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March 2012 Archives

What If My Attorney Goes on Vacation?

Attorneys need vacations probably more than most other people and many times will have the financial wherewithal to take their vacation time. Clients often ask what to do if they get arrested, or have hearings, or have pressing matters while their attorney is away. I generally take vacation a couple of times each year to recharge my batteries. Most attorneys take great precaution to assure that their clients' needs are still met while they are away on vacation. In big law firms, there are often other attorneys to answer questions during the absence of any specific attorney. Typically criminal defense attorneys run in smaller packs. They may be the only criminal expert at a larger office or they may be in a small or solo practitioner type of office. Those attorneys, like me, make other arrangements. When I leave for vacation, I try very hard to reschedule any hearings that may fall during the time of my absence. I also generally only leave when my paralegal is going to be available for any calls during the work week. The paralegal is trained to do all of the following: (1) determine whether an issue needs immediate assistance or can wait until return; (2) answer simple questions; (3) call another attorney (typically a friend) who can answer questions of immediate nature; (4) refer a case to another attorney if time is of the essence; (5) email or otherwise contact the vacationing attorney for questions that need an answer but can wait overnight; and (6) schedule appointments for when I return. If I am in the country, I typically check emails on a daily basis. This is just to keep up - not to try and solve the world's problems. I will also call the office a few times to check in on certain clients or issues. If I'm out of the country, I typically check emails 2 times each week. Things happen and many occur at inopportune times. If you have questions of your lawyer, do not hesitate to ask. Also remember that we need some free time to rest our bodies and minds. If you believe that your case must be resolved within a day or two, you are likely incorrect but you have the option to seek separate counsel. I know from my 18+ years of experience that there is virtually nothing that cannot wait until next week. Give your attorney the time necessary to handle your case and return your call/email. My clear mind will give me strength to handle your case as we move forward.

What Is Money Laundering?

Money laundering refers to the process of concealing the source of illegally obtained money. Money laundering is a federal crime and is generally prosecuted by the US Governement through the USA District Attorney's Office and is most often investigated by the FBI, CIA, Secret Service or potentially the INS. The methods by which money may be laundered are varied and can range in sophistication. Many regulatory and governmental authorities quote estimates each year for the amount of money laundered, either worldwide or within their national economy. The FATF, an intergovernmental body set up to combat money laundering, admitted that "overall it is absolutely impossible to produce a reliable estimate of the amount of money laundered and therefore the FATF does not publish any figures in this regard." Regardless of the difficulty in measurement, the amount of money laundered each year is in the billions of dollars and poses a significant policy concern for governments. Governments and international bodies have undertaken efforts to deter, prevent and apprehend money launderers. Financial institutions have likewise undertaken efforts to prevent and detect transactions involving dirty money, both as a result of government requirements and to avoid the reputational risk involved. Much of the money laundering was supported (or overlooked) in past decades. Swiss and Cayman bank accounts were commonly used to hide assets from govenernmental agencies. Fortunately, or unfortunately, the use of computers and the government's insistence on turning over records has made much of this formermethod both obsolete and banking more transparent than ever. Money laundering is a very serious felony charge in the United States. The punishment is generally up to 20 years in prison as well as substantial fines, costs and forfeiture of money and assets. If you have been charged or are involved in an investigation, you should consult an attorney as soon as possible. For a consultation, contact Michael Bouldin in Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky at 859-581+6453 or email at mike@bouldinlawfirm.com

What Is The Difference Between Felony and Misdemeanor Theft?

