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October 2013 Archives

Why Do People Use Bar Association For Referrals?

The Northern Kentucky Bar Association, NKBA, and numerous other associations provide referral sources for potential clients to find an attorney.  The Lawyer Referral Service has been provided for years, despite varying ethics position regarding paying for referrals.  People want to trust that the local Bar Association is unbiased and do not know where else to trust.  That said, the attorneys accepting referrals pay a separate fee in order to be included in that list. Under Kentucky rules of ethics, the division of fees between lawyers of different firms is prohibited if one party is strictly making a referral and undertakes no obligation to the case and handles no matters in the case.  Further, it is strictly prohibited to share fees between a lawyer and non-lawyer.  Nevertheless, the NKBA receives a portion of the fee due to the lawyer in the lawyer referral service.

How Do I Fight a DUI in Boone County?

If you have been arrested and charged with DUI in Boone County, Kentucky (or anywhere else, really), you should hire an attorney as soon as possible.  An experienced criminal defense attorney, especially one who has handled a large number of DUI cases, can provide a number of opportunities to fight your case. An experienced attorney will first meet with you to uncover the facts of the case, including discussion on alcohol intake, basis for the stop, any extenuating factors, any mitigating or aggravating factors, in car and out of the car field sobriety tests, checkpoints, accident, bad driving, portable breath test, questioning at the scene and in the station, Miranda rights, implied consent, opportunity to contact an attorney, mandatory 20 minute wait time if breathalyzer, and refusal or consent to breathalyzer, blood or urine test. It is generally preferable to hire an attorney who regularly practices int he county of your arrest.  In some very small counties, this may not always be the most desired method because of an actual or perceived good old boys network.  That said, it is often to the defendant's advantage if his attorney has a working knowledge of the courts, lawyers, prosecutors and judges who will be handling on your case.  There are certain prosecutors and county attorneys who will never, and some who will often, amend a DUI charge.  Also, the Judge who will be hearing your case may be harsher if you take the case to trial or may make no distinction.  The accused should rely on the experience of the attorney to help determine if a jury trial or bench (judge) trial is better in any specific case. If you have been charged in Boone or Northern Kentucky, consult Michael Bouldin for a consultation.  Email at mike@nky-criminal-defense-lawyer.com or call at 859-581-6453 (581-MIKE).

Do I Need An Attorney?

This is probably the most often asked question of criminal defense attorneys in Northern Kentucky, Cincinnati and probably everywhere.  My answer is simply, YES.  If my water pipes burst under my home, I don't ask, "Do I need a plumber?"  Unless I am a certified plumber and have fixed pipes in the past, the answer is that indeed, I do need a plumber.   Unless you have a law degree, license to practice and have represented criminal defendants, then your answer is that INDEED, YOU DO NEED A LAWYER.   I do understand that this question typically comes up with respect to relatively minor crimes such as Public Intoxication, Criminal Mischief, Misdemeanor Theft and even DUI.  Those that ask often have no criminal history and know that the punishment may be minor.  That said, nearly all crimes carry the possibility of incarceration. Also, if you do not have a lawyer you will likely be asked to plead guilty.  In Kentucky, paying a fine and/or pleading guilty will result in a finding of guilt.  You will have that criminal conviction on your record for a minimum of five (5) years before you may get it expunged.   If you hire an attorney, you may be able work out a number of alternatives, including pre-trial diversion or mediation, which may keep the charge from becoming part of your permanent record.  If the charge is more serious or you do have any type of prior record, the attorney will discuss possible defenses to the case or may be able to avoid large fines and/or jail time. A number of clients who initially asked if they need a lawyer have also been found NOT GUILTY of the alleged crime.  DUI defendants are perfect example in that there are many defenses to a DUI arrest which may not be known to the defendant.  If you are charged, you should consult with a criminal defense attorney. If you have been charged in Boone, Campbell, Kenton or Hamilton county, call my office for a free consultation.  Quick YouTube Video of Michael Bouldin; or call 859-581-6453 or email at mike@bouldinlawfirm.com .

Sex Abuse, Sodomy, Rape Charges In Kenton County, KY

For the past week I have been in trial regarding charges of sex abuse, sodomy and rape in Kenton County against a step father of a minor child.  These are the hardest of the criminal defense cases involving allegations by a child of explicit sexual nature against a relative. In some cases there is evidence that the crime has occurred. In others, it is the word of a child against that of the defendant.  Most juries tend to believe the word of a child, opining, "Why would a child make up such allegations."  Unfortunately there are often a large number of reasons that  a child may fabricate such allegations, however the Defendant may be limited in the ability to utilize or prove those reasons. The greatest difficulty is in disproving the negative.  In virtually every case of family member, there is ample opportunity for the alleged acts to have occurred.  Try to imagine that you have to account for a 3-4 year period and claim that there was no time that you were alone with a family member.  Even if it is true, imagine trying to prove that you were not alone to a jury. These allegations often are charged as A Felonies.  An A felony is punishable by 20-50 years, or life, in prison.  Even if the jury convicts on only 1 count of a multiple count indictment, the defendant is facing life in prison. For what it is worth.  Defense attorneys work their asses off to defend their clients.  Often the client does not appreciate anything that the attorney does to handle the case.  The client, especially if convicted, believes that the defense attorney was either working against them, working with the prosecution or is trying to get them convicted... nothing could be further from the truth.  Not every case has a happy ending and in cases of alleged sex abuse, there is no such thing. If you have been charged with a crime in Northern Kentucky and wish to speak to an attorney, call Michael Bouldin at 859-581-6453 or email at mike@bouldinlawfirm.com .

How Does Restitution Work?

In criminal law cases, restitution is often ordered in cases where there is injury to a victim or damage to property of the victim.  In Kentucky, this money is for actual payments or loss incurred by the victim.  Restitution is generally defined in KRS 431.200. Any person convicted of a misdemeanor or felony for taking, injuring or destroying property shall restore the property or make reparation in damages if not ordered as a condition of probation.... Application must be made within 90 days of sentence and restitution order will be granted.  The Defendant is entitled to a jury trial to assess the amount and value of the property. There are occurrences when the amount of theft, damage or otherwise arises to a felony level.  If restitution is timely made, there a times when the Commonwealth will agree to reduce the charge if restitution is paid in full.  This is not a guarantee and each case is different.  The Commonwealth is under no duty to reduce the charges regardless of restitution. Restitution is often part of the Order in the final judgment of the case. In felony cases, this is included and generally paid through the office of Probation and Parole.  In misdemeanor cases, payment of restitution is a condition of the probated time.  That means if you do not pay the restitution as agreed upon, the Judge may violate your probation or CD time and sentence you to serve the jail sentence.  If you do serve the jail sentence, you are still responsible for payment of the restitution as it is a judgement of the court. If you have been charged with a crime which has possibility of restitution, speak to your attorney about this issue as well. If you need to consult an attorney in Northern Kentucky, call Michael Bouldin at mwbouldin@fuse.net or call at 859-581-6453 . (581-MIKE)

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