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October 2010 Archives

Is Possession of Drug Paraphernalia Enhanceable?

Kentucky has recently changed the law with respect to possession of drug paraphernalia (PDP). PDP has always been a misdemeanor for a first offense. Until April, 2010 a second offense for PDP could be charged as a felony. One major problem was that there were many cases where a person who was originally arrested for possession of marijuana and possession of drug paraphernalia and simply pled guilty and received a fine only. If that person was again arrested, the marijuana would be considered a misdemeanor again and the paraphernalia could be charged as a felony. To receive a $100 fine for a first offense and then 1-5 years in prison for a second offense seemed unduly harsh and unjustified. The change to the law is one of the first which appears to bring common sense back into the war on drugs. Often the charge of PDP would automatically be added to any charge of possession of controlled substance or marijuana. Items such as rolling papers, pipes, scales, and even plastic bags and gloves have been charged as paraphernalia. Even though PDP remains a misdemeanor for subsequent arrests, a defendant is wise to hire an attorney. Regardless of the number of offenses, PDP is an A misdemeanor, punishable by up to 12 months of incarceration and/or $500 fine. If you have been arrested in Northern Kentucky or Cincinnati and need to consult an attorney, contact Michael W. Bouldin at [email protected] or 859-581-MIKE (6453).

Do Professional Athletes Get Special Treatment in Criminal Courts?

As an attorney who occasionally represents "high profile" clients in Northern Kentucky, the simple answer is generally NO; unless the special treatment is getting a worse deal or more punishment than the average defendant.  The first problem is often both Prosecutors and Judges are fearful of giving the appearance of special treatment even though the treatment is very standard. In representing professional athletes there is a concern that if he doesn't get the same resolution as the others that there will be an assumption that he got a better deal because he is an athlete. This is seldom the case as there are many other problems that arise because the defendant has some degree of fame. Another but equally important question should be, "Do people with attorneys get special treatment?"  I hope that the answer is obvious as that is my entire basis for employment.  Attorneys can generally negotiate a much more favorable resolution to a criminal case than the defendant who simply pleads guilty.  A good criminal attorney should point out to the prosecutor the weaknesses in the case.  The attorney may also point out the numerous reasons that the individual case should not be treated like every other case.  In representing corporate executives, the loss of a six figure income may be an unfair punishment for a minor misdemeanor.  Similarly, while a nominal fine might not be much punishment for a professional athlete, losing his job or a multi-game suspension is not "the same punishment" as Joe Barfight who may get a $200 fine and returned to work on Monday. Professional atheletes suffer from the negative publicity which accompanies an arrest.  This can cause the coaching staff and especially potential sponsors to look at them differently.  Even an arrest and acquittal can cost a professional athlete thousands, if not millions, of dollars in fines, suspensions and loss of sponsors. Each case is unique and each defendant has their own set of concerns. If you need an attorney in Northern Kentucky, contact Michael Bouldin at 859-581-6453 or [email protected]

How Can Police Track Location By A Cell Phone Ping?

Northern Kentucky investigators are currently attempting to locate a missing person based on cell phone pings. The technology allows a cellular telephone company to track a person based on their travels in real time. In hindsight, the pings come from a specific tower when a call or text is made or received by the owner of a cellular telephone. According to cNET, Mobile devices, when they are within range, constantly let cell towers and the mobile switching center, which is connected to multiple towers, know of their location. The mobile switching center uses the location information to ensure that incoming calls and messages are routed to the tower nearest to the user. If a subscriber is unable to get service, this location information is usually purged from the mobile switching center. But some location information may remain in call detail records. Some mobile operators may store the most recent communication between a device and a mobile switching center for a certain period of time, usually 24 hours. When someone is missing, even this small bit of information can prove useful in determining the approximate location of a device using the updates from the mobile switching center. If the mobile subscriber is still within cell phone range, authorities can track his or her general movement by following the sequence of towers the phone has contacted or pinged. And if the cell phone goes out of range or runs out of battery power, the mobile operator may be able to use the last recorded location before the cell phone either lost its signal or lost power. But the most useful information for locating people when they are lost comes when someone has initiated or received a call or text message on their phone. Mobile operators keep records of these events for billing purposes in what is known as a call data record, or CDR. And they can go back to these records to get a historical account of the cell phone's location. The best information available shows that if a phone is turned OFF, their will be no ping or ability to follow the person's general whereabouts based on their cell phone location. That said, many smartphones and other advanced cell phones are difficult, if not impossible, to turn OFF. The best ability to track a person's location is if calls or texts are made or received. This information is the most up to date available as of October, 2010. Northern Kentucky criminal defense attorney Michael W. Bouldin has researched this issue as the police are looking for clues of the disappearance of a missing teen in Northern Kentucky. Police are looking in a park based on cell phone information. If you have been charged with a crime or are being investigated, contact Michael Bouldin at [email protected] or 859-581-6453.

Do I Need A Lawyer For An Expungement?

