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September 2011 Archives

Can I Have My Gun in a Bar if I Have a CCW Permit?

Under the new law which takes effect tomorrow (9/30/2011) in Ohio, it is legal to possess a firearm in a liquor establishment, mall, nightclub, museum, hotel, bar, or restaurant if you have a valid CCW permit. Kentucky does not allow anyone to enter into a liquor establishment with a firearm, regardless of whether the person has a license to carry a concealed weapon. Ohio Bill takes effect September 30, 2011. Owners of CCW permits should make themselves very familiar with the new law before attempting to take their weapon(s) into such an establishment. There are two major conditions built into the new law: (1) Licensed concealed-weapons holders must drink no alcohol; and (2) Owners must keep their guns out of businesses that post signs banning weapons. It is still the right of a business owner to ban patrons from bringing guns onto the premises. Local business owners in Cincinnati are already making plans to ban weapons in their businesses. The Cincinnati Reds and Bengals have already stated that they will continue to not allow weapons to be brought into stadiums. Unless they post a sign, bar and restaurant owners are permitting concealed weapons in their establishment. Making no decision is actually making a decision to allow weapons. Both owners of restaurants as well as owners of firearms and CCW permit holders should familiarize themselves with the new laws and changes thereto. A draft of the new law is at ORC 2923.12. Michael Bouldin is a criminal defense attorney in Northern Kentucky practicing in Cincinnati, Ohio and Kentucky. If you have specific questions or wish to schedule a consultation, you can contact at mike@bouldinlawfirm.com or call 859-581-6453 (581-MIKE)

Is 2 1/2 Pounds of Marijuana A Lot?

Recently Cincinnati Bengals players have been charged in Northern Kentucky with receiving two and a half pounds of marijuana via delivery service from a sender in California. Many people are asking is this considered a personal use amount of marijuana or is this an amount intended for sale. First, let me begin by saying that I am not commenting on the actual criminal case against any person or against either of the Bengal players who live in Northern Kentucky. It would appear at first glance that they have some valid defenses to the charges herein as they did not handle or send the package and it was addressed to an individual who does not play in the NFL. The prosecution will likely try to prove that they knew or should have known; likely attempting to get the other individuals to testify against the more high profile defendants. If you have any knowledge of marijuana, a quarter bag is actually 1/4 of an ounce of marijuana. Personal use usually begins with a 5-10 cent bag, which is 5-10% of an ounce. An ounce would keep a regular user high for over a month. In Kentucky, simple possession of marijuana is a misdemeanor. If a defendant has more than 8 ounces, that possession becomes a felony amount. The basic reason is that it is presumed that the person will not be using more than 8 ounces for personal use. In addition, with the amount in question, it is likely that the charges will include possession with intent to distribute or trafficking of marijuana. Interesting, trafficking of marijuana is a misdemeanor unless done within 1000 yards of a school or daycare facility. In case you didn't also know, 8 ounces is 1/2 of a pound. Therefore, in Kentucky 2.5 lbs is equivalent to five times (5x) the felony limit. There may also be federal charges for sending illegal drugs through the mail, using a shipper to send marijuana or crossing state lines. In the instant case, it will be interesting to see how many people are involved, who will be charged and ultimately accept responsibility and which government agency: state, local, federal, will be responsible for prosecution. If federal, it is also possible that the charges could stem from Northern Kentucky, California or both. If you have questions you may post to my website here. If you have been charged with a drug offense or believe that you are being investigated and wish to speak with me, contact my office at 859-581-6453.

Lawyer UP!

