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November 2011 Archives

Does Ohio OVI Law Regarding Marijuana Make Sense?

No. In writing this blog article, I contemplated simply leaving at that, but Ohio law regarding different drugs in the system by urine or blood test really has almost no bearing on the defendant's ability to operate a motor vehicle. While Kentucky has not, Ohio has passed specific limits on presence of marijuana, cocaine and other drugs in a persons' blood or urine. For years the criminal defense lawyers and the prosecutors have debated whether the legal limit for alcohol of .10 which was lowered to .08 has any real bearing on a driver's impairment. While this issue is still debated, there is little doubt that the higher the blood alcohol concentration by breath, urine or blood test, the more intoxicated the person is and the more impaired they are to drive. After representing hundreds of DUI defendants and watching numerous video tapes and evaluating BAC results, there is definitely a correlation between impairment and blood alcohol levels. Many would argue that a person with a .08, and even with .10, blood alcohol level is not impaired. Video tapes often confirm that most individuals with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) in that range show few, if any, signs of impairment. That said, rare is the case where a person has a valid BAC over .20 where there are not significant signs of impairment. When it is said that someone was two or three times the legal limit, there is a strong correlation of impairment to operate a motor vehicle. The same cannot be said about marijuana and many other drugs. The legal limit for marijuana in a person's urine is 10 nanograms per milliliter of urine. I recently represented two separate clients who had test results in the range of 500 ng/ml. One of those individuals advised that they had not smoked marijuana in more than 24 hours prior to operating a vehicle. I have seen video and these individuals do not appear impaired. Even if an argument is made that they were impaired, they are not fifty times (50x) as impaired as a person with 10 ng/ml. Furthermore, the presence of marijuana is not indicative as to a level of intoxication or impairment. The best literature shows that the effects of marijuana last for periods of 3-8 hours. The marijuana can be detected by blood or urine test for approximately 28 days after ingestion, with periods ranging from 3-90 days. While the prosecutors and legislators argue that marijuana is illegal in its own right, the two simply do not match for purposes of assuming impairment to operate a motor vehicle. The strict liability of a prohibitive blood or urine amount in Ohio is significantly flawed. Urge your legislators to reconsider the limits in ORC 4511.19. The Court is obliged to uphold the law and few municipal court judges have the moxie or desire to strike down legislative enactments. Further, it will take an individual with the desire and financial resources to take such a case to trial and appeal therefrom to overturn this law. Hopefully, the Court system will right this injustice. If you have been charged with OVI or DUI in Ohio or Kentucky, contact Michael Bouldin at [email protected] or call 581-MIKE, 859-581-6453 to schedule a consultation.

Help, I Got Charged With Shoplifting

If you have been charged with shoplifting during the holiday shopping season in Northern Kentucky, you should hire an attorney as soon as possible. Retailers are on the lookout for shoplifters and many people are being charged with theft, credit card fraud, identity theft and writing bad checks. Throughout Northern Kentucky in Boone, Campbell and Kenton counties, the retailers are clamping down on theft related losses. There are many reasons to hire an attorney to defend you with respect to these charges. Often times the retailer will make the allegation prior to there being any crime committed. An attorney can help to avoid a conviction by directing through the diversion process, alternate dispute resolution, mediation or other avenues. Also, an attorney can take the case to trial, forcing the Commonwealth to prove your guilt. In these types of cases, it is often difficult to prove guilt even if the defendant is, in fact, guilty. If a person is acquitted or goes through diversion, the case may ultimately be dismissed and then allowed to be expunged from his or her record. Just like any other person charged with a crime, you have the right to remain silent and the right to an attorney before you speak. Many retailers hold the person while waiting for the police. Often the embarrassment causes people to sign anything, pay any amount and confess to crimes that they may not have committed. Wal-Mart, in Florence, Ft. Wright and Alexandria are all on the lookout for shoplifters. Many other retailers also have heightened security for the holiday season. On any given day you may see representatives from Sears, JC Penny, Macy's, Krogers, WalMart, Sams Club, Meier, and many other stores. Generally, the larger the department store the more security they hire to prevent theft. If you have been charged in Northern Kentucky, it is important to know your rights. If you have questions or wish to schedule a consultation, call Michael W. Bouldin at 859-581-6453 or email at [email protected] Call 581-MIKE.

Is Craigslist Ad Entrapment for Marijuana or Prostitution?

Newport police in Campbell County have begun making arrests for solicitation of prostitution and marijuana possession in Campbell County, Kentucky. They general method involves making a Craigslist advertisement and asking the person to bring drugs and money. methods employed are very much walking the line of entrapment. Generally entrapment is a very difficult defense to charges in the Commonwealth of Kentucky. In order to prove entrapment, the Defendant must show that they would not have otherwise engaged in the conduct. Under KRS 505.010, entrapment is a defense if (1) the officer induced or encouraged the defendant to commit any of the criminal acts; (2) that the officer was seeking thereby to obtain evidence against the Defendant for the purpose of criminal prosecution; AND (3) at the time of such inducement or encouragement, the Defendant was not otherwise disposed to engage in such conduct. This third prong is the difficult element to prove. Most agencies which set up sting operations do not make the first move. They also generally wait for the Defendant to put the sex for money or sex for drugs together so that there is very little chance of an entrapment defense. Many times they also get the person on video or audio tape offering to pay for sex. As the stories come out about the current sting operation in Newport, the officers may not be using those standard operations. If you have been charged with possession of marijuana or other drugs or found yourself in a prostitution sting, contact an attorney to discuss your options. In Northern Kentucky, call Michael Bouldin at 859-581-6453 (581-MIKE) or email at [email protected] for more information.

What Is A Mini-D Felony?

Kentucky has enacted new laws which change the nature of many crimes, particularly those related to possession and sale of controlled substances. Simple possession of small amounts of cocaine, heroin and certain prescriptions have been changed from D felonies to "mini" D felonies. The prescribed resolution to the mini-D felonies are 1-3 years of jail and these crimes are generally handled with pre-trial deferred prosecution. Deferred prosecution is akin to diversion, wherein the defendant is on probation for a period of time. If probation period is successful, the defendant can have the charges dismissed and later expunged. The crimes of trafficking prescription pills (other than Schedule 1 narcotics) of less than 20 dosage units is also now a class mini D felony, punishable by 1-3 years in prison. The new Kentucky statute is found in KRS 218A. If you have been charged with a crime under the new laws and have questions how the changes apply to your case, contact a criminal defense lawyer. IN Northern Kentucky, contact Michael W. Bouldin at 859-581-6453 (581-MIKE) or [email protected]

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