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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.

Need Help for Arrest?

Posted on February 15, 2017 in General Criminal Law Issues - Northern KY

HELP, I GOT ARRESTED.  These are often the first words out of the mouth of a person facing their first criminal charge.  WHAT DO I DO NOW?  This may be for a DUI, drunk and disorderly, intoxication, or other charges that are probably out of character for the defendant.  This can be a benefit to the defense and help with negotiating a favorable resolution.

If you made a mistake, do not compound it by making a second mistake of trying to handle it yourself.  Most cases will get a much better resolution with the aid of an attorney.  An attorney can walk you through the steps and tell you what to expect.  The attorney also has direct access to the prosecutor and can discuss your case in private and often outside of the courtroom.  Most often, prosecutors will not do this with unrepresented defendants.

The attorney also knows what should be expected from your case based on similar and past experiences.  For example, if this is your first misdemeanor and it is non-violent and fits certain parameters, the attorney may be able to get you into a diversion program.  A diversion program generally allows the defendant to have the case ultimately dismissed and expunged from their criminal record.  There may also be other programs or options available for resolution.

Diversion programs vary by state and the program differs significantly whether the charges are a misdemeanor or a felony.  Your attorney can discuss what will be expected as well as the costs and time considerations for the program.

If you have been charged, hire a lawyer who is experienced in criminal defense and/or DUI defense.  For more information on your charge, visit by website @ link.  For consultation or representation in Northern Kentucky, call Bouldin Law Firm and schedule an appointment with Michael Bouldin.  Call 859-581-6453 or email mike@bouldinlawfirm.com.

Lawyer for DUI Trial

Posted on January 24, 2017 in DUI

If you are looking for a lawyer with DUI trial experience in Northern Kentucky, there are a few good men to report.

Having been a trial attorney for over 20 years in Northern Kentucky, I often have the opportunity to see others at work.  Kentukcy law prohibits the term “best attorney” so here is my list of top attorneys in the area. Northern Kentucky counties of Boone, Campbell and Kenton are fortunate to have a number of experienced and very good attorneys who practice DUI defense.

For my dollar the top DUI attorneys include those retired: W. Robert Lotz, Dick Slukich, and Burr Travis; the elder statesmen Wil Zevely, Harry Hellings, Ed Drennen and Jon Alig; my contemporaries include Tim Schneider, Chris Jackson and Paul Dickman; and the younger group includes Ryan Beck. There are also a few Cincinnati attorneys that occasionally cross the river from Cincinnati and do a decent job, including: Steve Adams, Joe Suhre and Kelly Farrish (*Kelly’s not licensed in Kentucky).

A good attorney can advise when you should plead, when you should file a motion, when you should proceed to trial and whether that trial should be with a judge or a jury.

If you have questions and are looking for a DUI defense attorney with significant trial experience, call the Bouldin Law Firm and discuss your case with Michael Bouldin.  For consultation, email at mike@bouldinlawfirm.com or call 859-581-6453.

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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.

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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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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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Does Race and Color Factor Into Criminal System?

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

If you ask most jurors, they will tell you that color has no factor in making their determination.  If you ask most defense attorneys, they believe that it absolutely is a major factor throughout the system.  Consider the following facts from the Center for American Progress and then make your own determination:

  • People of color are significantly overrepresented in the U.S. prison population, making up more than 60 percent of the people behind bars. Despite being only 13 percent of the overall U.S. population, 40 percent of those who are incarcerated are black. Latinos represent 16 percent of the overall population but 19 percent of those who are incarcerated. On the other hand, whites make up 64 percent of the overall population but account for only 39 percent of those who are incarcerated.
  • People of color are more likely to become entangled in the criminal justice system.Among black males born in 2001, one in three will go to prison at some point during their lifetimes; one in six Latino males will have the same fate. By contrast, only 1 out of every 17 white males is expected to go to prison. A similar pattern exists among women: 1 in 111 white women, 1 in 18 black women, and 1 in 45 Latina women will go to prison at some point. African Americans are 2.5 times more likely to be arrested than whites.
  • The “War on Drugs” has disproportionately affected people of color. Despite using and selling drugs at rates similar to those of their white counterparts, African Americans and Latinos comprise 62 percent of those in state prisons for drug offenses and 72 percent of those sentenced for federal drug trafficking offenses, which generally carry extreme mandatory minimum sentences.
  • People of color, particularly black males, face longer sentences than their white non-Hispanic counterparts for similar crimes. According to the U.S. Sentencing Commission, between 2007 and 2011, sentences for black males were 19.5 percent longer than those for whites. Furthermore, black men were 25 percent less likely to receive sentences below the sentencing guidelines for the crime of which they were convicted.
  • During traffic stops, people of color are more likely to be searched than their white counterparts. National survey data show that blacks and Latinos are three times more likely to be searched than whites. Blacks are searched in 6 percent of traffic stops and Hispanics are searched in 7 percent of stops, whereas whites are searched only 2 percent of the time.
  • Students of color continue to face harsher punishments at school than their white non-Hispanic counterparts. A 2010 study found that more than 70 percent of students who are “involved in school-related arrests or referred to law enforcement” are black or Latino. Furthermore, black students are three times more likely to be suspended or expelled than white students. During the 2011-12 school year, 16 percent of black K-12 students were suspended, compared with 7 percent of Latino students and 5 percent of white students.
  • Voting restrictions on the formerly incarcerated have disenfranchised millions of voters, particularly African Americans. Today, approximately 5.9 million people are not able to vote due to felony convictions. While laws vary from state to state—with some allowing for restoration of voting rights—1 in 13 blacks nationwide are disenfranchised due to felony convictions. In Florida, Kentucky, and Virginia, more than one in five black adults are denied the right to vote.

