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. You may be part of a lineup every day without knowing it.

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 mike@bouldinlawfirm.com 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 mike@bouldinlawfirm.com.

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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.

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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