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January 2013 Archives

Heroin Epidemic in Northern Kentucky

While most of the judges, prosecutors, law enforcement and criminal defense attorneys are opposed to heroin in Northern Kentucky, I am taking this opportunity to specifically make note of a few who are fighting the hardest to rid Northern Kentucky of the epidemic of heroin which is sweeping through Kenton, Campbell and Boone counties. Judge Ken Easterling routinely gives speeches to defendants, makes statements on FaceBook and speaks to the press about the troubles of heroin in Kenton county.  Judge Grothaus also makes speeches and, like many other judges, also does what he can to try to get the defendants off of drugs.  Criminal defendants make every promise in the world in order to be released from incarceration. The primary reason is because they are in need of getting high again.  All too often, a person is released from jail only to go out and get high again, many times with deadly consequences. The increase in number of heroin related deaths in Northern Kentucky is exponential over the past few years.  The number of heroin addicts is crowding the local jails and it is estimated that over 70% of the current inmates have a heroin addiction.  In today's NKy section (see link for article) of the Cincinnati Enquirer is public advocate Ameer Mabjish, who is working with a film crew to create a documentary of heroin in northern Kentucky.  In addition to defending the accused, many good criminal defense attorneys work with clients to get them into drug rehab and off of the heroin.  I applaud the efforts of those working toward a solution to this problem. If you have or know someone using heroin, get help.  If you have been charged with heroin possession or trafficking, contact an attorney for legal advice.  In Northern Kentucky, contact Michael Bouldin for consultation at 859-581-6453 (581-MIKE) or email at [email protected] .

Don't Always Refuse Breathalyzer

I believe that far too many criminal defense attorneys give faulty advice to "always refuse" the breathalyzer.  There are certainly times when refusal is better than taking the breath test, however it is good to know that there are consequences to the refusal itself. If you are intoxicated, refusal will be the best way to possibly "win" the DUI case and be found not guilty.  The reason is that once you submit, the number itself can be used by itself to prove you guilty of DUI if over .08.  Also, if you blow over .15 (.17 in Ohio) then it is a high tier test which can enhance penalties.  If you are going to blow over .15, it is generally better to refuse the breathalyzer. That said, if you refuse you will lose your license immediately in Ohio or at the first court appearance in Kentucky.  In Kentucky you will lose your license for 120 days, and there is no hardship privileges available.  In Ohio, you will lose your license fore 180 days, but can get hardship privileges after 30 days.  If you do not refuse, Kentucky will not suspend your license until/unless you are found guilty.  In Ohio, you still may lose your license if you test over .08, however you may get privileges after only 15 days. The other bad cases are those where the arresting officer thinks that the driver is impaired and asks for a test and the driver refuses even though they have had no drugs or alcohol.  This may occur because the driver is tired or for other reasons.  I have represented individuals with disabilities what make them appear impaired but are actually not at all impaired by drugs or alcohol.  In one case, the defendant had a prior traumatic brain injury that affected his balance and his speech.  Fortunately, the fact that he tested .000 on the breathalyzer and blood test showed no drugs/alcohol, his defense was made much easier. Other cases where the driver has only 1-2 drinks, they would often fare much better by taking the breathalyzer.  While the machine is not infallible, it is often working correctly.  If you are an average size adult, 1-2 drinks will very doubtfully put you over the legal limit of .08.  I often refer clients and potential clients to bloodalcoholcalculator .  This is less than perfect, but should give you a good idea of how much alcohol it takes to get to and above the legal level.  Reminder: a generous pour is often 2 shots, not 1. If you have been arrested for DUI, contact a lawyer.  For consultation in Northern Kentucky or Cincinnati, call Michael W. Bouldin at 859-581-6453 or email at [email protected] .

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