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February 2010 Archives

Can A Police Officer Search My iPhone or Blackberry?

If you are questioned, stopped, arrested or the subject of a criminal investigation in Northern Kentucky, contact an exerienced criminal defense attorney. If the officer asks for permission and permission is granted, they can certainly search. Regardless of what may be on your phone, my legal advise is to deny permission. If you deny permission, there is a very high likelihood that they will first have to obtain a search warrant to view the contents or search your iPhone or Blackberry. This is a relatively new area of the law because smartphones are new and the police have just begun to realize the amount of evidence which may be included therein. A search warrant can only be obtained if there is reason to believe that there is incriminating evidence on the phone. Because iPhones and Blackberrys are actually small computers, the courts should require that a search warrant be obtained prior to searching. That said, most police agencies have not yet trained the officers that a search warrant may be necessary and most criminal defendants either give permission to search or don't know that the search is improper. Uneducated attorneys may not even realize the problems with this search. This is likely a violation of your civil rights against improper searches. The information obtained from iPhones, Blackberrys, and other smartphones or PDAs has led to arrest and convictions of child pornography as well as provided strong evidence in drug trafficking cases. They have also been used when investigating a traffic accident to see if you were talking or texting during the accident. Know your rights. If you have questions or were charged, call Mike Bouldin at 859-581-6453 or mike@bouldinlawfirm.com.

Can I Go To Canada For The Olympics If I Was Charged With DUI?

Get your documents! I had a client who was turned away at the border because he had a pending DUI in Northern Kentucky. This is a follow up to a previous blog which explained the problems of entering Canada if you have been charged with or convicted of a DUI. Since that time he was acquitted of the DUI. Under Canadian law, a visitor can, and if checked will, be denied entry if he has been convicted of a DUI. Heading back for the Olympics, he was again stopped and required to show proof that the DUI was dismissed. Obviously, this is not a document that you would think to pack when traveling to the Olympics. Fortunately for my client, it was 3:30 p.m. on a Friday and I was able to contact the Court Clerk who faxed the necessary documents to the border. Special thanks to the Boone County Clerk's office for their assistance in getting this accomplished. If you have been charged with a DUI, contact Michael W. Bouldin, attorney, at 859-581-6453 or mike@bouldinlawfirm.com.

Does an EPO/DVO Go On My Criminal Record?

In Kentucky, an EPO or a DVO is technically considered a civil action. A person charged with an EPO (Emergency Protection Order) should seek legal representation as there are many criminal consequences if it becomes a permanent DVO (Domestic Violence Order). Defendants are often confused about the process of an EPO/DVO and there are often criminal charges that are filed at the same time as the DVO. This is confusing because there are many times that there are both the civil DVO hearing as well as criminal charges of Assault 4/DVO. If there are severe injuries, there may be a more serious criminal charge of felony assault. While the DVO itself is civil in nature, the charges of Assault are undoubtedly criminal. Ironically,even though it is considered civil, a DVO still shows on a criminal record search. Employers, court personnel and any nosy people can search your background and see if an EPO has been filed against you or if a DVO has been granted. Moreover, there is currently no provision to expunge or otherwise remove an EPO/DVO from your criminal record regardless of the allegations or result. If someone files an EPO/DVO agaisnt you, it is imperative that you seek counsel immediately as there will be a court hearing scheduled within 14 days. In Campbell, Kenton and Boone counties, contact Michael W. Bouldin at 859-581-6453 or mike@bouldinlawfirm.com.

Can You Explain an EPO and DVO?

In Kentucky, an EPO is an Emergency Protection Order and is granted based solely on the sworn testimony of one witness, often referred to as a victim. Due to the emergency nature of an EPO, it is only granted for a maximum of 14 days. This allows the person accused to be given an opportunity to be heard by the judge before a more permanent order can be entered. Within the 14 days, the Court will schedule the matter for a hearing to determine whether or not to grant a DVO, or Domestic Violence Order. A DVO can be entered for a period of up to 3 years and can be extended thereafter upon motion of the victim. While not technically criminal, a DVO has many criminal like consequences. For example, if a DVO is granted, the accused will not be allowed to own, possess or carry a firearm during the period of the DVO. Additionally, the DVO appears on a police officer's computer if a history is reviewed. A violation of a DVO is a criminal offense, no matter how minor the infraction. Often people mistakenly believe that a DVO is mutual or that a victim can waive the protection. Both are false: if a DVO is entered against you and you are in violation - you go to jail. It does not matter if the victim called you or placed you in the position of violating (being within 500 feet), the DVO does not apply to the victim. In order to change the terms of a DVO, a victim must seek a dismissal or modification by the Court which originally entered the DVO. The Court is not required, but often will grant the modification. The accused should be skeptical of any request to meet or otherwise violate a DVO and should not allow themselves to be in such a position unless the DVO is dismissed or modified. If you have been charged with Domestic Violence or wish to know your rights about modifying a DVO, in Northern Kentucky contact attorney Michael W. Bouldin at mwbouldin@fuse.net or 859-581-6453.

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