What To Do If You Cannot Get Ahold of Your Attorney

Attorneys are notoriously difficult to get in touch with and the successful and busy ones even more so. So here is a list of dos and don’ts if you are having difficulty.

Do:

1. Be patient. This sounds simple but calling 3-5 times does not make the return call any quicker. From the attorney point of view, if everyone called 5 times, it would take five times as long to return everyone’s call.

2. Schedule. It may be difficult to get a hold of the attorney, but generally you can speak with a secretary, receptionist or paralegal. Tell that person that you are having difficulty and need to schedule a meeting or phone consultation. Once you are on the book, your chances are probably near 100% that the conversation can occur.

3. Ask the Paralegal. Similar to #2, the paralegal for the attorney often has great insight into your case and can answer most questions. Sure, some are better saved for the attorney, but others can be answered, handled and even resolved by the paralegal and often at a greatly reduced fee.

4. Discuss with the attorney their caseload and how they prioritize. If I explain that I’ll get to your post decree issue later, that a client is facing 20 years in prison this week, most clients can and do understand.

Don’ts:

A. Do not call repeatedly and leave multiple messages. This ties up the time available to return calls.

B. Do not call another attorney seeking free advice. The attorney handling your case knows about your case. If you seek free advice, you often get what you pay for.

C. Do not immediately change attorneys and give up. You chose this attorney because of their skill, experience among other things. If you want a new attorney who will text you back and immediately take all calls, then hire that attorney from the onset. If you want an attorney with a track record and busy clientele, you may have to occasionally wait.

If problems persist, discuss your concerns and set out expectations of both the attorney and the client. Most often, a compromise can be reached where the client knows that their problems are being addressed and concerns are handled in a timely and efficient manner.

If you are a client, call Emily at 859-581-6453 to schedule. If you need legal advice and do not have an attorney, contact Mike@bouldinlawfirm.com.

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What Does a DUI Cost?

I am often asked, What is the cost of a DUI? The answer is not simple. According to national surveys, the cost of a DUI typically exceed $10,000. The question remains as to what does that cost involve.

A defendant should expect to pay $2,500-$5,000 for an experienced DUI/criminal defense attorney to represent on a first offense DUI charge. The cost may vary depending on the complexity of the case, whether it is a negotiated plea, suppression hearing, bench trial or a jury trial. The cost often also increases if it is a second, third or greater offense.

Other costs which should be considered in Kentucky. A typical assessment for DUI includes a drug & alcohol assessment and is $60. Once assessed, a standard 20 hour class will meet 10 times and costs $25/session.

If convicted, you will lose your license for 30-120 days and face mandatory costs, fees and court costs. The fine for a DUI, 1st offense, will range from $200-500. There is a mandatory DUI service fee in addition to court costs. The total for a minimum ($200) fine will be about $750. If you wish to obtain an ignition interlock device to continue full driving privileges, you will spend an additional $600.

The above examples are for Northern Kentucky. Each state has different mandatory fines as well as court costs. Kentucky charges $40 for reinstatement, while many states vary from $100-1500 for license reinstatement. None of this includes the increase in automobile insurance which is sure to follow a conviction.

If you have been charged with DUI, you should hire an experienced DUI attorney that regularly practices in your county of arrest. The attorney can guide you through the process and give you advice on how to best proceed. This may include a plea, but should include why a plea deal may be better and the consequences of a suppression hearing or trial of the matter.

For consultation in Northern Kentucky or Cincinnati, contact Michael Bouldin at 859-581-6453 or email info@bouldinlawfirm.com.

Selected by SuperLawyers for criminal defense in state of Kentucky.
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Attorney Referrals

Most all attorneys have both a client base as well as a specialty area of practice. When a client comes to you and needs help, it is important to figure out how to best assist. With 25 years experience and nod of respect from SuperLawyers, a large part of my practice comes from attorney referrals.

My main areas of practice are divorce and criminal defense, including DUI. As such, much of my DUI practice comes as referrals from other attorneys. I will not steal your client. Since the attorney already has the relationship with the client, I generally continue to utilize their assistance, especially with client communication, as much or as little as the attorney wants to remain involved.

I have seen many family law attorneys make the mistake of trying to help their client by “handling” their DUI. Often they give poor advice and do not explore how to potentially win the case or when to take a plea. Moreover, they do not know the difference between a good or bad plea deal.

The best advice is to let me help solve your client’s problem. If you email me at mike@bouldinlawfirm.com, I will call or text back to discuss the urgency and temporary advice. I can meet with the client alone or with the other attorney to make for a seamless transition and assure the client that they have the best possible representation.

