Are Kentucky Courts Closed?

No. Kentucky courts are open. The clerks of all courts throughout the state are accepting filings via eFiling system or by mail. The judges are in the office, secretaries schedule hearings and the clerk’s are accepting filings. The physical courthouse buildings have very limited access during the Covid-19 pandemic and current Governor’s orders, but many of the hearings are still taking place.

That said, courts are considered as an essential operation. Criminal cases involving persons incarcerated have rights to hearings and bond. As such, those cases are moving forward, generally via video from the detention center. Some other cases are being held via Zoom or Skype hearings for status, plea or sentencing.

Some Family law cases are being heard and the type of hearing varies by county and by judge. All cases of domestic violence are proceeding to protect the victims as well as rights of the accused. While investigations have dropped, cases of abuse and neglect are also moving forward. Most of these hearings are being held telephonically or via Zoom/Skype.

If you have questions, contact your attorney. Hiring an attorney who regularly practices in your county is essential to getting the most up to date information about your particular court and upcoming hearings.

If you do not have an attorney and need representation in Northern Kentucky counties of Boone, Campbell and Kenton, contact Michael Bouldin at 859-581-6453 or email

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Filing for Protective Orders & Domestic Violence

With increase of stay at home Orders and alcohol abuse, there has been an increase in Domestic Violence. The Kentucky Courts remain open for both filing and hearings related to domestic violence allegations. The Courts can issue immediate temporary Orders to protect victims, granting protective orders and often restrictions on contact, exclusive use of the home and custody of children.

Often an EPO or DVO is the initial step to filing for custody or divorce. You can still file for divorce, dissolution, custody and protective orders during the Covid pandemic.

If you have been a victim of domestic violence, you should immediately report to the police, sheriff or other authorities. The police will assist in online filing of and request for EPO, emergency protective order. You will still have a hearing, often within 10 days of the filing. The hearing may take place at the courthouse, or via teleconference, Zoom or Skype. The family courts are using various technologies to continue processing complaints and holding hearings so that the rights of both the victims and accused can be held.

Of course, there are many challenges to using technology in place of traditional hearings, but the basic tenets of the hearings remain the same. The court can only issue an EPO for up to 14 days without giving the accused the right to be heard. As such, the band marches on and hearings are being held.

If you have been a victim, FILE and protect yourself. If you have been accused, you have rights to both a hearing, but should be advised that your testimony in a DV hearing may be used for further action regarding potential criminal charges and may affect custody rights.

If you have a pending hearing, it is strongly advisable to have an attorney. For consultation and representation in Northern Kentucky counties, contact Bouldin Law Firm link, email at or call 859-581-6453 (581-MIKE).

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Speeding 100mph? Get an Attorney!

if you have been charged with speeding more than 100mph or 25 over the speed limit, you may lose your license. You should always hire an experienced criminal defense attorney to represent you.

It is highly likely that if speed is more than 25 over limit that in addition to speeding you were also charged with reckless driving, or possibly felony wanton endangerment.

These charges can lead to loss of license, substantial fees and costs, high insurance premiums and possible incarceration.

In Northern Kentucky contact Michael Bouldin by calling 859-581-6453 or email contact here

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Criminal Rights During Emergency Orders

Emergency Orders issued by the governor cannot and do not suspend or supercede the United States Constitution. During this COVID-19 scare, many individuals are worried about their civil rights and liberties, especially those who are charged with a crime.

The courts have also issued orders to provide the greatest leniency during this crisis. Most people facing misdemeanor and traffic charges are being released without bond or even cited and released. The courts are continuing to hold regular hearings for those who are incarcerated to (1) review bonds; (2) hold arraignments via video from the jail; and (3) hold preliminary hearings for those in jail to assure there is probable cause of felony charges are appropriate.

Additionally, criminal defendants who are incarcerated retain their right to a speedy trial guaranteed under the Sixth Amendment. A violation of the Speedy Trial Clause is cause for dismissal with prejudice of a criminal case. Unfortunately, what many defendants believe is speedy and that which has been upheld by the Courts often substantially differ. Those wishing to assert their right to speedy trial should familiarize themselves with Barker v. Wingo (1972). and the Speedy Trial Act of 1974 to determine how these may apply to a specific case.