Information provided by the Center for American Progess.  For an attorney in Northern Kentucky or Cincinnati, contact Michael Bouldin at the Bouldin Law Firm at 859-581-6453; call 581-MIKE.

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Current Medical Marijuana Law In Ohio

Posted on September 28, 2016 in General Criminal Law Issues - Northern KY Uncategorized

Ohio House Bill 523, Ohio’s medical marijuana law takes effect Sept. 8. Under the new law people can possess and use the drug without going to jail if it is prescribed for certain medical conditions.  The new law does NOT specify where people can get marijuana.

Lawmakers have said that until the state’s dispensaries are set up, residents can travel to Michigan or another legal state and bring marijuana back. BUT, doing so is a violation of state and federal laws, as well as a key provision of the federal government’s hands-off approach to regulating state medical marijuana programs.

So most people will likely buy marijuana through Ohio’s existing black market.

Here’s why.  Medical marijuana is now legal in Ohio, but it could be two years before the program is operational.

What’s the Problem?  The law establishes an “affirmative defense” against prosecution for possessing marijuana and paraphernalia that would be legal under the law. That defense expires 60 days after the state begins accepting applications for patient registry identification cards, which is another several months away.

Until then, the defense applies only if the patient’s physician has certified, in writing, the following:

  • That the patient has been diagnosed with a qualifying medical condition
  • That the physician has gone over the risks and benefits to using medical marijuana.
  • That the physician thinks the benefits of the patient using marijuana outweigh its risks.

And the marijuana in question must be acceptable under the law, which allows plant material, edibles, patches, oils and tinctures but prohibits smoking. That means smoking marijuana, possessing gummy bears and other edibles that would be attractive to children or growing your own marijuana would not be protected by the defense.

Doctors are unlikely to sign off on patient marijuana use before then, said John Hudak, who studies marijuana policy at the Washington D.C.-based Brookings Institution.  “Doctors should not assume that prior to the board of pharmacy regulations coming out that this system is up and running and fully functional,” Hudak said.

What about Kentucky and other out-of-staters 

Pennsylvania and Michigan have legalized medical marijuana. But Pennsylvania’s dispensaries won’t be set up for two years.

And it’s not clear whether Michigan dispensaries would sell to Ohio patients. Michigan law allows medical marijuana sales to people with patient ID cards issued in other states. But Ohio patient ID cards won’t be available for months.

Michigan attorney Barton Morris said a doctor’s recommendation obtained in anticipation of the affirmative defense might qualify as an acceptable replacement for an ID card. But he said that as well as all out-of-state cards are accepted at the discretion of each dispensary.

Driving to Colorado — also a suggestion floated by lawmakers — could be even more problematic. There is no route from Colorado to Ohio that only passes through legal marijuana states. And flying with cannabis is illegal.

 

What about Federal prosecution 

Medical marijuana is legal in 25 states and the District of Columbia, but remains an illegal, Schedule I substance under the federal Controlled Substances Act.

The U.S. Department of Justice under President Obama said in 2009 it would not focus federal resources on prosecuting crimes that were legal in medical marijuana states. The policy was extended to states that have legalize recreational marijuana states in a 2013 memorandum signed by Deputy Attorney General James Cole.

The “Cole Memo” laid out eight priorities for enforcing federal marijuana laws. Among them, preventing diversion of marijuana from legal states to “other states.”  Hudak said encouraging bringing in marijuana from another state — even neighboring Michigan — is a clear violation of the Cole Memo.

Can I use my normal supplier?

If patients can’t get medical marijuana from another state, where can they get it?  “Wherever they can find it available — any source is allowed,” Burke said.  *NOTE: Nothing in this new law permits sale of medical marijuana by non-licensed vendor.  Trafficking of marijuana remains a crime under both state and federal laws.

That includes drug dealers selling marijuana illegally grown here or trafficked in from elsewhere. Burke said the law does not change enforcement of laws against that activity but was meant to help Ohio patients.

If you have been charged with a crime, hire a criminal defense attorney.  For representation in Northern Kentucky and Cincinnati, call attorney Michael Bouldin at 581-MIKE;  859-581-6453 or email at mwbouldin2@gmail.com

 

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