of the eligible felonies are:

  • KRS 217.208 Forgery of a prescription

  • KRS 218A.140 Prohibited acts relating to controlled substances

  • KRS 218A.1415 Possession of controlled substance in first, second and third degree

  • KRS 218A.282 Forgery of a prescription

  • KRS 218A.284 Criminal possession of a forged prescription

  • KRS 218A.1423 Marijuana cultivation

  • KRS 511.040 Burglary in the third degree

  • KRS 512.020 Criminal mischief in the first degree

  • KRS 514.030 Theft by unlawful taking or disposition

  • KRS 514.040 Theft by deception

  • KRS 514.050 Theft of property lost, mislaid, or delivered by mistake

  • KRS 514.060 Theft of services

  • KRS 514.100 Unauthorized use of automobile or other propelled vehicle

  • KRS 514.110 Receiving stolen property

  • KRS 514.160 Theft of identity

  • KRS 516.030 Forgery in the second degree

  • KRS 516.060 Criminal possession of forged instrument in the second degree

  • KRS 530.050 Nonsupport and flagrant nonsupport

There are additional felonies which are not included in this list. Additional felonies not listed above may be expunged if:

  • If the person was not convicted (charges dismissed, acquittal, or not prosecuted).
  • If the crime was originally charged as a felony but was reduced to a misdemeanor (even if there was a misdemeanor conviction). Case records and background checks will continue to show a felony charge until it is expunged.
  • If the person was sentenced to and successfully completed a class D felony pretrial diversion program under KRS 533.250 et. seq.

Finally, the charge of possession of controlled substance in first degree, a Class D felony, may be voided. In accordance with KRS 218A.275, a voided conviction has the same effect as an expungement: the records are sealed and will not show up on background checks, the defendant will not have to disclose the record on employment applications, etc.  Also, your gun rights will be restored after expungement is complete.

If you need help, contact the Bouldin Law Firm and discuss cleaning your record.  An attorney can file for expungement on your behalf and aid you through the process efficiently.  Contact Mike at 581-MIKE, 859-581-6453 or email at mike@bouldinlawfirm.com.

 

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Help, I Don’t Want To Plead Guilty!

Posted on November 14, 2016 in General Criminal Law Issues - Northern KY

As a trial attorney for over 20 years I receive at least a few calls each year from defendants who have been charged and their attorney is recommending that they plead guilty.  Often these defendants even say, “My attorney wants me to plead guilty” or “My attorney is making me plead guilty.”  The worst is, “My attorney made me plea.”

First, no attorney can MAKE a defendant plead guilty to anything.  The job of the attorney is to take any potential negotiated deal to the client and the client makes the choice of whether to accept or reject the plea offer.  When you stand in front of the judge and he asks your plea, in nearly every case the defendant is required to answer. At that one juncture, your attorney can seldom speak on your behalf.

If you are unhappy with the advice of your attorney, you are free to change attorneys.  You have the right to an attorney and to hire an attorney of your choosing.  If you cannot afford an attorney, the state is required to appoint you an attorney, referred to as a public advocate or public defender.  If you request a public defender, you do not get to pick that attorney.  However, you can fire that attorney and hire an attorney of your own.  If your hired or appointed counsel is pushing a plea or does not want to take the case to trial, ask him/her why.  

Different attorneys charge varying rates for criminal defense, and DUI/OVI is no different.  Most criminal defense attorneys charge an initial retainer and may have additional fee if the case proceeds to trial.  If your case is already set for trial, the new attorney may ask for a continuance.  The granting of the continuance is in the discretion of the court.  Many attorneys will not jump into a case without a more substantial retainer if the case is already set for trial.  An experienced and local attorney will know which judge(s) may allow for a continuance and which will mandate that the case proceeds to trial on the selected date.

If you do not want to plead guilty, DON’T.  You have the right to a trial and the right to have a jury hear the evidence.  If your case is defensible, pick an attorney that can present that defense and has a history of trying cases to a jury.  For a consultation in Northern Kentucky, call Michael Bouldin at 859-581-6453 or email at mwbouldin2@gmail.com.  Call Mike at 581-MIKE.

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What if I Speak Chinese and Arrested in Kentucky?

Posted on October 20, 2016 in General Criminal Law Issues - Northern KY

If you speak Chinese, you may need an interpreter when you appear in court. If you ask, the court is mandated to provide an interpreter for you during your hearings.  This is regardless of your nationality and language preference and includes Chinese, Mandarin, Polish, Spanish and Russian (I’ve represented defendants with all of the above).

What the court is not obligated to do is provide an interpreter for you when you are speaking to your attorney.  This is an essential party of communication between attorney and client since much of the discussion occurs outside of the courtroom. Most criminal attorneys will meet with their clients prior to court, often at their office.  The initial meeting is to discuss the facts surrounding the case, fees and potential defenses.  Often the process is also discussed, which may include the terms: indictment, arraignment, pretrial, preliminary hearing, plea and trial.

Once a plea offer is made, the attorney will want to discuss with the client the terms of the plea agreement and the costs/benefits of accepting a plea or proceeding to trial.  At that time, relevant pretrial motions may also be discussed as well as trial strategy. This may necessarily include discussions of whether to have a jury trial, filing of motions and whether or not the defendant will testify at trial.

All of these communications are important to the criminal defendant.  Being able to understand your attorney and communicate effectively is key to a just result.  Often a separate privately paid interpreter is necessary. Using an interpreter who is not qualified has 2 significant concerns: (1) is the conversation still confidential and protected by attorney-client privilege; and (2) is the interpreter correctly and accurately interpreting the statements.  Using a friend is fine for ordering dinner, but not when discussing the effects of a plea agreement.  A qualified interpreter is essential to explain the finer points of plea, trial and probation or parole and what is expected of the client/defendant.

If you need an experienced criminal defense attorney, contact Michael Bouldin at mwbouldin2@gmail.com.  If you need an interpreter, please say so and often one can be made available via telephone or in person.  Email or call to schedule an appointment or consultation at 859-581-6453.

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