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October 2012 Archives

What Is Difference In Hired Attorney and Public Defender?

A public defender (in Kentucky often the public advocate) may be appointed in a criminal case where the Defendant cannot afford private counsel. It seems that more and more judges (and federal magistrates) are appointing a public defender (PD) without really inquiring whether the accused can afford counsel.  The justification for appointment is the US Constitution, which guarantees a criminal defendant the right to counsel. The Constitution does guarantee right to counsel, however that is not guaranteed until you are ready to go to trial.  During investigative stages of the proceedings, many defendants make mistakes or admissions that a criminal defense lawyer could have avoided. Often a PD may be a relatively young and/or inexperienced attorney.  Many young lawyers will handle PD appointments as a way to gain experience and a small revenue stream of income.  There are also some more qualified attorneys who may take PD cases in order to limit the areas of practice.  For example, if an attorney prefers criminal cases and does not want to handle domestic law cases, he may take PD cases to assure that he remains busy.  There are some that work full time (misdemeanors in Ohio and state courts in Kentucky). These PDs are often overworked, underpaid and generally under-appreciated.  Nevertheless, it allows those to work more regular hours and enroll in the state retirement system. The biggest concern of a criminal defendant when being represented by a Public Defender is the unknown.  While you have the right to counsel, you do not have the right to pick your attorney unless you hire him/her.  If you hire an attorney, you can have a reasonable degree of knowledge about their experience, their history, their involvement with the local judges and prosecutors.  You can also inquire both in general with past clients as well as review their bar standing and any online aid.  In short, you can do your due diligence to assure that you are represented by an attorney you can trust. If you have been charged with a crime or you are subject to an investigation, contact a criminal defense lawyer as soon as possible.  For a consultation regarding federal or state crimes in Kentucky and Ohio, contact Michael Bouldin at mike@nky-criminal-defense-lawyer.com or call 859-581-6453 (581-MIKE).  Schedule an appointment with Emily if Mike is not available.

Domestic Violence and Emergency Protective Orders in Kentucky

In Kentucky the Emergency Protective Orders (EPO) are temporary orders  of protection which will lead to a Domestic Violence hearing.  The EPO is granted based only on the sworn statement of the victim.  The domestic violence hearing is intended to allow both parties to be present and present evidence prior to granting a more permanent Domestic Violence Order (DVO). Domestic Violence Orders can initially be issued for up to 3 years.  They can also be extended in three (3) year increments but only if the Petitioner requests extension prior to the DVO expiration.  In the extension, the Petitioner must allege grounds for the DVO to continue.  The initial grounds of the DVO are insufficient for an extension without any new allegations or violations. A DVO is not a criminal charge.  There are times when a separate criminal charge of assault is filed together with the DVO, but the EPO/DVO itself is not a criminal charge.  If an DVO is granted, the Defendant does not have a criminal conviction.  I'm often asked why a DVO will show up on a criminal background check and the simple answer is, "because it does."  A DVO is a civil claim and the judge does not have authority to issue fine or jail sentence if granted, absent a separate criminal conviction. A DVO can and does significantly limit a person's civil liberties and rights.  If a DVO is granted, the Defendant cannot own, possess or carry firearms, deleting your second amendment right to bear arms.  Further, the defendant is often precluded from being within 500 feet of the victim, which abridges your first amendment rights of association.  The defendant is also not allowed to be near the Plaintiff/Petitioner during the term that the order is issued.  This may prevent them from being at their own home or place of employment. If you have not committed domestic violence, it is urged to challenge the issuance of any order.  The best way to challenge is to hire an attorney who regularly handles these types of actions.  Even though they are not criminal, many criminal lawyers routinely handle DVO hearings.  Also, many family practitioners handle DVO hearings whether or not they practice criminal law.  There is no prosecutor and often litigants appear unrepresented.  If you have questions about an EPO and are facing a DV hearing, contact an attorney to know your rights.  For a consultation in Boone, Campbell or Kenton counties, call Michael Bouldin at 859-581-6453 or email at mike@bouldinlawfirm.com.  Call 581-MIKE today.

