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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DUI Day! Welcome to Black Friday!

Every year there are more DUI charges on the Wednesday before and the Friday following Thanksgiving than any other day of the year. Hiring a good DUI attorney is the most important thing you can do following an arrest. Many people believe that New Years Eve would be the busiest day, however that day is reserved for professionals and most people have a plan prior to the beginning of the evening.

Wednesday before Thanksgiving, however, is generally last minute plans and over-imbibing. Many students come home for the first time since leaving for college. They see their old friends and have a newfound love for beer. Bars, pubs and restaurants run specials all night because most of them are closed on Thursday.

Having practiced law for 25 years, I have run a similar post many times. It almost always generates a few leads and at least one or two new clients. Of course, DUI and OVI charges occur throughout the year. If you were charged with DUI this week(end), get an experienced attorney to help you through the process. An attorney will discuss your chances of an acquittal as well as guide you through the process. This may include hardship license, Ignition Interlock or avoidance of incarceration. See also what to do if you get arrested.

For consultation in Northern Kentucky or Cincinnati, contact Michael Bouldin at 859-581-MIKE (859-581-6453) or email mike@bouldinlawfirm.com. Contact form LINK.

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What Is a DUI Aggravator?

Kentucky law allows enhancement of a DUI charge if there are one one of 6 aggravators. If a person pleads or is found guilty of a DUI, their sentence is enhanced (made worse) if any of these aggravators exist. On a first offense, an aggravating circumstance mandates 4 days in jail. On subsequent offense, the aggravator doubles the minimum jail sentence.

The basic aggravators are listed in KRS 189A.010, as follows: (11)

  • (a) Operating a motor vehicle in excess of thirty (30) miles per hour above the speed limit;
  • (b) Operating a motor vehicle in the wrong direction on a limited access highway;
  • (c) Operating a motor vehicle that causes an accident resulting in death or serious physical injury as defined in KRS 500.080 ;
  • (d) Operating a motor vehicle while the alcohol concentration in the operator’s blood or breath is 0.15 or more as measured by a test or tests of a sample of the operator’s blood or breath taken within two (2) hours of cessation of operation of the motor vehicle;
  • (e) Refusing to submit to any test or tests of one’s blood, breath, or urine requested by an officer having reasonable grounds to believe the person was operating or in physical control of a motor vehicle in violation of subsection (1) of this section;  and
  • (f) Operating a motor vehicle that is transporting a passenger under the age of twelve (12) years old.

It should be noted, that if there is a death or serious physical injury as in subsection (c), most police and prosecutors will also file additional charges. These are often FELONY charges and require additional legal work. Additionally, KRS 189A.010(11)(e) should not apply if the person is charged with a first offense dui. This is because the first offense apply to those aggravators that occur while driving the vehicle.

Most importantly, an attorney can work to try to dismiss the aggravator when entering a plea and/or discuss alternatives to incarceration.

If you have been charged with DUI or any other motor vehicle offense, you should discuss your case with an experienced criminal/DUI defense attorney. For consultation and representation in Northern Kentucky, contact Michael Bouldin at mike@bouldinlawfirm.com or call 859-581-6453 )581-MIKE.

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When is a .200 Not a DUI?

I recently had a client that was cited for DUI after blowing a .206 breathalyzer. The charges were ultimately dismissed. How?

Often the full story is not told until an attorney obtains discovery and then further investigates and uncovers all of the evidence. This may be more than the prosecution or officers give in traditional discovery.

I talked to my client, obtained discovery, then met with the client again to get the rest if the story. He’s had been asleep in his truck after a night at the bar. The official report was that he wad parked at UDF and the car was running. The rest of the story showed that his truck wad to large for the bar lot and UDF was across the street.

Witnesses were interviewed who said he left the bar at 1:00 a.m. and had not left the parking spot since that time. He was arrested at 5:00 a.m. Further investigation revealed that three temperature was only 10 degrees that night and the vehicle was runningonly for warmth.

Kentucky has multi party testy to see if a person is in physical control of a vehicle and subject to a driving charge. Ultimately it was proven that this defendant was not and the DUI was dismissed.

If you are charged with DUI or any crime, hire an experienced criminal defense attorney. For consultation in Northern Kentucky or Cincinnati contact Michael Bouldin at mike@bouldinlawfirm.com or call 859-581-6463.

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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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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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What To Expect After DUI Arrest In Kentucky

If you have been arrested for DUI in Kentucky, there are a number of steps.

First, you will appear in court soon after the arrest. If you are in custody, you will appear on the next business day. On a first offense, you will typically be granted an OR (own recognizance) bond after you have been in jail for 3-5 hours. If you are released from jail, you will be given paperwork with your next court date, which is generally in 1-2 weeks.

Your first appearance is called arraignment. The arraignment is simply to advise you of the charges, potential penalties and allow for a plea of either guilty or not guilty. If you plead guilty, you will be sentenced at that time. It is strongly recommended that you hire an attorney as early in the process as possible. If you have not yet consulted an attorney, plead NOT GUILTY and then ask for time.

After your Not Guilty plea, the case will be scheduled for a Pre-Trial Conference. This gives the defense attorney an opportunity to review all of the case file, including video, officer notes, field notes, and reports. Often the attorney will also “pre-try” the case with the arresting officer to determine the strength of the prosecution’s case as well as any suppression issues which may be present.

Possible penalties for first offense DUI in Kentucky include 3-30 days of jail and/or $200-500 fine, 30-120 day license suspension, mandatory DUI service fee, court costs, Alcohol/Drug evaluation and any classes recommended (20 hour minimum). The costs and fees will range from $750-$1050. If an aggravating circumstance exists, there is a mandatory 4 days of incarceration.

Realize that often there are other charges which accompany a DUI. Those may be traffic offenses, license or insurance issues, or possession of some other illegal substance. Citations may also include felony charges for wanton endangerment, assault, or homicide charges. These may be dismissed or may be more serious than the DUI charge and require special care.

If you have been charged with DUI or any other crime in Kentucky, you should seek legal advice and hire an experienced criminal defense attorney. For consultation in Northern Kentucky or Cincinnati, call Michael Bouldin at 859-581-6453 or email mike@bouldinlawfirm.com.

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What is a Kiddie / <21 DUI?

A Kiddie DUI, or DUI for a person under the age of 21 years, can be charged if the driver is under the age of 21 and has a blood alcohol level over .02. The legal limit for a person over the age of 21 is .08.

A person can be convicted of DUI, or driving under the influence, based on a number of factors. Typically, a DUI is for driving while under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol. A conviction can be obtained if the defendant is driving a motor vehicle and under the influence or impaired by drugs or alcohol, or combination. Even if impairment is not noted, a person can be convicted if they are operating a vehicle with a blood alcohol over .08.

Regardless of age, generally if the driver has a blood or breath alcohol level over .08, they will be charged with thee standard adult DUI. Similarly, if the BAC level is over .15, the defendant will most likely be charged with an aggravated DUI, regardless of age.

A finding or plea to an Under 21, or Kiddie, DUI, has different consequences than a regular DUI. First, the fines are only up to $200 and there is no DUI service fee; as such the total cost is about $300 instead of $750. Additionally, an <21 DUI is not enhanceable, should the person later be charged with a 2nd DUI. Finally, there is a “zero tolerance” class that the < 21 defendant must take that differs from the minimum 20 hour DUI class.

If you have been charged with a DUI, whether regular, aggravated, high tier, or < 21, you should hire with an attorney. For consultation in Cincinnati or N.Ky., call Michael Bouldin at 859-581-6453 or email mike@bouldinlawfirm.com.

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