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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.

Trafficking – Penalties and Laws in KY

Posted on June 17, 2016 in Federal Crimes in Northern KY General Criminal Law Issues - Northern KY State Crimes in Northern Kentucky

I am often asked what differentiates trafficking from possession if a person is not caught in the act of selling?

The specific definition of trafficking of a controlled substance is found in KRS 218A.010 (50) “Traffic,” except as provided in KRS 218A.1431, means to manufacture, distribute, dispense, sell, transfer, or possess with intent to manufacture, distribute, dispense, or sell a controlled substance.  The trier of facts (typically a jury) can use other indicia of trafficking to infer trafficking or intent to traffic.  For example, if a defendant is found with a large quantity of the controlled substance, a phone (or phones) with text messages indicating trafficking, cash or other items, then that person may be charged with trafficking under KRS 218A.1412 or other statutes.

methamphetamine is found in KRS 218A.1431 as follows (3) “Traffic” means to distribute, dispense, sell, transfer, or possess with intent to distribute, dispense, or sell methamphetamine.

Trafficking of Marijuana is typically a misdemeanor, unless within 500 feet of a school zone or more than 8 ounces (oz.).  Small trafficking is generally a class D Felony, punishable by 1-5 years in prison.  Some trafficking offenses have higher penalties.  For example the following are charged as a Class C Felony, punishable by 5-10 years in prison:

(a) Four (4) grams or more of cocaine;
(b) Two (2) grams or more of heroin, fentanyl, 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.

Of additional note, most non-violent felonies are at least eligible for probation and have parole eligibility after serving 20% of a sentence.  Pursuant to KRS 218A.1412 (c) Any person convicted of a Class C felony offense or higher under this section shall not be released on probation, shock probation, parole, conditional discharge, or other form of early release until he or she has served at least fifty percent (50%) of the sentence imposed in cases where the trafficked substance was heroin. This was modification made by recent statutes in March, 2015.

If you have been charged with possession or trafficking of a controlled substance, you need an experienced criminal defense attorney.  For representation in Northern Kentucky, call Michael Bouldin at 859-581-MIKE.  Email mwbouldin2@gmail.com or call 859-581-6453.

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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What Is New Good Samaritan Law for Heroin in Kentucky?

Posted on July 7, 2015 in General Criminal Law Issues - Northern KY State Crimes in Northern Kentucky

Effective March 25, 2015, Kentucky has enacted KRS 218A.133 which exempts from prosecution for those seeking assistance with drug overdose.  This is known commonly as a Good Samaritan Law and is intended to encourage calling for medical assistance instead of watching a friend die in order to avoid criminal prosecution.

Interestingly, not all jurisdictions have taken full The law is intended to increase calling and emergency response in life or death situations.  The Stated is to exempt fro prosecution for possession of controlled substances or drug paraphernalia if seeking assistance.  Unfortunately, there are cases in which the police/arresting agency have chosen to instead charge with Trafficking or the new charge under KRS 218A.1410 of Importing Heroin.  This is a more serious charge, being a Class C felony which also mandates service of 50% of the sentence. A class C felony is punishable by 5-10 years in prison.

This may be a new wave or may be simply for the purpose of saving another life.  Parents should also be aware of Casey’s Law which can mandate treatment for those addicted to drugs.  At times, an arresting officer may overcharge a case simply to place a heroin user in jail.  The general consensus is that a heroin addict will either end up in jail or dead.  If you or a loved one is in need of help, seek counseling and treatment.  Treatment will almost never hurt a criminal defendant.

If you have been charged with possession, trafficking or importing heroin, you NEED an experienced criminal defense attorney.  For consultation in Northern Kentucky, contact Michael Bouldin at 859-581-6453 or email at mwbouldin2@gmail.com.

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Heroin Addiction and NKy Crime

Posted on April 6, 2015 in General Criminal Law Issues - Northern KY State Crimes in Northern Kentucky

As a criminal defense attorney in Covington, Newport and Florence, I have been practicing criminal law in Northern Kentucky for over 20 years.  In that time, a large number of cases involve or stem from drug abuse, alcohol and drug trafficking.  Nevertheless, heroin is the most often discussed and most addictive drug that has been introduced in the last 20 years, and likely in history.