If your case is dismissed or you are acquitted for a crime, a defendant can then file to have their case expunged. Misdemeanors can also be expunged even if convicted if 5 years have passed since probation has ended. In Northern Kentucky, the dismissal cannot be in exchange for a plea to another charge. Also, the dismissal must be "with prejudice," meaning that the prosecution cannot refile the case. An attorney can assure that an expungement is filed correctly and most efficiently. One such issue is to ensure that all agencies receive a copy of the expungment. It shoudl be sent not only to the court clerk, but also to the individual arresting agency, police department, prosecutor's office, and the jail facility. With the ever increasing number of internet sites, it is increasingly difficult to assure that the record is removed. One example is JailTracker. Jail tracker is an online website that gives all current inmates as well as past inmate information. It is used in Boone, Kenton and Campbell counties. Some counties have used Jailtracker since inception and many others are beginning to use this service. Often people go through diversion or another program to avoid a conviction then neglect to have the record expunged. Even though a person is not convicted, a potential employer may discover the arrest and charge through a standard background check if the case is not expunged. You may wish to contact an attorney to see if you are eligible for an expungment. It is also wise to hire an attorney to represent you in your motion to have a criminal record expunged. If you have questions or need to hire an attorney in Northern Kentucky or Cincinnati, call Michael W. Bouldin at 859-581-MIKE (6453) or email at [email protected]

My Friend Had Drugs And I Got Arrested

If you have been charged with possession of controlled substance which belonged to your friend, you should immediately contact an attorney to represent your interest. Most criminal defendants make the huge mistake of thinking that their "friend" will simply admit to ownership and then the charged will be dismissed. In Northern Kentucky it is a daily occurrence to see defendants who appear at arraignment and try to convince the judge or prosecutor that the drugs belonged to someone else. Unfortunately, it is neither the time nor the place for convincing and it is an all too convenient excuse. Charges seldom, if ever, get dismissed summarily because of such an excuse. A good criminal defendant can make sure that the defendant's rights are protected and explain the options to the defendant on how to defend the case. There actually are some friends who will come forward; unfortunately those friends generally do not for fear of criminal prosecution. First, the friend has the right to remain silent. Second, if they do admit to ownership, they will likely be charged with the crime of trafficking, possession of controlled substance (a felony) or possession of marijuana (a misdemeanor). Also, if you are in a vehicle the arresting officer will often arrest more than one occupant and/or owner if no one readily admits to ownership of the drugs. Two or more people can be arrested in a car, truck or other vehicle for the same drugs. If you have been charged, wrongfully or not, you can greatly benefit from legal counsel. Call Michael Bouldin at 859-581-6453 or email at [email protected] for a consultation. Generally fee quotes will be given at the time of the first call.

What Can A Lawyer Do For AI or DC?

In Northern Kentucky an attorney can often assist a defendant who has been charged with Alcohol Intoxication (AI), which is often referred to as "public intox" or Discorderly Conduct (DC). While these charges are generally regarding as minor misdemeanors, they can have negative consequences. AI is a fine only or prepayable offense for first time offenders. While this is one way to resolve the case, AI is also an "enhanceable" crime, meaning that a subsequent offense is more serious than a first. Additionally, paying the fine is also an admission of guilt which will then become part of a permanent criminal record. An attorney may assist a defendant in admission into a diversion or other type of program which may keep the charge off of the person's criminal record. DC is considered an A Misdemeanor which is punishable by up to 12 months of incarceration. While this most serious term of incarceration is seldom given to first time offenders, it is a mistake to think of this as a minor charge. Anyone charged with a misdemeanor should give serious consideration to hiring an attorney before appearing in court. If you have been charged with a crime or know someone who has in Boone, Campbell, Gallatin or Kenton counties, contact Michael Bouldin in Northern Kentucky at [email protected] or 859-581-6453.

I Think I Need An Attorney

If you think you may need an attorney in Northern Kentucky you should immediately contact an attorney. Often the greatest mistake that a criminal defendant makes is meeting with investigators, police or authorities without first talking to counsel. Many defendants also make the mistake of going to court thinking that an attorney is unnecessary. If you are going to court, do not fool yourself into thinking you can handle it alone. There are many cases where the right to remain silent is the difference between a conviction and acquittal. Miranda rights are generally read to criminal defendants only after they are placed under arrest or in a custodial interrogation. While almost everyone is aware of the Miranda rights, "The right to remain silent, the right to an attorney and that any thing you say can and will be used against you in court." It is still amazing how few defendants actually put that into practical use when being questioned. Many, if not most, defendants still believe that if they cooperate that the police will give pity and let them go or not charge them with the crime. Even though Miranda does apply, if a suspect voluntarily agrees to meet with an investigator, there is no requirement to first read the person their rights. While they do enjoy the right to remain silent and anything they say can, and will, be used against them, the duty of authorities to advise a person of that right generally only begins once they are placed in custody. Therefore, without telling you the things that you say will be used against you. This is of particular importance as there are many crimes which cannot be proven without a confession. Furthermore, it is the burden of the prosecution to prove the case to a jury beyond a reasonable doubt. The prosecution cannot force a defendant to testify and there is no presumption given by a defendant who chooses to remain silent. This is one reason that many crimes go unsolved or there is no conviction. The police know these rules better than most defendants and use them to gain a confession. Once a voluntary confession is given, conviction is virtually certain. If you think you might need an attorney in Cincinnati or Northern Kentucky, contact Michael Bouldin at [email protected] or call today at 859-581-MIKE (6453). If you have made one mistake, don't compound it by making another of not hiring an attorney. It may be the one call that makes the difference.

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