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October 2016 Archives

What if I Speak Chinese and Arrested in Kentucky?

If you speak Chinese, you may need an interpreter when you appear in court. If you ask, the court is mandated to provide an interpreter for you during your hearings.  This is regardless of your nationality and language preference and includes Chinese, Mandarin, Polish, Spanish and Russian (I've represented defendants with all of the above). What the court is not obligated to do is provide an interpreter for you when you are speaking to your attorney.  This is an essential party of communication between attorney and client since much of the discussion occurs outside of the courtroom. Most criminal attorneys will meet with their clients prior to court, often at their office.  The initial meeting is to discuss the facts surrounding the case, fees and potential defenses.  Often the process is also discussed, which may include the terms: indictment, arraignment, pretrial, preliminary hearing, plea and trial. Once a plea offer is made, the attorney will want to discuss with the client the terms of the plea agreement and the costs/benefits of accepting a plea or proceeding to trial.  At that time, relevant pretrial motions may also be discussed as well as trial strategy. This may necessarily include discussions of whether to have a jury trial, filing of motions and whether or not the defendant will testify at trial. All of these communications are important to the criminal defendant.  Being able to understand your attorney and communicate effectively is key to a just result.  Often a separate privately paid interpreter is necessary. Using an interpreter who is not qualified has 2 significant concerns: (1) is the conversation still confidential and protected by attorney-client privilege; and (2) is the interpreter correctly and accurately interpreting the statements.  Using a friend is fine for ordering dinner, but not when discussing the effects of a plea agreement.  A qualified interpreter is essential to explain the finer points of plea, trial and probation or parole and what is expected of the client/defendant. If you need an experienced criminal defense attorney, contact Michael Bouldin at [email protected].  If you need an interpreter, please say so and often one can be made available via telephone or in person.  Email or call to schedule an appointment or consultation at 859-581-6453.

Does Race and Color Factor Into Criminal System?

If you ask most jurors, they will tell you that color has no factor in making their determination.  If you ask most defense attorneys, they believe that it absolutely is a major factor throughout the system.  Consider the following facts from the Center for American Progress and then make your own determination:

Who Takes DUI Case to Jury?

I do.  As an attorney practicing DUI and criminal defense in Northern Kentucky for over 21 years, I have experience to handle your DUI defense.  This may include taking the case to a trial, whether a trial to the Judge or a trial to a jury.  Often times people are fearful of juries.  While a jury does have the ability to make recommendations tot he Judge regarding sentence, my finding is that juries tend to sentence about the same as most courts. A DUI conviction stays on your record for ten (that's right, 10) years.  If you have a defense, you should consider exercising all of your rights before you plead guilty. If a case is a close call - say you fail 4 of 6 field tests but there is no bad driving. The jury may acquit or may convict.  A lot depends on how well the officer testifies and how well the defense attorney cross examines that testimony.  Whether there is a video is also a factor.  If there is no video, an attorney  may point out why the officer fails to videotape the encounter.  If there is, that video will provide the best evidence regardless of the testimony of the officer. Any attorney who regularly tries cases has wins and losses.  It is an unfair question to ask, and often very unrealistic, to believe that there are attorneys who do not lose.  That is TV.  Real attorneys take cases to trial, some of which are difficult if not impossible to win.  Even hopeless cases have a chance of acquittal.  Many attorneys claim a "win" as anything as good or better than the offer by the prosecution.  That would allow for a DUI conviction where the person is charged with DUI, so long as the sentence is not worse with a trial than a plea. For example, I was recently involved with a DUI jury trial wherein my client blew over .10, which is obviously over the .08 legal limit.  According to the testimony of the officer, the client also failed all 6 of the 6 field sobriety tests.  It was still a triable case as the video did now show that the field tests were as bad as the officer testified.  While unfortunately the jury did convict, they suggested the minimum sentence of $200 fine and no (0) jail time.  My client had his day in court and, moreover, was none the worse for taking the case to a jury trial. If you want to discuss a DUI charge and possibility of taking the case to a bench or jury trial, contact an attorney who regularly handles these types of cases.  In Northern Kentucky, call Michael Bouldin at 859-581-6453 or email at [email protected].  Call 581-MIKE today.

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