In Kentucky the difference between felony theft and misdemeanor theft is whether the value of the items stolen is over or under $500. This amount was changed from $300 on June 25, 2009. If the amount is under $500, then the charge is as a misdemeanor. If the amount is over $500, then the charge may be considered as a felony. This is ONLY for Kentucky. Ohio and federal law differs in the amount of theft. In Ohio, the severity of the theft and ranges from a M1 Misdemeanor to an F3, depending on the amount in question. Under Kentucky Revised Statute (KRS) 514.030, the charge is mandated as a Class A misdemeanor if the value is under five hundred dollars ($500) and is a Class D felony if the value is five hundred dollars ($500) or more. Pursuant to KRS 514.030, Theft by unlawful taking or disposition is a Class A misdemeanor unless the value of the property is five hundred dollars ($500) or more, in which case it is a Class D felony; or unless: (a) The property is a firearm (regardless of the value of the firearm), in which case it is a Class D felony; (b) The property is anhydrous ammonia (regardless of the value of the ammonia), in which case it is a Class D felony unless it is proven that the person violated this section with the intent to manufacture methamphetamine in violation of KRS 218A.1432, in which case it is a Class B felony for the first offense and a Class A felony for each subsequent offense; or (c) The value of the property is ten thousand dollars ($10,000) or more, in which case it is a Class C felony. Therefore, if the value of the theft exceeds $10,000, or if a firearm or anhydrous ammonia is stolen, it becomes a class C felony. Many options may be available if you are charged with a class C or D felony. If restitution is available, those options increase as well. If you have been charged with theft, receiving stolen property, or any other crime in Boone, Campbell, Kenton or Gallatin Counties, contact Michael W. Bouldin for a consultation. Contact can be made by email at mike@bouldinlawfirm.com or call 859-581-6453 (581-MIKE).

Can I Get a DUI the Next Morning?

Yes. Although not as frequent in numbers, it is not uncommon for a DUI arrest the morning after a hard night of drinking. The laws in Kentucky and Ohio are the same, the blood alcohol level over .08 is sufficient to convict for DUI (OVI in Ohio). It does not matter if the .08 is a left over from the night before. The human body processes the alcohol at a different rate. This metabolism varies by age, weight, sex as well as by each individual. An average for a 160 pound male is that they metabolize 1 drink/hour. Women do not metabolize alcohol as fast as men. If you are a female and drink 10 drinks in a night, you may still exceed the legal limit if you drive 6 hours later, which may be the next morning. One major reason for less DUI arrests in the morning is that police are not nearly as vigilent in the morning. If you are driving at 2:00 a.m., the police are looking for drunk drivers. They generally are not looking at 6:30 a.m. Most of those arrests follow an accident or other reason for the police to investigate. If you have been arrested for DUI, contact an attorney. In Northern Kentucky, call Mike Bouldin at 859-581-6453 or email at mwbouldin@fuse.net for a consultation.

Is Marijuana a Victimless Crime?

Marijuana is fast becoming more prevalent throughout high schools in Northern Kentucky. Many users, some dealers and most juveniles consider it to be a victimless crime. This is a favorite argument among many users for most drug possession offenses, not limited to marijuana. "The only one being hurt is the person using." Additionally, marijuana users are at the forefront of this argument, while simultaneously propounding all of the medicinal uses for marijuana. An intelligent person may concede that there are legitimate medicinal uses for marijuana. That said, there is no legitimate medical use and remains illegal in the Commonwealth of Kentucky, State of Ohio and the majority of the United States. If you suffer from any of the afflictions for which marijuana may be prescribed in California, you may seek other prescriptions which have similar affects on your ailment. Physicians do have legitimate drugs which they can prescribe medication for stress, depression, anxiety, sleeplessness, nausea, weight loss, and many other ailments. Those that think it is victimless should talk with my friend, Tony Maney. Tony's story is highlighted on WCPO in a recent interview. Tony has decided to help children and preach the virtues of living well and the dangers of dealing in any type of criminal behavior. At the very least, Tony knows that where there is ill begotten monetary gains, the bad guys will come looking. Where there is money being made on illegal activities, guns and violence are sure to follow. If you have been charged with trafficking or possession of marijuana, contact an attorney for advice on how to defend those charges. If you are the subject of an investigation, retain an attorney as soon as possible. Michael Bouldin has been representing defendants in Hamilton, Boone, Kenton and Campbell Counties for over 17 years. For a consultation, contact Mike at mike@bouldinlawfirm.com or call 859-581-6453 for an appointment. Ask for Emily to schedule if Mike is not available. If you need to discuss a drug problem or need a referral for drug treatment, call or email for more information.

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