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March 2010 Archives

Can A Criminal Defendant Access A KASPER Report?

A recent Supreme Court of Kentucky decision from Kenton County confirms that a criminal defendant is entitled to discovery of his, and co-defendant's KASPER reports.  In Commonwealth v. Cole, 2008-SC-508-MR, together with other defendants' Judge Barteltt , Cox and Young, the Court affirmed an order requiring that a KASPER record be produced for in camera review after the Defense made a suffiient showing that the records "may contain information which is relevant or exculpatory to the Defense." The Cabinet for Families and Children filed a writ and appealed the decision, citing KRS 218A.202 regarding prohibition on disclosure of KASPER reports.  While true that the statute disclosure is prohibited unless specifically authorized, the Court reasoned that a criminal defendant has a constututional right to discover exculpatory documents, even if those documents are confidential or if their disclosure is prohibited by rule or statute. Citing Pennsylvania v. Ritchie, 480 U.S. 39 (1987), the U.S. Supreme Court has held that a defendant's right to discovery exculpatory evidence in the government's possession prevails over a qualified privilege.  Thanks for W. Robert Lotz, criminal attorney for Larry Cole, for this new information and the successful appeal of this important issue. If you have been charged with a crime and believe a KASPER report may benefit your defense, contact Michael W. Bouldin at [email protected] or 859--581-6453.

What Is A KASPER Report?

A criminal defendant in Northern Kentucky may find out the hard way about a KASPER report.  Obviously a take on Casper, the friendly ghost, a KASPER (Kentucky All-Schedule Prescription Electronic Reporting) report is a complete list of prescriptions drugs which have been prescribed to an individual.  The KASPER is not generally known and is hidden from public information (ghost-like).  Kentucky law mandates that all prescriptions filled in the Commownealth of Kentucky are reported to KASPER.  A complete list of all medications are kept on every individual. Generally there are very few who can access a KASPER report.  A treating physician is generally the first to access, especially if you are treating with a pain management specialist.  They routinely check the KASPER report to assure that patients are not receiving narcotic medication from more than one provider.  If found, the doctor may discontinue providing the prescriptions or may turn the information over to the legal authorities. The following are legally permitted to access a KASPER report:  prescriber for medical treatment of existing or prospective patients, a pharmacist for pharmaceutical treatment, a law enforcement officer with an active investigation, a licensure board for a licensee, Medicaid for a Medicaid recipient, a grand jury by subpoena, and a judge, probation or parole officer administering a drug diversion or probation program. KASPER reports can assist in providing information for an investigation that may lead to felony criminal charges.  A report may also provide evidence to show proof of obtaining prescriptions by fraud or illegally obtaining prescription drugs. Most prescription drug users are not aware that big brother is watching.  If you purchase prescription drugs in Kentucky, the state maintains a complete list. If you have been investigated or charged with illegally obtaining or purchasing prescription drugs in Northern Kentucky, contact Michael W. Bouldin at [email protected] or 859-581-6453.

Should I Just Plead Guilty to DUI?

NO, do not just plead guilty!!! As a practicing DUI defense lawyer in Northern Kentucky for over 16 years I am amazed by the number of people who do just plead guilty when charged with a DUI. While there are a number of good reasons to hire an experienced criminal defense attorney, the first of which is to advise what your chances of being found Not Guilty! Whether it be that the officer lacked probable cause to stop your vehicle or the evidence is insufficient for a conviction, a lawyer can help you answer the questions. Even if you believe that you are guilty, the Commonwealth may not be able to prove your guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. There are times when an attorney will suggest a plea to a DUI. Even in those circumstances, an attorney may be able to minimize fines, lessen license suspension periods, obtain work privileges, minimize or eliminate jail time, obtain home incarceration as an alternative, dismiss other charges or lessen the DUI charge. If you have been charged with a DUI in Northern Kentucky or Cincinnati, contact Mike Bouldin at [email protected] or 859-581-6453.

How Does a DUI Affect My License if I Live In Another State?

If you are traveling through or visiting Northern Kentucky and you are licensed in another state, a DUI will likely have an impact on your driver's license. Most states have reciprocity and notify DOT or BMV from your state. If this occurs, you may end up with a very lengthy suspension and expensive reinstatement. The best thing any person charged with DUI can do is retain a local attorney in Northern Kentucky. I have worked with many clients from various states. Many times the actual license suspension can be shorter than either state would permit. Ohio drivers, for example, will likely be notified of a 6 month suspension following a conviction. Ohio BMV will, however, shorten the suspension to that given by the district courts in Kentucky. Courts generally mandate a defendant's appearance following a DUI. There are times, however, that the case may be resolved without the necessity of personally appearing in the court. Additionally, an experienced attorney will assist you with finding evaluators or treatment centers throughout the United States. Boone, Campbell, Kenton and Gallatin Counties If you have been charged with a DUI in Northern Kentucky, contact Mike Bouldin at [email protected] or 859-581-6453.

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