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Prosecutor Bullying in Lori Loughlin Case

Having practiced criminal defense for 25 years, I am often asked about high profile cases. While they are often treated differently than more average cases, the general public can learn a lot from these types of cases. The current federal case of the United States v. Lori Loughlin is one such example.

The case pending involves allegedly paying bribes in order to obtain admission for the children into various universities. My initial take is that there is a great amount of pressure to plead guilty, which is generally the case with all criminal charges. I believe that Lori Loughlin and most of the others DO have a valid defense. The federal bribery statute prohibits corruptly giving, offering, or promising anything of value to a federal public official or appointee with the intent of influencing him or her to perform an official act or to commit fraud. . It seems to be a stretch that these universities qualify as a federal agency or official. Moreover, the bribes were not paid to the university but to an agent which the stars hired to assist with admission. It may also be interesting defense tactic to determine what is a legitimate gift to the university v. bribe, and can your child receive preferential treatment because of a gift?

The most current development regards the additional charges which the government has brought since they refused to plead guilty. THIS IS A COMMON TACTIC utilized by many prosecutors to force a plea and to punish those who wish to exercise their constitutional rights. Prosecutors ARE bullies. If they are out to protect the public, and they believe that this is a valid additional charge, then all of the defendants should have faced the same charges. The reality is that they are trying to unduly punish those that exercise their right to trial.

If you are a defendant in a criminal case, hire an experienced defense attorney who can advise you throughout the process. Do not assume that the prosecutor is purely interested in justice – they want a guilty verdict. If you are not guilty, the trial tactics are just that and stand up for your rights! For consultation and representation in Kentucky and Ohio, call Michael Bouldin at 859-581-MIKE, that is 859-581-6453 or email mike@bouldinlawfirm.com.

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Cross Examination Can Secure Criminal Acquittal

I recently tried a case in felony court where 3 police officers had testified that the defendant made an admission to the charges. They defendant was charged with 2 counts of burglary and one count of felony tampering with evidence.

Despite the fact that the defendant did not testify at trial the jury still returned a verdict of not guilty after presentation of all evidence. The key to the acquittal was effective cross examination of the police officers.

Review of the police officers investigation revealed that they failed to obtain recording, video or written confession from the defendant. Discovery, discussion and independent investigation also revealed that the police officers did a very ineffective job of actually investigating anything.

The police officers did not check the story of the alleged victim, did not check the validity of the defendants ultimate claims, did not finger print any of the alleged crime scene nor did they photograph any part of the alleged crime scene which could have either exonerated completely the defendant or provided additional evidence for the prosecution.

If you have been charged with a serious crime you need an experienced attorney. For consultation call Michael Bouldin at 859-581-6453 or email mike@bouldinlawfirm.com.

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How to Get the Best Plea Deal

As a criminal defense attorney for over 20 years I am often asked about whether a client should take a plea deal or go to trial. To get the best plea deal the 1st rule of business is to organize your best legal defense.

The most important factor in evaluating whether a prosecutor offers a plea deal is their chance of success at trial. If they have a very good chance of success in gaining a conviction they are less inclined to offer a good deal to the defendant. Conversely, if a conviction is not guaranteed, a better plea deal can generally be negotiated.

Of course there are many other factors that play into a successful plea negotiation. Those include the defendant’s criminal history, the type and nature of the crime, whether rehabilitation outside of jail is likely, and often input from the victum (if any).

If you have been charged with any crime, whether it be a felony or misdemeanor or DUI, you should hire the best criminal defense attorney that you can find.

For consultations in northern Kentucky and Cincinnati call Michael Bouldin at 859-581-6453 (581-MIKE) or email mike@bouldinlawfirm.com. Talk to an experienced attorney before going to court!

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A Confession is Not Always Guilty

Probably the most difficult case to defend is when the defendant gives a confession or admission of guilt. That said, there are many cases where an admission does not mean the person is guilty.

I recently defended a case where 3 police officers alleged that my client confessed to the crime. Where were allegations that the police coerced a confession as well as other allegations that it was fabricated. There was no recording, video, or body cam of any statements of the defendant and there was no written confession.

Case ended up with the jury finding the defendant not guilty of all charges. This, also, without the defendant taking the stand.

That are often other circumstances which may surround an alleged admission. Those may include coercion, threats, or even over statement of what was actually stated. A defendant that is intimidated by the police may agree with their allegations in order to avoid immediate incarceration and arrest.

If you have been charged with a crime he did not commit your need an experienced an attorney. For consultation in Kentucky and Cincinnati call Michael Bouldin at 859-581-6453 or email mike@bouldinlawfirm.com

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How Do I Post Bail Bond?

