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Northern Kentucky Criminal Defense and Family Law Legal Blog

Kentucky Supreme Court Upholds 10 Year Look Back on 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.

What If My Ex Knows the Judge?

I'm often asked about conflict of interest; most often when a client is in fear that the other party has an "IN" with the judge. This may be a friend, friend of a  friend, or relative of the judge or the judge's family.  In Family Court, the judge is the sole decider of your case.  As such, if there is a conflict of interest or inherent bias for or against one party, it should be brought to the attention of the court. Many times the claimed conflict is nothing more than excitement and fear of the unknowing. Even more often, there is boasting between the parties about how one will easily win in court: whether because they are smarter, their attorney is better or they have a claimed inside track with the judge.  While often claimed, it is actually seldom the case.  That said, if you know the judge has a conflict, it is appropriate to ask the judge to recuse from hearing your case. If someone is claiming that their attorney is going to wipe the floor with your attorney, often it is as easy as asking about past experiences.  Does your attorney have history with opposing counsel?  Does your attorney have history with the judge?  This is often boasting without any real basis for the statement. While there certainly are some circumstances that there is a conflict, it is often easily rectified by simply asking the judge.  Most judges do not want to even give an appearance of impropriety.  If they are cousins, they will likely recuse (withdraw) without even asking.  A judge, who is an elected official, doesn't want to have a decision overturned (and a likely judicial complaint) by making a determination about a case where one party is a social friend. If you have a question about whether a judge should be deciding your case, discuss it with your attorney. For a consultation regarding divorce or custody in Northern Kentucky, call Michael Bouldin at 859-581-6453 or email

Not Guilty

As Jay Z says, Y'all got to feel me!! While I wasn't particularly thrilled with a late afternoon trial to end this July 3 before the holiday break, I could not be happier with the result of a not guilty DUI verdict in Campbell Countu District Court. I will soon get a testimonial from said client, his thanks was a great way to head into the holiday. Clients are sometimes afraid of a bench or jury trial, especially if they're ate a also other charges pending. In this case, the client was also acquitted of resisting arrest (although convicted of the lesser disorderly conduct charge) If you have a good case, don't be afraid of a trial. For consultation on northern Kentucky, call Michael Bouldin at 859-581-MIKE (581-6453) or email Mike@Bouldin    

Sex Offender Registration & FaceBook

The United States Supreme Court struck down a North Carolina law that criminalizes use of social media by registered sex offenders in Packingham v. North Carolina on June 19, 2017.  A link to that Supreme Court decision is attached. This was a unanimous U.S. Supreme Court ruling, essentially stating that even a registered sex offender has first amendment rights regarding freedom of speech.  Kentucky, like many states, restricts convicted sex offenders from using social media.  This is expanded after the parole or probation period ends and is included with sex-offender registration which can include a 10 year, 20 year, or lifetime registration requirement. Kentucky law also criminalizes registrants from "knowingly or intentionally use a social networking Web site or an instant messaging or chat room program if that Web site or program allows a person who is less than eighteen (18) years of age to access or use the Web site or program." Of course, this includes Instagram, Twitter, FaceBook, SnapChat and many other social media websites. The supreme Court stated: A fundamental First Amendment principle is that all persons have access to places where they can speak and listen, and then, after reflection,s peak and listen once more.  Today, one of the most important places to exchange views is cyberspace, particularly social media, which offers "relatively unlimited, lo-cost capacity for communication of all kinds. It is unclear whether this change will also apply to persons who are on probation or parole, where the use of certain media may be limited as a condition of probation/parole.  There are other crimes in Kentucky regarding registration which may be impacted, but not directly addressed by this Court ruling. Those include registration of your email addresses, FaceBook and other social media accounts. Best legal advice is to report all accounts until/unless the law changes. Time and case law will ferret out whether failure to report your account remains a criminal act. If you have questions or concerns, contact a criminal defense attorney. For consultation in Kentucky, call Michael Bouldin at 859-581-6453 or email

Can I Get Custody?

