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May 2013 Archives

How Does Diversion Work with AI & DC?

AI is shorthand for Alcohol Intoxication (often referred to as public intoxication) and DC is shorthand for Disorderly Conduct.  Often people are cited or arrested for AI and DC in Northern Kentucky if they were involved in a fight, altercation or otherwise disobey orders from police officers. The penalties for first offense AI are fine only.  That said, AI is an enhanceable offense, meaning that the fines increase for second offense and jail time is possibility for third or subsequent offenses.  Disorderly conduct is not an enhanceable offense, however it is a Class A misdemeanor under Kentucky law.  Class A misdemeanors are punishable by up to 12 months incarceration and/or $500 fine.  As such, it is wise to hire an attorney prior to going to court for any criminal charges. Kentucky has provisions for potential diversion of first offense, non-violent misdemeanor crimes with the concurrence of the prosecution.  Often AI and DC qualify for diversion program.  The program is more intensive than simply paying a crime, but it allows the defendant to have the charges removed from their criminal history record much faster than a guilty plea.  If you plead guilty to AI or DC, you will likely not be able to remove those charges from your record for 5-7 years.  Kentucky law only allows expungement of guilty findings 5 years after the completion of any probation or conditionally discharged period.  Then, the expungement is allowed only if there are no additional charges within the five year period. If you are eligible for diversion, you will sign a diversion contract which typically includes the following: (1) drug and alcohol evaluation and any recommended treatment; (2) community service generally up to 20 hours; and (3) payment of $150 diversion fee.  The diversion period is up to 3 months and you can have the charge dismissed once you complete the program.  After the charge is dismissed, you can file for expungement 60 days after the dismissal. A lawyer can do a number of things to help you through this process. First, he can attempt to convince the prosecutor that you are eligible or otherwise should be placed into diversion program.  He can then explain the process to you and meet with the diversion officer to assure that you are treated fairly.  He can then aid you with correct filings for expungement, including all agencies to completely remove the charge from your criminal record. If you have been charged with AI, DC or any other criminal matter, contact an attorney.  In Northern Kentucky, call Michael W. Bouldin at 859-581-6453 (581-MIKE) for a consultation or email at [email protected]

Drinking on Memorial Day - DUI and AI

If you are in Cincinnati for Taste of Cincinnati or otherwise enjoying time on the lake or river during Memorial Day, there is a decent chance you may also consume alcohol.  If you are arrested for OVI, DUI, AI or PI, you will need to hire a lawyer.  Quick summary: OVI = operating a vehicle while impaired; DUI - Driving while Under the Influence; AI = Alcohol Intoxication; PI = Public Intoxication.  Memorial Day often marks the beginning of summer, the beginning of boating season and the beginning of DUI season. Many people do not understand that a boating DUI carries the same penalties as a vehicle DUI and can include jail and loss of license.  Most DUI attorneys handle numerous boating DUIs in addition to the more standard DUI/OVI cases.  On the Ohio River, you can be charged with OVI in Ohio or DUI in Kentucky as there is concurrent jurisdiction Many defendants think that a simple AI or PI won't be a problem.  The problem is that 1) it is on your permanent criminal record.  Even if you have no future offenses, it may be impossible to erase for 7 years from the date of conviction.  2) AI is an enhanceable offense.  If you are convicted for a 2nd or 3rd offense, the penalties increase and can include jail time.  Further, there are many available defenses to AI and PI.  The crime itself in Kentucky is "manifestly under the influence of alcohol to the point you are a danger to yourself or others."  Seldom are any field sobriety tests or breathalyzer tests given to prove the manifestly portion.  Furthermore, there are many people who become intoxicated and manifestly under the influence who do not become a danger to themselves or others.  If you have  designated driver or call a cab, and you are not wandering in the street or starting fights, you are likely NOT a danger to yourself or others. DUI, or OVI in Ohio, often has loss of license, significant fines and possibly, if not likely, jail time if the defendant is convicted.  Ohio mandates jail on even a first offense and Kentucky mandates jail if there is a blood alcohol over .15 or for a variety of other factors.  Those aggravating factors which mandate jail may include, BAC>.15, accident involving serious injuries, driving wrong way on highway, driving over 30 mph over the speed limit, having a child under 12 in the vehicle, and may include refusal of the breathalyzer or blood test. If you have been charged with a crime this Memorial Day, contact an attorney for consultation.  In Kentucky or Cincinnati, call Michael W. Bouldin at 859-581-6453 (581-MIKE) or email at [email protected].

Possession of Drug Paraphernalia

In Kentucky first offense possession of drug paraphernalia, commonly referred to as PDP, is a misdemeanor charge.  KRS 218A.500 makes possession of paraphernalia a class A misdemeanor under Kentucky law.  A class A misdemeanor is punishable by up to 12 months in jail and/or $500 fine plus court costs.  People generally view items such as postage scales, bongs and hypodermic needles as drug paraphernalia. KRS 218A.510 spells out factors to consider when the court determines if an object is considered drug paraphernalia.  There are a multitude, but given the broad definition almost anything can be considered drug paraphernalia.  Given the right set of circumstances, items as simple and ordinary as duct tape, Gatorade bottles and a cigarette pack.  In other circumstances, items such as rolling papers, postage scales and hookah pipes may be legitimately used and if no drugs are present, there may be no crime committed. Originally the idea of drug paraphernalia was to have separate charges if the drugs are unavailable or if the police believe that a person is trafficking without enough proof.  More recently, it is utilized to add charges to virtually any drug arrest.  Prior to 2010, a second offense of PDP was a felony under Kentucky law.  Fortunately, the law changed which made drug paraphernalia a non-enhanceable crime. If you have been charged with Possession of Drug Paraphernalia, possession or trafficking, you need to speak with an attorney.  In Northern Kentucky, contact Michael Bouldin for a consultation.  Call Mike at 859-581-6453 (581-MIKE) or email at [email protected]  

Heroin Overdose and Use of Narcan in Northern Kentucky

Boone, Campbell and Kenton counties are seeing a rise in heroin overdose.  Narcan is a prescription drug originally to assist patients after surgery who received narcotic drugs for surgery.  Today it is used primarily to revive people who have overdosed on heroin or other narcotic drugs.  Narcan can be given in three separate dosages and is generally indicated when the user is lethargic, shallow breathing (respiratory depression) or heart slowing/stopped.  Narcan is the marketed name for the generic drug of Naloxone. According to the FDANarcan prevents or reverses the effects of opioids including respiratory depression, sedation and hypotension. Also, Narcan can reverse the psychotomimetic and dysphoric effects of agonist-antagonists such as pentazocine. Narcan is an essentially pure opioid antagonist, i.e., it does not possess the "agonistic" or morphine-like properties characteristic of other opioid antagonists. When administered in usual doses and in the absence of opioids or agonistic effects of other opioid antagonists, it exhibits essentially no pharmacologic activity. Many agencies have discussed allowing police officers to carry and dispense Narcan when they come upon a scene of obvious heroin overdose.  One concern is the overuse by treating professionals and the ability to identify a narcotic overdose.  Some believe that the benefits of preventing death by narcotic overdose outweighs the potential for harm for improper use. If you have a narcotic drug addiction, contact a local provider for help in recovery such as Transitions or St. Elizabeth, Falmouth.  If you have been charged with possession of narcotic drug in Northern KEntucky, contact an attorney for consultation, advice and representation.  Call Michael Bouldin at 859-581-6453 (581-MIKE) or email at [email protected] .

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