Following is a case report from Drug Free World.org:

Warning: Even a single dose of heroin can start a person on the road to addiction.
Many people experiment with heroin thinking, “I’ll try it once or twice. I can always stop.” But those who start down that road find it nearly impossible to turn back. Consider the words of Sam, a 15-year-old addict: “When you first shoot up, you will most likely puke and feel repelled, but soon you’ll try it again. It will cling to you like an obsessed lover. The rush of the hit and the way you’ll want more, as if you were being deprived of air—that’s how it will trap you.”
The threat of addiction is not the worst consequence of experimenting with heroin. Jim was 21 years old and usually spent his evenings drinking beer with friends. He had already experimented with heroin so when friends offered him a line to sniff, he accepted. Fifteen minutes after inhaling, he passed out, then dropped into a deep coma which lasted more than two months. Today, he is confined to a wheelchair, unable to write, barely able to read. Whatever dreams and aspirations he once had are gone.

If you have a child in need of help, you can institute a Casey’s law case to mandate treatment through the courts.  If you or a loved one is in criminal trouble, contact an attorney who has handled many cases dealing with drugs and can help through the criminal process AND help get treatment.  In Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky, contact Michael Bouldin at 581-MIKE, 859-581-6453 or email at mwbouldin2@gmail.com

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Why Kentucky Heroin Bill Failed

Posted on April 18, 2014 in General Criminal Law Issues - Northern KY

As a criminal defense lawyer in Northern Kentucky I have a unique opportunity to perceive the problem with heroin on a daily basis throughout Boone, Grant, Campbell, Kenton and other counties around the state. The proposed SB5 passed the Senate 36-1 but died in the House.

I have seen FaceBook posts outraged by the political process and complaining that lawmakers are out of touch with the problem.  While I do not doubt that police, EMT, and those involved with the criminal justice system have a much closer appreciation for the dangers of heroin, that does not make the recently suggested litigation the answer.  

Problems with SB5 14RS:

1. The bill sought to increase jail sentences and to allow for prosecution as murder people that sell heroin that results in death.  This is grandstanding without any sense of reality.  While this sounds like a positive move, the reality is that no one is going to have a 1:1 link of selling and death.  Most heroin prosecutions are only for possession.  Most trafficking prosecutions are a result of an undercover or sting operation.  Those buying in sting operations do not then ingest then die.  Those that die cannot then point the finger at their dealer.  There is added prosecution for fetal homicide.  There is no doubt this is a tragedy, but is it worse than an addict having and raising a child. This child is going to live a life through the juvenile justice and foster care system.  Expectant addict mothers already know the danger and wish they could stop using, however the urge is too strong.  A more significant penalty is not going to stop their drug use.

2. The bill did seek to increase the availability of Naxolone to users.  Many believe that having this available will only encourage more use. This may save a few lives but will likely also increase dangerous usage.  The fear of overdose will be lessened as they can simply have a friend revive them with this drug, also generic for Narcan.  A new game of OD and recover will be the rage.  Additionally, there is no law necessary to increase the availability of Naxolone to EMT and police.

3. One amendment to the bill sought to create a needle exchange program.  While some understand that this would benefit the users by preventing communicable diseases, the reality is that most voters oppose such a program as it is presumed to lead to additional use.  It is akin to handing out condoms at a public high school… while practically useful and effective, most conservatives believe it sends the wrong message.

4. The bill increased difficulty in obtaining the prescription drug, Zohydro and changed it’s schedule as a narcotic.  

Of particular note, the bill did increase funding for treatment centers.  It is virtually undisputed that this is needed.

While there is little doubt that increased funding is necessary for treatment, many of the add ons and other provisions of the proposed legislation doomed the bill to failure.

This is an opinion piece by NKy criminal defense attorney Michael Bouldin.  While criminal defense is a primary concern, often treatment is the best option to prevent those charged from returning to jail.  If you or a loved one has been charged with possession or trafficking of heroin, contact my office for a consultation.  Contact Bouldin Law Firm at mwbouldin@fuse.net or call 859-581-6453 (581-MIKE).

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