Do we still have the right to assemble as guaranteed under the First Amendment? The current executive orders do not allow persons to assemble. This does not prohibit the right to coordinate efforts through online forum or other means. It is likely that the current emergency orders issued by the governors in Ohio and Kentucky would survive constitutional scrutiny since they are ostensibly for the greater good due to the hysteria surrounding spreading of Coronavirus and they are specific as to time, location and manner.

If you have been arrested or charged with a crime, you should contact and hire an experienced criminal defense attorney at your earliest convenience. Many times getting an attorney involved early is the best way to a good resolution. For consultation and representation, contact Michael Bouldin by calling 859-581-6453 or email

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Divorce, DVO and Court Filings During Coronavirus Update

As an attorney in this field for 25 years, I wanted to update the public and advise that you can still file for divorce and obtain an Emergency Protective Order (EPO) by filing a Domestic Violence (DV) Petition even during the Covid-19 scare with the courts technically closed.

The courts are remaining open for emergency issues. Those include Protective and other Emergency motions in addition to those arrested and sitting in jail. Most other court dates are being continued to later dates. You can file for an EPO by contacting the county attorney or calling the local District Court Clerk in the county you reside.

Currently, the courts are also processing those filings made online. Online filing does include filing Petition for Divorce/Dissolution in Kentucky. Most domestic attorneys have converted to electronic filing over the past 2 years and can file for divorce/dissolution during these times.

These trying times are exacerbated by financial concerns, loss of employment, unpaid bills and close proximity that quarantines mandate. Add into the mix that many staying at home increase alcohol consumption, and now we have the perfect recipe for domestic violence.

Additionally, the judges are also working during this time. They do have the ability to review all emergency motions and to make rulings. Courts have made various rulings, including restricting visitation, prohibiting travel outside of the US, and suspension of of air travel for children during this period.

If you are a victim of domestic violence, know your rights. Speak to an attorney or victim’s advocate, file for protection and/or file for divorce. The Women’s Crisis Center hotline (800-928-3335) and shelters have remained open. For more information or consultation, contact or call 859-581-6453. If we’re not in, we will get your message and return your call.

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How to Expunge EPO or IPO in Kentucky

As criminal defense attorney I am often asked, “Can I expunge an EPO or DVO?” If certain criteria are met, you can expunge an EPO or IPO in Kentucky. You will need to pay the initial fee of $40.50 for a background check. Once that is certified by the state, your attorney can file to have the records expunged.

Fortunately, Kentucky law does allow people to expunge the records of the EPO filing and proceedings if the proceeding did not result in the issuance of a DVO or IPO.  To be eligible for expungement, the following requirements must be met:

1. The proceeding did not result in the issuance of a DVO or IPO;

2. At least 6 months have elapsed since the dismissal of the case; and

3. During the 6 months prior to the expungement, the person cannot have been bound by a DVO or IPO relating to any other person.

The cost for attorney fees is typically $500, but may vary if you have felony or other issues to expunge from your record. If you have had an EVO or IPO against you dismissed, you are likely eligible to have all the records of the proceedings expunged. 

Contact the Michael Bouldin today by using the link, email or call 859-581-6453 (581-6453) to find out what we can do for you. 

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AI Facial Recognition in Criminal Investigations, Warrants, Charges and Trials

After listening to a recent podcast for facial recognition, Stuff You Should Know, it gave me the thought of a separate article concentrating on crimes and investigations in which Facial Recognition is used to “solve” the crime or identify a suspect. Is every adult now part of a virtual lineup every day?

The 4th Amendment of the US Constitution guarantees persons from unreasonable searches and seizures. Case law around this issue is that it passes constitutional muster so long as they are minimally invasive to the party and the public good outweighs the infringement of rights. The US Supreme Court has found that a copy of voice or handwriting, a lifted fingerprint or found DNA is not a “search and seizure of a person.” There is a requirement to obtain a warrant if requesting a person’s DNA or submission to a fingerprint analysis. As such, it is very unlikely that a court would find that a photo of your face would be a search or seizure subject to constitutional protection.