If you are charged with a crime the court will generally set a bail bond, which is a dollar figure you will be required to post in order to be released from jail pending trial or resolution of your case. In many smaller cases the court will release a person on their own recognizance, which is referred to as an OR Bond, and no money will be required.

In larger cases, or in cases where the person is a risk to themselves or to society, the court will set a cash bond. In many states, a bail bondsman will post the bail and you will pay that person a percentage of the total bail amount. In Kentucky there are no bail bondsmen to assist in providing the funds necessary for release.

As such, a cash bond is generally required for pretrial release from incarceration. There are limited cases in which a percentage of the total bond may be posted, and others in which real estate may be posted in lieu of the cash; this requires court approval. If you or someone you know is incarcerated and cannot acquire the necessary cash for bail, the Defendant may request the court to review and possibly lower the bond requirement.

Bonds may be posted at the local court clerk’s office during business hours, or cash may be taken to the jail/detention center during or after regular business hours. If you have questions about a specific bond, contact the local county detention center. See links to Kenton, Boone, Grant and Campbell county jails.

The purpose of bail bonds is to assure that the Defendant will make at all court appearances and also to protect the public. If the Defendant violates any terms of pretrial release, the bond is subject to forfeiture. If the Defendant cooperates and makes all court appearances, the bond is generally returned to the surety (person who posted) at the conclusion of the case.

Having practiced law for 25 years in Northern Kentucky I am quite familiar with the bond requirement for most charges and how different courts, divisions and judges may address modification of bail bonds. For questions or representation for criminal defense, contact Michael Bouldin at mike@bouldinlawfirm.com or call 581-MIKE, 859-581-6453.

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Is Marijuana Illegal?

Possession of marijuana is still illegal in Kentucky, even though many other states have legalized possession and authorized it as having medicinal value. Possession of under 8 ounces is a misdemeanor and over that amount may bring felony charges. Also, possession of any amount together with a handgun will likely bring felony charges.

One interesting area will be when a person is prosecuted in Kentucky while holding a valid prescription from another state. I believe the full faith and credit argument would apply. I do not believe, however, that you can possess in Kentucky simply because you can possess in Ohio legally; but that a prescription should hinder the prosecution.

Interestingly, marijuana remains on the books as a federal crime as well. While federal prosecutors have not chosen to prosecute sale or possession, it remains as a crime. I would be very interested in the first prosecution of a state or state-run entity by a federal prosecutor.

Recently, Cincinnati has voted to decriminalize possession of under 100 grams (about 4 ounces) of marijuana. The law remains on the books for the state of Ohio. If you intend to smoke, you would be much safer with a prescription. Additionally, it remains illegal to smoke and drive under Ohio OVI laws.

If you have been charged with possession of any drug, even marijuana, you should hire an attorney. If you pay the fine, you have pled guilty and it will remain on your criminal record. Call Michael Bouldin at 859-581-6453 or email mike@bouldinlawfirm.com for more information or consultation.

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Expungement – ReStart Your Life

Your criminal record may be holding you back. Expungement may be the answer to restart your life! Many people do not know how easy it is for a potential employer to look into your criminal background. This may include traffic offenses, misdemeanors, domestic violence and felonies. Fortunately, many of these cases can now be expunged from your record.

Expungement varies from state to state. In Kentucky, any case which is dismissed may be expunged 60 days following the dismissal. This includes EPO, domestic violence allegations, misdemeanors, traffic and felony offenses.

If you have had a felon case proceed through diversion: such as a child support or first time drug possession, you can likely have that expunged after you complete the diversion.

If you have been convicted of a misdemeanor, you will like have to wait 5-7 years before you can have it expunged. The variance is that the 5 year wait only begins after you have completed probation or CD time. Other requirements may include no future offenses and no other offenses within 5 years. DUI cases require a 10 year wait because of the look back period under current DUI laws which enhance penalties.

Only certain felonies are eligible for expungement. Those are typically lower (class D) felonies, all of which are non-violent in nature. Eligible felonies include: child support, PCS and many other drug charges, theft, bad checks, forgery, fraud, and numerous other class D felonies. The process typically takes 30-60 days and is not time intensive for the client.

There is a $40 criminal background check which is required prior to actual filing. The court charges $100 for misdemeanor convictions, $500 for felony convictions and there is no court fee for dismissals and acquittals. Attorney fees typically are $500-1000, depending on the charge. For consultation and representation, call Michael Bouldin at 859-581-6453 or email info@bouldinlawfirm.com.

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