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Kentucky Supreme Court Upholds 10 Year Look-back on DUI

Posted on October 3, 2017 in DUI

In June, 2016 the Kentucky legislature changed the DUI look-back period from 5 to 10 years.  The look-back period is the time that a Defendant will have the charge remaining on his record and is subject to greater and enhanced penalties for a second or subsequent offense.   This was challenged by a large number of defendants, primarily because they had been told after a finding of guilt that it would result in a 2nd DUI if they got another one within the next 5 years.  Additionally, the plea agreements were for anyone pleading guilty, specifically advised the defendant that a 2nd offense within 5 years would result in greater penalties.

Not surprising, the trial courts were greatly divided on how to handle a second offense if the first was more than 5 but less than 10 years prior.  The appeals courts were similarly divided.  Somewhat surprising, the Kentucky Supreme Court was unanimous in their holding that the 10- year look-back is constitutional and not a violation of the rights of the Defendant.

As you may imagine, there are many criminal defendants that are not happy about the ruling and subject to greater penalties, including higher fines, longer suspension of license and mandatory jail time.  This new 10 year look back period increases the need for criminal representation and exploring possible defenses to DUI charges; whether first, second or multiple offense.

If you have questions or need a consultation, contact Michael Bouldin for DUI defense in Northern Kentucky Michael Bouldin has been handling DUI cases for over 23 years.  Call Mike at 859-581-6453 (581-MIKE) or email mike@bouldinlawfirm.com.

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.

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.