The second argument against is one of privacy. In general, one cannot have a reasonable expectation of privacy for things put into a public space and there is no expectation of privacy of a person’s physical characteristics, such as voice and handwriting. It would be a stretch to rule that a person as a right to privacy regarding their facial features; especially if they are in public and upload pictures to social media sites.

The use of AI facial recognition has grown considerably in recent year(s) and is growing at a rapid pace. The slope is dangerous and slippery. While most people do not object to using this to catch child predators or to find abducted children, the next few steps would undoubtedly follow. Police in may cities already use Facial Recognition to identify criminal suspects. Recent investigations say that just searching criminal databases has lowered from 30 days for a human to 3 minutes for a computer. Obviously this is a better use of time, but to what extent? Can we use it to identify traffic offenders, speeding, jaywalking or any other typically innocuous crime.

The bigger question is what is the tolerance for mistaken identity? Due to the databases used, it is proven that minorities, particularly African Americans, are more often mistaken than white people. Black women are disproportionately mistaken in Facial Recognition. So if the computer gets it wrong 1% of the time, is that a good result. We get 99 criminals off the street and 1 innocent person gets wrongly accused or convicted. What percent is acceptable? Moreover, is is fair for a person to have to defend themselves from baseless accusations because a computer picked them out of a lineup that they didn’t know they were in?

If used, virtually every person is a potential suspect in every crime and they are part of an ongoing virtual lineup in every case. You may be investigated, questioned, asked for an alibi, or even charged without ever knowing about a case because your face is in any database – mug shot, DMV, Instagram, LinkedIn, FaceBook, etc.

This area is rapidly expanding and there is little hope of putting the cat back into the box. This should be a legislative debate, but unfortunately it will likely first be led by criminal defense attorneys seeking justice for their clients.

If you have been charged with a crime, you need to consult with an experienced criminal defense attorney. For consultation, contact Michael Bouldin by clicking this LINK , email or call 859-581-6453 (581-MIKE).

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Can I Spank My Children?

As both a criminal defense and family law attorney for over 25 years, the answer is not simply that you have the right to spank your children, there are varying degrees that are often interpreted differently by different judges, professionals and social workers.

The general rule is that you can spank your children as a corrective behavior measure so long as it does not leave a mark. Even the question of “leaving a mark” is measured drastically differently depending on a number of factors.

For example, light skinned or white children will more readily show a mark. Most professionals agree that if you spank your children, you should use your hand. That said, a hand print is often the first thing that will arise when they are filing abuse charges.

The second thing that is considered is if it was a thought-out punishment. Spanking while angry or without consideration is generally considered worse and more likely to be abuse. Though out may be 1, 2 or 3 swats, not ongoing or without a plan.

There are also various definitions which are used. The most common place that people go if there is a report of abuse is to Family Juvenile Court for DNA. DNA is Dependency, Neglect and Abuse. The case is sent to Juvenile court where the initial goal is to reunite the children with the parent(s). This is not criminal court and the standard for making a finding is much less than in criminal cases. The parent may be required to take parenting classes, undergo drug/alcohol testing, or seek abuse counseling.

If the county attorney considers it severe, the parent could also be charged with a crime. The standard for a criminal conviction is much greater than that required for a finding in Juvenile court. The defendant is entitled to a jury trial and representation if they cannot afford an attorney.

In defending a criminal charge, KRS 503.110 provides: The use of physical force by a defendant upon another person is justifiable when the defendant is a parent, guardian, or other person entrusted with the care and supervision of a minor or an incompetent person or when the defendant is a teacher or other person entrusted with the care and supervision of a minor, for a special purpose, and: (a) The defendant believes that the force used is necessary to promote the welfare of a minor or mentally disabled person or, if the defendant’s responsibility for the minor or mentally disabled person is for a special purpose, to further that special purpose or maintain reasonable discipline in a school, class, or other group; and (b) The force that is used is not designed to cause or known to create a substantial risk of causing death, serious physical injury, disfigurement, extreme pain, or extreme mental distress.

If you have been charged with child abuse, whether in Juvenile court or as a crime, you should hire an attorney to protect y our rights and advise you though the process. For consultation in Northern Kentucky, contact Michael Bouldin or call 859-581-6453 (581-MIKE) or email

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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.


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.


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

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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

Selected by SuperLawyers for criminal defense in state of Kentucky.
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