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Category: DUI

Who Takes DUI Case to Jury?

Posted on October 5, 2016 in DUI

I do.  As an attorney practicing DUI and criminal defense in Northern Kentucky for over 21 years, I have experience to handle your DUI defense.  This may include taking the case to a trial, whether a trial to the Judge or a trial to a jury.  Often times people are fearful of juries.  While a jury does have the ability to make recommendations tot he Judge regarding sentence, my finding is that juries tend to sentence about the same as most courts.

A DUI conviction stays on your record for ten (that’s right, 10) years.  If you have a defense, you should consider exercising all of your rights before you plead guilty.

If a case is a close call – say you fail 4 of 6 field tests but there is no bad driving. The jury may acquit or may convict.  A lot depends on how well the officer testifies and how well the defense attorney cross examines that testimony.  Whether there is a video is also a factor.  If there is no video, an attorney  may point out why the officer fails to videotape the encounter.  If there is, that video will provide the best evidence regardless of the testimony of the officer.

Any attorney who regularly tries cases has wins and losses.  It is an unfair question to ask, and often very unrealistic, to believe that there are attorneys who do not lose.  That is TV.  Real attorneys take cases to trial, some of which are difficult if not impossible to win.  Even hopeless cases have a chance of acquittal.  Many attorneys claim a “win” as anything as good or better than the offer by the prosecution.  That would allow for a DUI conviction where the person is charged with DUI, so long as the sentence is not worse with a trial than a plea.

For example, I was recently involved with a DUI jury trial wherein my client blew over .10, which is obviously over the .08 legal limit.  According to the testimony of the officer, the client also failed all 6 of the 6 field sobriety tests.  It was still a triable case as the video did now show that the field tests were as bad as the officer testified.  While unfortunately the jury did convict, they suggested the minimum sentence of $200 fine and no (0) jail time.  My client had his day in court and, moreover, was none the worse for taking the case to a jury trial.

If you want to discuss a DUI charge and possibility of taking the case to a bench or jury trial, contact an attorney who regularly handles these types of cases.  In Northern Kentucky, call Michael Bouldin at 859-581-6453 or email at mike@bouldinlawfirm.com.  Call 581-MIKE today.

DUI 3rd in Kentucky

Posted on July 20, 2016 in DUI

If you are charged with and facing a 3rd offense DUI in Kentucky, you need an experienced criminal defense attorney on your side.  The charge of third offense can be for any two prior DUI or OVI convictions within the past 10 years. This can be within or outside of the state of Kentucky.  By statute (yet to be determined if constitutional by courts), it may also include plea agreements which stated at the time that it could be held against you for five additional years.

Remember, even if your second (2nd) offense was pled down to a first offense, the next one is still a 3rd offense.  Simple math, 1 + 1 + 1 = 3.  Same holds true for a charge of DUI 4th, which is a felony in Kentucky.

With the changes in the law extending the lookback period from 5 to now 10 years, there is more a need than ever to have an experienced criminal defense lawyer in your corner.  Most “DUI Lawyers” also practice other areas of criminal defense.  A DUI charge IS a criminal charge and a criminal defense attorney can protect your rights.  You are facing loss of license, loss of money via fines and court costs, probation and incarceration. These are all criminal consequences if found guilty.

A third offense carries mandatory incarceration of 30 days (maximum 1 year) which is doubled if there exists any aggravating circumstances.  Those aggravating circumstances include: (1) driving wrong way on highway; (2) driving over 30 mph over speed limit; (3) having child under 12 in the vehicle; (4) accident with serious injury; (5) refusal of blood/breath alcohol test; OR (6) alcohol concentration over 0.15.  Other penalties for 3rd offense DUI in Kentucky include: loss of license 2-3 years, $500-1000

If you  have been charged with DUI in Kentucky, you should hire an attorney who regularly practices in the area.  For consultation and representation contact Bouldin Law Firm and speak to Michael Bouldin.  Call at 859-581-6453 or email at mike@bouldinlawfirm.com.  Call 581-MIKE today.

Independence Day DUI?

Posted on July 4, 2016 in DUI General Criminal Law Issues - Northern KY

If you were charged with DUI over the holiday July 4th weekend in Cincinnati or Northern Kentucky, you are not alone.  DON’T plead guilty.  If you plead NOT-GUILTY, the court will set your case for a pretrial conference within the next month.  HIRE AN ATTORNEY who regularly practices criminal law in your county.