The new street lingo for hiring an attorney is lawyer up. Used as in, "he was spilling his guts to the investigator until he decided to lawyer up." Lawyering up is the best way to assert your legal rights in any investigation or proceeding. If you are being questioned and ask to speak to a lawyer, the investigator is required under state and federal law to allow you an opportunity to speak with an attorney before asking any more questions. The Urban Dictionary defines Lawyer Up as follows: 1. To plead the Fifth Amendment; to refuse to answer questions. Officer 1: So what did the accused tell you? Officer 2: Nothing. The defendant just lawyered up. 2. To stop answering questions during a police interrogation and request a lawyer. i.e. He lawyered up, but only after he confessed to being in Cheryl's apartment. 3. For a criminal suspect to stop an interview with police and seek representation from a lawyer; or to threaten to sue someone example 1: The interview ended abruptly when the suspect lawyered up. example 2: "Laura's threatening to sue me over the marshmallow incident." "Seriously? I never thought she would lawyer up over that. An older term for persons seeking a jury trial, a defendant may state that he wants to take it to the box. The box refers to the jury box in which 12 persons (6 for misdemeanors) sit and make judgment. A defendant may wish for a jury trial or may look for a plea bargain, in stating, "No way am I going to take this one to the box." These additions to the vernacular are endearing terms for serious actions. If you need to lawyer up or otherwise wish to speak to an attorney for consultation, contact Michael Bouldin at mike@bouldinlawfirm.com or call at 859-581-6453 (581-MIKE). Check out my website.

Should I Hire An Attorney at the Last Minute?

Hiring an attorney at the last minute is not the best idea, but it is infinitely better than not having an attorney at all. One of my least favorite calls begin with, "I have court tomorrow and it's scheduled for trial..." In most courts the prosecutor will not object to a continuance if it is the first trial call. The judge may not be please, but will generally grant a continuance to counsel who was recently retained. The best idea is to contact an attorney as soon as you are charged with a crime. This will give him/her the best opportunity to fully investigate your case, present any possible defenses, and explore any plea negotiations with the prosecutor. It may also give the attorney options such as deferred prosecution, treatment in lieu of conviction or whether delays will benefit the client. Furthermore, it actually may be in the client's best interest to go forward on the trial date, but the attorney will have difficulty ascertaining that if only hired the day prior. Many criminal defendants wait because they either do not have the money for a retainer or they just get scared at the last minute. They should contact family and friends and try to get money together as soon as possible. While the attorney is not a lending agent and I have been heard to say, "If your family and friends won't loan you money, why would I?" That said, many attorneys will work out payment arrangements to allow representation to begin timely and to assure that financial obligations are met. If you have been charged with a DUI or crime, contact an attorney as soon as possible. If you need to talk and have questions or wish to schedule a consultation, contact me at 859-581-6453 (581-MIKE) or email at mike@bouldinlawfirm.com. I will even take calls the day before a trial.

Why Do So Many People Get DUI During Labor Day?

Labor Day in Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky has become a major party weekend. It is officially the last weekend of the summer, which means that many look at it as their last trip to the lake, cabin or opportunity to go to the river and boat. Many of those people overindulge in alcohol and/or illegal substances and then operate a motor vehicle. That, combined with the fact that Riverfest is also this weekend, including the WEBN fireworks, combine for a big weekend of drinking and driving. With Riverfest, comes the majority of police forces from both Northern Kentucky and Cincinnati. Both sides of the river attempt to keep the environment family friendly and, even with the lack of alcohol sales, the consumption still rises. With this comes arrests and charges for DUI, OVI, disorderly conduct (DC), assault, open container, alcohol intoxication (AI) and public intoxication (PI). Often times those traveling in from out of town find themselves in jeopardy. In Kenton County the Covington Police and in Campbell County the Newport Police make a large number of arrests or issue citations during this weekend. Most of the police are only looking for the worst of the worst offenders. Some, however, are looking to get their numbers up by making many arrests during Labor Day weekend. For those, they may shortcut the field sobriety tests (FST) or may shortcut the requirements regarding blood or breath testing. For example, they may forego telling a Defendant that blows over the legal limit that they have a right to a second test of their choosing (i.e. blood test). Under the new Kentucky laws, many of the violations will result in a citation instead of a physical arrest. If you are arrested as one of the worst of the worst, an attorney can assist in helping to possibly amend other charges, or get a minimal sentence. If you were unfortunately at the wrong place at the wrong time, an attorney may be able to help avoid a conviction. If you are unsure or wish to discuss your rights, please contact Michael Bouldin at 859-581-6453 (581-MIKE) or mike@bouldinlawfirm.com.

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