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How to Defend a DUI?

Posted on September 23, 2017 in DUI State Crimes in Northern Kentucky

I had another Not Guilty day this past week with a client, and often  my friends ask, “How do you win such a case.”  The answer is both simple and not so much so.

First, as an attorney that likes to try cases, the chances of a not guilty are greatly increased if you take many cases to trial.  My rule of thumb is:  if the prosecution is not offering anything, why not take the case to trial? Many DUI/OVI cases have a standard offer from the prosecution.

The send rule is: if the case is triable, don’t be afraid to take it to trial.  A triable case is discretionary, but the general rule is this:

  1. If the video looks good, consider a trial.
  2. If the BAC is under .10, look at facts and think if trial may result in not guilty.
  3. If the BAC is under .08, always consider a trial unless the plea is to a lesser charge.
  4. If the defendant passes 2-3 of the 4-6 field sobriety tests, a trial may be in order.
  5. If the BAC is over the high tier limit (.15 in KY or .17 in OH), only plea if the offer includes removal of the high tier consideration.  *Not always, if the BAC is over .20, a plea may still be considered.

These are not hard and fast rules and every case is different.  The value of an experienced DUI defense attorney is invaluable when determining how to proceed.  For consultation with an attorney with over 22 years experience defending DUI charges in Boone, Campbell or Kenton County, or OVI in Cincinnati, call Michael Bouldin at 859-581-6453 or email mike@bouldinlawfirm.com.

 

Think Global, Hire Local Counsel

Posted on June 22, 2017 in General Criminal Law Issues - Northern KY

While it is important to be open to new ideas and strive to better yourself both as a person and a human being, when hiring a criminal defense attorney, make sure that they know their audience.
If you consider hiring an attorney from outside of the area, ask these questions:

  1. Does an outside attorney know the area?
  2. Do they know the prosecutor(s)?
  3. Do they know the judge(s)?
  4. Are they familiar with juries in the area and who may be potential jurors? AND
  5. Is the case likely to go to trial?

Why bold the Question: Is the case likely to go to trial?  The answer is complicated and simple.  If the case is likely to settle and you need the influence of the local prosecutor and/or judge to resolve the case or negotiate a favorable plea deal, often a local attorney will best suit your needs.  The best deals are not reserved to high price attorneys from larger cities, especially in more rural counties.

If, on the other hand, your case is likely or definitely headed toward a jury trial, an outside attorney may have the advantage of being able to ruffle some feathers without the care of local counsel.  That must be considered together with the fact that a local attorney may get some better pretrial rulings and will better know the jury and the trial strategy of the prosecutor.

What is local?  Typically, a local attorney is someone who regularly practices in the county of the charge.  They may have their office or home in that county or an adjacent county.  If you are seeking a lawyer, ask them the names of the prosecutors and judges who may or will be handling your case.  The local attorney shoudl be familiar with the “players.”

If you have questions or concerns about a case in Boone, Campbell or Kenton counties in Northern Kentucky, call Michael Bouldin at 859-581-6453 or email at mwbouldin2@gmail.com.

Help, I Don’t Want To Plead Guilty!

Posted on November 14, 2016 in General Criminal Law Issues - Northern KY

As a trial attorney for over 20 years I receive at least a few calls each year from defendants who have been charged and their attorney is recommending that they plead guilty.  Often these defendants even say, “My attorney wants me to plead guilty” or “My attorney is making me plead guilty.”  The worst is, “My attorney made me plea.”

First, no attorney can MAKE a defendant plead guilty to anything.  The job of the attorney is to take any potential negotiated deal to the client and the client makes the choice of whether to accept or reject the plea offer.  When you stand in front of the judge and he asks your plea, in nearly every case the defendant is required to answer. At that one juncture, your attorney can seldom speak on your behalf.

If you are unhappy with the advice of your attorney, you are free to change attorneys.  You have the right to an attorney and to hire an attorney of your choosing.  If you cannot afford an attorney, the state is required to appoint you an attorney, referred to as a public advocate or public defender.  If you request a public defender, you do not get to pick that attorney.  However, you can fire that attorney and hire an attorney of your own.  If your hired or appointed counsel is pushing a plea or does not want to take the case to trial, ask him/her why.  

Different attorneys charge varying rates for criminal defense, and DUI/OVI is no different.  Most criminal defense attorneys charge an initial retainer and may have additional fee if the case proceeds to trial.  If your case is already set for trial, the new attorney may ask for a continuance.  The granting of the continuance is in the discretion of the court.  Many attorneys will not jump into a case without a more substantial retainer if the case is already set for trial.  An experienced and local attorney will know which judge(s) may allow for a continuance and which will mandate that the case proceeds to trial on the selected date.

If you do not want to plead guilty, DON’T.  You have the right to a trial and the right to have a jury hear the evidence.  If your case is defensible, pick an attorney that can present that defense and has a history of trying cases to a jury.  For a consultation in Northern Kentucky, call Michael Bouldin at 859-581-6453 or email at mwbouldin2@gmail.com.  Call Mike at 581-MIKE.

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