There are many ways to defend a DUI charge.  First, the attorney will get your side of the story, which often differs substantially from that of the arresting officer.  A request for production of evidence, also know as discovery, is essential to begin the defense.  Often, a video from the cruiser or from the officer’s vest camera may be available.  A video is the best evidence, obviously better than the recollection of the defendant or the officer.  It is also a useful tool to use in cross examination of the officer.

Suppression of evidence may also be necessary to win a case.  If the stop can be suppressed, the entirety of the field sobriety tests and the breathalyzer are also suppressed.  If the stop was valid (officer had probably cause), it does not necessarily give right to request field sobriety tests.  If field sobriety tests are passed, the officer should not demand a breathalyzer or blood test to check for blood alcohol levels.

Even if everything was valid and the defendant was driving while impaired, an attorney can often negotiate a better resolution than a simply plea to the charges.  Consult with an attorney prior to entering any plea and, if possible, before appearing in court.

 For representation in Kentucky, especially in Boone, Campbell, Kenton or Hamilton counties, call Michael Bouldin at 859-581-6453.  For immediate response, email to mwbouldin2@gmail.com.

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DUI with Marijuana in KY

Posted on June 8, 2016 in DUI General Criminal Law Issues - Northern KY

Kentucky does not have a per se limit for marijuana.  Since marijuana is illegal in Kentucky, some prosecutors (and a few judges) believe that you are impaired with ANY marijuana in your system.  Other prosecutors (and most judges/juries) believe that the amount is irrelevant without an expert to help translate an amount to impairment.  In either case, the prosecution in Kentucky must prove that the driver is “impaired in their ability to operate the motor vehicle” as a result of the drugs and/or alcohol combination.

Some states such as Ohio have a per se limit with marijuana in your blood system which is similar to that of alcohol.  For example, if you have over 2 nanograms/milliliter of marijuana in your blood stream, then you can be convicted of operating while impaired (OVI=DUI in Ohio).

The Ohio threshold for drugged driving is illustrated in the following table. Ohio’s DUI Per Se Levels pursuant to ORC§ 4511.19(A)(1)(vii) and § 4511.19(A)(1)(viii)(I)-(II).

Prohibited Substance Urine Blood
Marijuana 10 ng/ml 2 ng/ml
Marijuana metabolite 35 ng/ml 50 ng/ml
Marijuana metabolite in combination with alcohol or other drugs 15 ng/ml 5 ng/ml

Affirmative Defense

It is a valid defense if a person obtained the controlled substance pursuant to a prescription issued by a licensed health professional authorized to prescribe drugs, and the person injected, ingested, or inhaled the controlled substance in accordance with the health professional’s directions. Id. § 4511.19(K)(1)-(2).

NOTE: A doctor’s recommendation to use cannabis is NOT a prescription.

My experience shows that any smoking within the last 24 hours will likely put the person over the Ohio limit, regardless of actual impairment.  As such, best legal advise would be to refuse a request for blood or urine test if you have ingested marijuana within 24 hours.  In Kentucky, the decision is more difficult.  If you know you have marijuana in your system, a breath test will not show the substance.  A blood test, however, will show marijuana in your system.

The problem is what works best.  If you have also been drinking and smoking, best legal advice is generally to refuse a blood test.  If you HAVE NOT ADMITTED TO RECENT SMOKING, generally it is advisable to submit to the test.  In either case, if you test positive or if you refuse, you should expect that the prosecutor will not amend the charges.  You should plan to take your case to trial, whether before a judge or jury.  

As such, you should hire an experienced DUI/criminal defense attorney who has trial experience with both judges and juries.  There are certain judges you should avoid and others who may be preferable to a jury.  For representation in Kenton, Campbell, Boone or Hamilton counties, call Michael Bouldin at 859-581-6453 or email at mwbouldin2@gmail.com.

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Memorial Day DUI

Posted on May 27, 2016 in DUI General Criminal Law Issues - Northern KY

This Memorial Day will be especially busy for police throughout the city, county and state.  1) Memorial Day is the first major summer holiday.  2) Memorial Day happens to fall on the last weekend of the month.

Kentucky State Police are positioned to write a record number of citations this weekend.  Whether because of the holiday, last day of the month or a major bonus, the KSP is out in record numbers.  Just today I personally witnessed 7 KSP patrol vehicles on the stretch of I-71 between Louisville and Cincinnati.  Police were shooting radar and looking for suspicious vehicles.

