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April 2010 Archives

Is Possession of Marijuana a Serious Charge?

In Kentucky possession of marijuana is classified as an A Misdemeanor.  An A misdemeanor is punishible by up to 12 months in jail and/or a $500 fine.  Most criminal defendants charged with marijuana possession make the mistake of believing that the charge is not serious because of the relatively low punishments typically handed out.  Many also overlook the more potentially damaging charge of possession of drug paraphernelia; which is an enhanceable offense.*** In Kenton, Campbell or Boone County, a person appearing for a first offense may be diverted or is likely to receive a fine and court costs.  Many criminal defendants simply pay the fine and go about their business only to see it come back at some point in the future.  If you are visiting or traveling through Northern Kentucky, personal appearance for court may be a significant burden. There are many reasons to hire an attorney to represent you in a marijuana possession case.  First, an attorney will ascertain whether you have a valid defense.  An attorney will also explore the various plea arrangements that best suits the defendant.  Some may prefer to pay a fine while others would rather do community service.  Additionally, an experienced attorney will guide you through the process which gives you the opportunity to have the charges removed, dismissed or expunged from your criminal record. If you have been charged with marijuana possession, drug paraphernelia or any other crime in Northern Kentucky, check out my website at www.bouldinlawfirm.com/criminal-defense.com or contact Michael Bouldin at mwbouldin@fuse.net or 859-581-6453. ***Note: this post was made 4/19/2010. The law was changed on April 30, 2010 that changed possession of drug paraphernalia a NON-enhanceable offense. See updated post 10/28/2010.

What is Self Defense?

In Kentucky, self defense is a complete defense to a homicide or assault charge if it is justified.  This is often the case where there is a fight between two individuals or there is an intruder in your home or vehicle.  A claim of self-defense may not prevent charges from being filed. Self defense is defined as: Use of physical force by defendant upon another person is justifiable when the defendant believes that such force is necessary to protect himself against the use or imminent use of unlawful physical force by the other person. Unfortunately the term does not always give the criminal defendant the justification they beleive they are entitled.  The law requires the imminent use of force by the other person.  For example, if a person is being beaten, they can repel that with force of their own.  It does not allow a battered spouse to shoot the person in their sleep because the abuse is not imminent at the time.  Moreover, the claim of self defense is based on the defendant's reasonable belief at the time the action is taken. Whether you may claim self defense is a decision to be made by a criminal defendant and their attorney.  If you have been charged with a crime, you should contact an experienced criminal defense attorney as soon as practical.  In Boone, Campbell or Kenton counties, call Mike Bouldin at 859-581-MIKE (6453) or email at mwbouldin@fuse.net.

What is a Serious Physical Injury in an Assault Case?

In Kentucky an assault charge with a minor injury is typically a misdemeanor charged as Assault, 4th Degree.  If there is a deadly weapon, the assault is against a police officer, or the injury is determined to be a serious physical injury the case is generally charged as a felony. Serious physical injury is defined as: Physical injury which creates a substantial risk of death, or which causes serious and prolonged disfigurement, prolonged impairment of health, or prolonged loss or impairment of the function of any bodily organ. This Kentucky definition is a very high level, much more than a black eye or bloody nose.  An experienced defense attorney can help ascertain if a serious physical injury can be proven against a criminal defendant.  This is very significant in whether the case proceeds as a felony or a misdemeanor. If you have been charged with assault, whether first, second, third or fourth degree, you should contact an experienced criminal defense attorney as soon as possible.  In northern Kentucky, contact attorney Michael Bouldin at 859-581-MIKE (6453) or mwbouldin@fuse.net.

What Happens If I Refuse the Breathalyzer?

In Northern Kentucky this is one of the most often asked questions.  By driving in Kentucky, a motorist is presumed to consent to a blood alcohol test.  This is most often a breathalyzer, but may also be a request for blood or urine. Many DUI defense attorneys advise their clients to always refuse a request for a blood alcohol test.  If you are intoxcated, this option generally gives a defendant the best chance to be found not guilty.  That said, it's not always the best decision. If you are not intoxicated or have not been drinking, I generally advise to consent to the test.  While I do not think the machines are foolproof (unlike most prosecutors), the breathalyzer will seldom give a very high result if you have not been drinking or only have 1-2 drinks. More importantly, if you refuse the test in Kentucky, you are subject to an automatic suspension of 120 days simply for the refusal,; regardless of whether you are convicted or acquitted.  This is more than a mere inconvenience for many clients. A refusal is also considered an "aggravator" for 2nd and multiple offenses.  This would subject an accused to twice themandatory minimum jail time for such an offense. If you have been charged with DUI or any other crim in Northern Kentucky, contact Michael Bouldin at 859-581-6453 or for more information, see my website at www.bouldinlawfirm.criminal-defense.

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