Covington Attorney

If you are looking for a lawyer in Covington, feel free to contact Michael Bouldin.  Having practiced criminal and domestic law in Covington since 1994, Michael Bouldin has experience to handle most legal issues.  I have handled criminal defense for nearly every crime which is listed in the Kentucky statutes; including everything from murder to loitering.  While DUI charges make up a majority of the criminal defenses by number, I also routinely handle drug possession, trafficking, assault, domestic violence, and various other misdemeanors and felonies. Throughout my career I have represented individuals charged with crimes throughout Kentucky and Ohio, but have concentrated on Boone, Campbell, Kenton and Hamilton counties.  The knowledge of local judges and prosecutors is part of the experience which a criminal defendant should expect from their attorney. I believe that the experiences gained in district court in handling misdemeanors and DUI cases is essential to gain the experience necessary, and to garner the relationships and court procedure to handle more complex, high profile and various felony cases which come along.  The experiences of picking a jury and presenting evidence is often gained in the more minor of cases and carries through to representation in more serious cases. If you have been charged with a crime in Northern Kentucky, contact an attorney to assess your legal rights and discuss your case.  For a consultation in Covington, call Michael Bouldin at 859-581-6453 (581-MIKE) or email at mike@nky-criminal-defense-lawyer.com .  

DUI After Reds Baseball Game

DUI and OVI stops and arrests can occur at any time.  Police in Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky are especially on the lookout following Cincinnati Reds and Bengal home games.  They are aware that many of the fans who attend the games drink beer and other alcohol while at the game and at the local bars after the game.  Since many people park their vehicles in Covington and Newport, those police agencies are also on the lookout for impaired drivers. DUI and OVI are essentially the same charge in the two states.  Kentucky driving under the influence is charged as a DUI while Ohio calls it OVI for operating a motor vehicle while impaired.  The standards are basically the same in that a person can be charged for driving while impaired by drugs and/or alcohol or driving with a blood alcohol concentration over .08. If you are stopped for DUI in Cincinnati or Northern Kentucky, know your rights.  If you refuse the breathalyzer, your license may be subject to immediate suspension.  If your breath alcohol is over .15 in Kentucky, you will likely be charged with an aggravating circumstance which, if convicted, will mandate a minimum of 4 days in jail. Of course the best advice is to take a cab or find a sober driver if you have been drinking.  If, however, you are charged with a DUI, contact an experienced criminal and DUI defense attorney.  For a consultation, contact Michael W. Bouldin at mike@bouldinlawfirm.com or call 859-581-6453 , that is 859-581-MIKE.  Michael Bouldin is licensed to practice law and handles DUI cases in both Ohio and Kentucky.

Sarah Jones Pleads Guilty

It's hard not to comment on the Sarah Jones guilty plea in Covington yesterday.  Above all, Eric Deters is a master at self promotion.  That said, he did an honorable job handling the case. He gave the prosecution pause and made the judge consider a virtually unwinnable suppression motion.  He also delivered a three-fold winner for his client: (1) publicity, which she evidently craves; (2) a diversion offer which will allow the case to be dismissed if she follows the terms of probation; and (3) no registration as a sex offender. If the judge had suppressed the text messages, it is likely the case would have proceeded to trial.  Although Mr. Deters claims they are simply "racy" and "embarrasing" there is a high likelihood that they also contained incriminatory statements made by Ms. Jones and/or statements made by the then juvenile that were not denied.  Her guilty plea, and her allocution to the court, there left no doubt about her involvement with the minor. The plea took place before Judge Patricia Summe in Kenton Circuit Court.  Numerous media outlets covered the courtroom and Ms. Jones made a very loud statement without speaking by holding hands with the "victim" in this matter as she left the courtroom.  While there is no telling if it was for effect or if their relationship is ongoing, evidently she has landed an interview on the Today show and Dateline, both on NBC. Sarah Jones and Eric Deters are neither a stranger to courtroom publicity.  Ms. Jones continues to have a lawsuit pending in which she claims defamation, libel and slander against a website.  She gained a default judgement, but turned out the wrong legal entity (business) was sued.  The case is still pending in Northern Kentucky.  It is unclear whether the plea here will affect any potential judgment in the civil lawsuit. Ms. Jones is no longer a teacher under the terms of the plea agreement.  She is also no longer a Ben-Gal cheerleader, but works in Mr. Deters law office.

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