Kentucky DUI law now allows look back 10 years for prior offenses.  If you have had a DUI in the last 10 years, you would be subject to the penalties of 2nd offense DUI.  Note: this recently changed as it was formerly a 5 year look back.  DUI penalties for first (1st) offense range from 30-120 day license suspension, $200-500 fine, DUI service fee, court costs, and 2-30 days of incarceration.  These fines and cost total over $720 to the court, in addition to about $350 in assessment and classes; not to mention insurance rate increases.

Incarceration of 4 days is mandatory in cases where an aggravating circumstance exists on 1st offense and doubles the jail minimum on subsequent offense. Aggravating circumstances include: wrong way on highway, speeding over 30 mph over posted limit, accident with serious injuries, having child under 12 in the vehicle, breath/blood alcohol over .15 or refusal of breath/blood test.

Also remember, second offense penalties include minimum license suspension of 12 months and jail of 7 days.  The new law does allow for ignition interlock.  This process can be daunting and expensive. Use an attorney who has handled both pretrial and post-conviction ignition interlock for clients in order to answer questions and help guide you through the process.

If you are arrested for DUI, contact an attorney.  For representation in Northern Kentucky, call Michael Bouldin at 581-MIKE or contact the office at mwbouldin2@gmail.com or call 859-581-6453.

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10 Year Lookback for KY DUI under New Law

Posted on April 21, 2016 in DUI State Crimes in Northern Kentucky

Kentucky passed SB 56 this month which modified the lookback period for second and subsequent DUI convictions from 5 years to 10 years.  This may significantly alter the status of those previously convicted of DUI.

The new law was signed by Governor Bevin on 4/9/2016 changing KRS 189A.010 in pertinent part from 5 to 10 years DUI for offenses.  Whereas attorneys have traditionally advised that Kentucky has a five (5) year lookback in which if you are convicted a second offense the fines and jail increase substantially, now that has changed to a ten (10) year period.

If you have been previously convicted of a DUI, your chances of being charged with a second offense have significantly increased.  There remains to be seen constitutional and retroactive challenges regarding this issue.  For example: what if you were advised on your first offense of a 5 year lookback and now, 7 years later they are charging you with a second offense?

This new law also brings the advice to not simple plead guilty because “it is easier.”  If you have a valid legal defense, you should assert your rights. This new 10 year lookback makes it much more likely that an individual convicted of a first offense will obtain a second charge at some point in the future.

If you have been charged with DUI, contact an attorney. For representation in Kentucky, call Michael Bouldin at 859-581-6453 (581-MIKE) or email at mike@bouldinlawfirm.com.

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DUI 2nd Penalties in KY

Posted on March 29, 2016 in DUI

What are the penalties for DUI 2nd offense in Kentucky?  Often asked question, especially by those following arrest and facing conviction for a second time within five years.

The penalties for DUI kick in if there is a second conviction within a 5 year period.  This 5 year period is determined from the date of offense to the date of the subsequent offense.  There is no regard given to the date of conviction.

The penalties for Second Offense DUI in Kentucky are:

(1) Penalties – $350 to $500 fine and 7 days to 6 months jail. Court may order 10 days to 6 months community labor. Must serve minimum of jail and/or community labor. If aggravating circumstance present, mandatory minimum term of imprisonment shall be 14 days.
(2) Costs and Fees – Court Costs, DUI Service Fee, Treatment Program Fee, County Fees, State Fees.
(3) Alcohol or Substance Abuse Treatment Program – 1 year.
(4) License Revoked – 12 – 18 months (or if Defendant is under 18, until Defendant reaches age 18, whichever is longer).
(5) Ignition Interlock – mandatory ignition interlock license/device for a period of twelve (12) months.  License plate impoundment if ignition interlock license requirements are not met.

If you have been charged with DUI, whether first, second, third or more offenses, you should seek the advise of an experienced criminal defense attorney who regularly handles cases in your area.  For consultation and representation regarding cases in Northern Kentucky, call attorney Michael Bouldin at 581-MIKE.  Email at mike@bouldinlawfirm.com or call 859-581-6453 to schedule an appointment.

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KY DUI Ignition Interlock

Posted on March 25, 2016 in DUI

Newly available to Kentucky DUI Defendants – Ignition Interlock on vehicle.  Many see this as another way for various entities to make money, others as additional intrusion on rights and hardening of DUI penalties, while it is best seen as a viable alternative to losing all driving privileges.

Ignition Interlock devises have been around for a number of years and have been successfully utilized in many other states such as Ohio.  An ignition interlock device or breath alcohol ignition interlock device (IID and BAIID) is a breathalyzer for an individual’s vehicle. It requires the driver to blow into a mouthpiece on the device before starting the vehicle.  It may also require random tests to assure that the driver does not have alcohol in their breath.

