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September 2015 Archives

What is a High Conflict Divorce?

Typically lawyers refer to high conflict divorces as those where the parties are unable to agree on a number of essential issues.  Those issues often include: child custody, child support, division of assets, marital and non-marital assets, division of debts, marital and non-marital debts, and spousal support. There are many areas that may lead to disagreement of these issues. Notably, whether one party feels like they have been wronged  or taken advantage of often factors into decision making.  While it is easy for an attorney to be dispassionate about a case and simply look at the assets for what they are, there are many feelings that often get in the way of rational decision making.  This is one primary reason why it is not advisable to go through a divorce without an attorney. True high conflict divorces also may involve deception through the divorce process, poor decision making and generally acting in a way with the primary intent of annoying or hurting the spouse.  Deception may take the form of hiding assets, under-reporting income, concealment of new paramours, or simply not telling the truth.  Often the deception is of little things that make the other spouse distrustful of everything. Holding the children hostage, using them as pawns or fighting over hours may seem like doing the best at the time, but hurting children is seldom a way to get revenge on your spouse.  The sooner a person can move away from anger and toward acceptance the better they and the children will become. Listen to the advice of your attorney but don't be afraid to discuss disagreements.  The attorney should have a great deal of experience, but it is ultimately your divorce and your life.  You must live with the final decision. For a consultation in Northern Kentucky, call the Bouldin Law Firm at 859-581-6453 or email at [email protected]  Call Mike at 581-MIKE.

Police Search Cell Phone

In general, NO.  Often police may ask for permission to search through a cellular telephone and they may if permission is granted.  This is no different than entering into a person's residence.  The police authorities only have rights to enter if: (1) permission is granted; (2) there is a situation where there's no time to get a warrant because there's an immediate threat or danger of someone getting hurt or the destruction of evidence; or (3) with a valid search warrant. The 4th Amendment to the Constitution secures: The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized. The United States Supreme Court issued a rare 9-0 ruling, opinion that police need a warrant to search a cellphone in Riley v. California (full text). This decision may set precedent in other areas of law, to wit:  Are telephone records protected?  (likely) Is the use of surveillance cameras protected? (likely within home, but not outside) Does the ruling affect NSA operations?  (probably not)  Many of these questions are still unanswered, but the lower courts could use this Riley case to further secure individual privacy rights. I have also written previously on the use of cell phone "pings" to determine location (link), now it is clear that a search warrant must first be issued.  It is vital to have a court system which protects the freedoms which we enjoy.  The suppression of evidence for a warrantless search is but one bastion in the fight against oppression and to assure constitutional freedoms. As a criminal defense attorney who fully supports the constitution and Bill of Rights, I encourage everyone to exercise your rights and protect your home and personal effects (cell phone) from intrusion by police.  Do not consent to search of your home, auto, cell phone, computer or allow any other intrusion into your privacy. If you have been charged with a crime, hire a good criminal defense attorney to protect your rights and to assure the protection of those rights for others.  For a consultation, call the Bouldin Law Firm at 859-581-6453 or email at [email protected].  Call 581-MIKE.

What is Wanton Conduct?

West's Encyclopedia of American Law defines Wanton: Grossly careless or negligent; reckless; malicious. The term wanton implies a reckless disregard for the consequences of one's behavior. A wanton act is one done in heedless disregard for the life, limbs,health, safety, reputation, or property rights of another individual. Such an act is more than Negligence or gross negligence; it is equivalent in its results to an act of willful misconduct. A wanton injury is one precipitated by a conscious and intentional wrongful act or by an omission of a known obligation with reckless indifference to potential harmful consequences. Kentucky Revised Statutes 501.020 provides the definition of mental states.

How Does an Affair Affect Spousal Support?

An affair may be considered by a court to be a "fault" in a divorce proceeding.  Kentucky is notoriously considered as a no-fault divorce state, hence why all divorces are legally termed DISSOLUTION.  KRS 403.200,. the statute that governs spousal maintenance, does not provide for fault to be considered by a trial court in establishing maintenance. (Maintenance is also commonly referred to as spousal support or alimony.)

What is Cost of DUI in Kentucky?

The real cost of a DUI varies by the individual, the county and the charges for legal services.  The real cost is also highly contingent on whether you are convicted or acquitted of the charges. If convicted, the mandatory DUI fine from the court is $200-500 for a first offense.  This is very misleading and is not reality.  A conviction brings a $200-500 fine, plus a DUI service fee of $250, plus court costs of about $153, plus other costs associated with the court.  If convicted, you will pay the court between $720-850, depending on your county of conviction.  Additionally, you will be mandated to undergo a DUI assessment and follow any recommendations for treatment.  The DUI assessment is generally $60 and you will be mandated to attend a minimum of 20 hour class, which generally cost $210.  License reinstatement in Kentucky is $40. Your insurance will increase if you are convicted of a DUI offense.  Generally, your rates will double for a first offense DUI.  This will remain in place for 2-3 years, and a DUI stays on your record for 5 years in Kentucky.  This generally equates to approximately $2,000/year for an average driver; more for a teen or younger person. Legal fees vary greatly.  Generally an attorney charging under $1,000 either will have very little experience or has no intention of taking the case to trial.  An experienced attorney knows that if you are charged in Boone, Campbell or Kenton counties, there is almost no chance in a reduction of the charges without a trial or suppression hearing.  You may hire an attorney to get you a 'better deal' for less than $1,000, but the best deals generally come if the prosecution believes they will not prevail at trial. Legal fees vary based on the complexity of the case, number of court appearances, discovery, number of hearings, suppression issues, whether a bench (judge) or jury trial and length of trial.  Most attorneys will give you an estimate and have you sign a fee agreement/contract outlining all charges. For a consultation in Northern Kentucky, call the Bouldin Law Firm and speak with Michael Bouldin.  Contact Michael at 859-581-6453 or email at [email protected].

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