Legal Custody must be determined by a court in Kentucky. The family courts retain jurisdiction over custody, whether born during a marriage or outside of marriage.  Unlike Ohio, where juvenile court has different rules for unwed parents, both wed and unwed parents in Kentucky can petition for custody in a similar fashion. KRS 403.270 outlines the custodial interests for both wed and unwed parents. If the parents are unable to agree on custody and parenting, the Courts will make the determination.  The determination is based on the best interest of the minor child.  Those are outlined in 403.270, but are set forth follows: (a) The wishes of the child's parent or parents, and any de facto custodian, as to his custody; (b) The wishes of the child as to his custodian; (c) The interaction and interrelationship of the child with his parent or parents, his siblings, and any other person who may significantly affect the child's best interests; (d) The child's adjustment to his home, school, and community; (e) The mental and physical health of all individuals involved; (f) Information, records, and evidence of domestic violence as defined in KRS 403.720; (g) The extent to which the child has been cared for, nurtured, and supported by any de facto custodian; (h) The intent of the parent or parents in placing the child with a de facto custodian; and (i) The circumstances under which the child was placed or allowed to remain in the custody of a de facto custodian, including whether the parent now seeking custody was previously prevented from doing so as a result of domestic violence as defined in KRS 403.720 and whether the child was placed with a de facto custodian to allow the parent now seeking custody to seek employment, work, or attend school. If you have questions, concerns or need to speak to or retain an attorney, call Michael Bouldin at Bouldin Law Firm.  Having practiced family and custody law for 22 years, you will get the answers.  Remember, don't just look for the answers you want, look for the right answers. For a consultation, email or call 859-581-6453 (581-MIKE) to schedule.

Felony Drug Possession

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:

How To Calculate Child Support with 50/50 Parenting

Q: Is Child Support zero ($0.00) when there is equal, shared or 50/50 parenting? A: Qualified, maybe. Many parents ask why they should be paying child support when they have 50/50 parenting. The answer is not so simple that there is never child support or always child support. The simple answer lies in how you word the question. If there is 50/50 parenting, both parties are equally responsible for costs and expenses, that they share in uncovered medical and extracurricular expenses and they make the same income, then there is no child support from or to either parent. IN reality, all of the foregoing is seldom the case. Often one party makes more than the other; in that case most courts issue some sort of offset from the traditional child support guidelines. The Kentucky child support guidelines were set forth with an assumption of a primary residential parent or sole custody. With modern courts and the new presumption of shared (50/50) parenting, the child support guidelines are only the starting block to calculate support. Often one party pays additional cost for medical insurance. In that case, even if the incomes are equal the parties should divide the cost for providing coverage for the child(ren). How do you calculate expenditures? Do parties equally divide all expenses or do they each provide necessities for the child/children while in their care. What about lunch money and larger items such as school dances and field trips? Do the parties need to agree on expenses? Most family law courts calculate support from each parent, then deduct the lower from the higher to achieve a child support number based on equal parenting offset. Uncovered medical and extracurricular expenses are most often divided in proportion to incomes, and not simply with an equal split. Note: parents should discuss and try to agree on division of outside expenses such as cell phones, car insurance and vehicles for older children. If you have a child support, custody or dissolution, you should consult with an experienced family law attorney who regularly practices in your county. For consultation in Northern Kentucky, call Michael Bouldin at 859-581-6453 or email at to schedule.

Joint Legal Custody & Shared Time

New parental rights bill finally approved. See FULL TEXT. This gives a presumption of equal parenting rights and time in TEMPORARY orders. Question: Does it apply to permanent custody and timesharing? What about parents who have provided majority of custody? While the law spells out that there is a rebuttable presumption, it does not say what is necessary to rebut that presumption. The law states the burden of proof on the party opposing, but not the standard of what is necessary to rebut. For legal advice, contact an attorney. For consultation in Northern Kentucky, call Michael Bouldin at 859-581-6453 or email at

Fathers Enjoy Equal Parenting Rights in Kentucky

Kentucky passed a new law last week which presumes equal parenting time for both parents. As such, Father's rights groups applaud the new law. The new law KRS 403.280 (link to House Bill) applies to temporary orders for custody rights. The law states, in pertinent part: there shall be a presumption, rebuttable by a preponderance of evidence, that the parents (or de facto custodian) shall have temporary joint custody and shall share equally in parenting time. The law on custody has for the past 20 years been gender neutral, although there remains a child support caveat that you cannot impute income to a mother with a child under 4 years of age. There has been no such presumptions in the law of any parenting schedule. As a result, many of the counties have created local rules where "Standard Parenting Schedules" have been put in place by local family law judges and domestic relations commissioners for years. These standard schedules often reverted to mother being the primary residential parent and father having parenting time one or two nights (often not overnight) each week and alternate weekends. These local rules set the precedence for more permanent Orders which often followed. Of course, with a primary parent also followed child support which is nearly always from the Father to the Mother. The guidelines were first drafted with a presumption of a primary residential parent and was intended to provide a similar standard of living for the child in each household. Currently, each judge has their own way of typically handling child support and offset in a shared parenting situation. Those vary from FULL support in some counties/divisions and with complete offset in others. With shared parenting time being presumed, the legislature would be wise to address how to handle child support in such a situation. If you have a custody or divorce and need advice, contact an experienced family law attorney. For consultation in Campbell, Kenton or Boone counties, call Bouldin Law Firm and schedule a time with Michael Bouldin. Call 859-581-6453 or email Call 581-MIKE today.

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