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Is it a Felony to Injury Police Dog in Kentucky?

Posted on March 12, 2017 in General Criminal Law Issues - Northern KY

The state Senate passed a bill which makes a Felony for assaulting a police dog.  This bill was approved last Monday and sent it to Republican Gov. Matt Bevin for his signature.

Kentucky is one of six states that consider it a misdemeanor to harm a police dog, according to the United States Police Canine Association. Twelve states make it a felony to harm or kill a police dog regardless of the circumstances, while the penalties in 23 states depend on how bad the dog was harmed.

“Most of the states are falling in line with protections human beings would have as well,” Ferland said.  Unfortunately, those in favor fail to align the two.  You see, under current law in Kentucky is a misdemeanor to harm another person, not a felony.  It is only a felony if  you harm a police or other law enforcement officer.   It is also a felony if the person has serious physical injury or if the defendant uses a deadly weapon.  The new law places the injury to a police dog as similar to injury to a human.

“I didn’t understand it. To me, he’s a partner, he’s a police officer,” Officer Lusardi said.  this Officer Lusardi is discussing one particular case where the charge to injuring the dog is a misdemanor.  It seems that all stories focus on one or two individual cases and the commitment of the police and the police dogs.  The reality is that in the United States, we have the right to confront our accusers under the 5th Amendment to the Constitution.  When the accuser is an animal, it is difficult to cross examine a dog.

The suspect in that case also received no jail time for the assault, but was later arrested on other charges, according to Kenton County Commonwealth’s Attorney Rob Sanders.  Clearly and rightfully, Sanders supports the police, both human and canine.  Like many other PC laws, it is hard to not be in support.  That said, in each case where the defendant harmed a police animal, there were significant other felonies for which they were charged.   In the specific case often cited by Mr. Sanders regarding Daleon Rice and the police dog, Ernie, the defendant is serving 40 years on his charges.  This begs, Do we really need to add another felony charge to this man, or anyone else, for a dog

While I do personally love my dog and many animals, I also see this as a slippery slope.  Do we need more felonies?   It seems there is currently a push to make any mistreatment of animals a felony.

This article is largely an editorial by criminal defense attorney Michael Bouldin.

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.