Kentucky law now allows for ignition interlock device (IID) and special ignition interlock license (IIL) under a number of circumstances.  The IID and IIL may be available for pretrial suspension periods, post conviction or post acquittal.  Having an attorney who regularly handles DUI defense is advisable and attorney can guide you through the process AND advise whether the IID is right for your case.

The process of obtaining an IID and IIL is rather cumbersome.

  1. You must file a Petition (insurance) in District Court and the Judge must approve the petition.
  2. The Petition is taken or sent to DOT, where you fill out an application ($, registration & insurance).  If approved,
  3. You then contact approved provider for installation ($ & proof of approval)
  4. They will guide you to approved installer in your area ($ & proof of approval).  After installation, they will provider certificate of installation.
  5. Certificate will allow you to return to Clerk for special Ignition Interlock License. ($ & certificate)

Ignition Interlock is not intended to replace right to privileges for work, education, treatment and medical which is still available after 30 day hard suspension.  In certain cases, the cost of IID and IIL will outweigh the benefits and defendant may be better off with friends, family, taxi cabs, and Uber as other alternatives.

If you have been arrested for DUI, contact an attorney for best defense.  For representation regarding DUI defense, and with knowledge of ignition interlock in Kentucky, call Michael Bouldin at 859-581-6453 or email at mwbouldin2@gmail.com .

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Ft. Thomas Heroin Arrests

Posted on February 26, 2016 in DUI General Criminal Law Issues - Northern KY

Ft. Thomas has begun to take proactive steps to increase arrests in attempt to decrease heroin use and abuse in Northern Kentucky.  WCPO reported on the initial arrest of a 28-year-old Cincinnati woman and confiscated eight ounces of heroin, eight ounces of crack, a loaded 9 millimeter handgun and $3,000 in cash. Local 12 had the exclusive picture.

Again on February 22, 2016 a driving fatality is linked to heroin use while operating a vehicle.  This was reported by the Enquirer and was the latest possible case of “drugged driving” in Northern Kentucky resulted in a single-car crash that killed one person, ejected and critically injured a 7-month-old and injured two others Monday afternoon.

While toxicology reports are not yet in, Fort Thomas police said they found syringes in the vehicle. In the midst of a heroin epidemic, neither law enforcement nor medical caregivers are surprised.

The crash on eastbound Interstate 275 in Fort Thomas near the Ohio border occurred around 2:30 p.m. The vehicle involved rolled multiple times and tied up traffic in the region for more than four hours as officials removed the unidentified, deceased male and investigate.

A number of additional arrests have been made by Ft. Thomas Police in Campbell County.

Any criminal defendant arrested should be seeking the best criminal representation.  For consultation in Northern Kentucky, call the Bouldin Law Firm and schedule to meet with Michael Bouldin.  Contact at mwbouldin2@gmail.com or call 581-MIKE; 859-581-6453.

 

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Don’t Start the New Year with a DUI?

Posted on December 29, 2015 in DUI

Want to end 2015 on a bad note?  Start 2016 off terribly?  If so, start drinking early and wake up in jail with a DUI arrest for the New Year.  Every year law enforcement is out in bigger numbers to stop DUI beginning on New Year’s Eve and into New Year’s Day.  The new year revelry often includes alcohol and then the prospect of getting home.

It is advisable to get alternative transportation, a taxi cab, Uber or other ride from a sober driver, if you have been drinking alcohol on this, or any other night.  A DUI can cost over $10,000 if convicted.  Even an acquittal is likely to cost $2,000-3,000.  The big advantage of an acquittal is that your automobile insurance will not go through the roof – a reality that is likely to continue for 3-5 years.  A conviction in Kentucky will cost nearly $1,000 in court costs and fines, $300 in court ordered counseling classes, license reinstatement fees in addition to loss of license for four (4) months.

An experienced DUI/criminal defense attorney can guide you through the process, advising of what are good issues to take to trial and when a deal is better to be struck.  Very few attorneys will tell you it is as simple as pleading guilty.  While that may actually be advantageous at some point, it is difficult to know until discovery is complete, knowing what issues may be available for suppression of evidence, if a video is favorable, or if blood or urine test may help your case.

Drinking alcohol and driving is not necessarily a crime.  Know your rights by hiring an experienced criminal defense attorney who regularly practices in your county of arrest.

If you have been charged with a DUI, contact a lawyer. For consultation in Northern Kentucky, call Michael Bouldin at 859-581-6453 or email at mwbouldin2@gmail.com.  Call 581-MIKE.

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