Tag Archives: Criminal Law

To Die or Not to Die? That is the Question

Capital Punishment
Supreme Court Chambers

Capital Punishment and Mental Illness:

Whether you are in favor of the death penalty or against it, the following story could lead to a very disturbing result.

Are we going to put to death those who suffer from mental disease? Are the methods we use to determine the issue of  competence outdated?

We are getting ready to find out. See the article below.

Death penalty, the mentally disabled at issue for justices:

http://www.kentucky.com/living/health-and-medicine/article117356973.html

Lexington’s Most Wanted

Check out Lexington’s Most Wanted speddinglawoffices_federalcriminaloffenses1

http://Lexington’s Most Wanted, Nov. 8, 2016 http://www.kentucky.com/news/local/crime/most-wanted/article113348888.html

This is an Advertisement: If you find yourself faced with a criminal offense in Federal Court, consider contacting my office.

For more information: http://speddinglawoffice.com/felonies_misdemeanors/

One Every Ten Years And You Will Be Safe

DUI Ten Year Look-Back Period

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The New Law in KY:

The general public might not be aware that this last Legislative session produced yet another unfair law. Some may believe that people get what they deserve if they drink and drive. However, everyone is still entitled to equal protection under the law.

As you will see in the article below, care of WDRB in Louisville, the issue is whether or not the law can be applied retroactively. The old DUI statute provided for enhanced penalties for each DUI conviction within a 5-year period (commonly referred to as the “look back” period). Defendants relied on that provision when they agreed to plead guilty. This agreement was entered into between the prosecutor and the individual, and accepted by the Court. Now, those same individuals are subject to enhancement for any offense that occurred in a 10 year look-back period.

An Example:

For instance, lets say that Bob is a sophomore at UK. Bob attends a rush party and makes the bad decision to drive home after having a few drinks. This occurs in 2007. That would be Bob’s first offense.

Fast forward to 2016. Bob is a top performer at a sales company. Bob has a wife and three kids. Bob’s  company sponsors a golf scramble and during the reception afterwards, Bob has two drinks over about an hour and a half. Bob leaves, feeling no effects whatsoever from the drinks that he had. On the way home, Bob is stopped for rolling through a stop sign.

From there everything goes downhill. Bob is asked to blow into a portable breath test machine.  Then the officer asks him to submit to a field sobriety test ( in 21 years of practicing DUI defense, I have never seen a person who passed a field sobriety test). Bob is locked up.

Under the old law, because it had been over 5 years since his last conviction,  Bob would be charged with a first offense DUI and be subject to 30 days in jail (which people rarely get), up to a 120 license suspension (which people rarely get), fines and costs and will have to go to DUI school.

Under the new law, the look-back period is 10 years so he will be charged with a 2nd offense, which carries six months in jail with  a mandatory 7 days in jail, a 12 -18 month license suspension, fines and costs and 52 weeks of DUI school.

Obviously, when Bob pled guilty to the DUI in 2007, he did so with the understanding that there would be a 5 year look back period. As he is about to find out, that isn’t so. At least according to some Courts in Kentucky.

IS THIS FAIR?  SEE THE ARTICLE BELOW

Continue reading One Every Ten Years And You Will Be Safe

YOU’VE GOT TO BE KIDDING!

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WDRB in Louisville ran this story. A woman defendant appeared in front of Judge Amber Wolf in open court WITHOUT ANY PANTS ON!

This is not a joke  she was locked up for three days and the jail refused to give her her pants OR ANY FEMININE HYGIENE PRODUCTS! As the Judge says “What the hell is going on”?

Her charge? A first offense shoplifting charge. The prosecutor wanted 75 days in jail.

Open the link below for the story  Unbelievable!

http://ow.ly/HgNj302NdG5

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Don’t get caught with your pants down!  If you find yourself faced with a criminal offense in a Central Kentucky Court, consider contacting my office.  For more information: http://speddinglawoffice.com/felonies_misdemeanors/

I’ve Been Arrested. What Can I Expect From Here?

federalcriminal-offenses

HERE ARE THE STAGES OF A CRIMINAL CASE AS IT GOES THROUGH THE SYSTEM.

Stages of a Criminal Case

Criminal prosecution develops in a series of stages, beginning with an arrest and ending at a point before, during, or after trial. The majority of criminal cases terminate when a criminal defendant accepts a plea bargain offered by the prosecution. In a plea bargain, the defendant chooses to plead guilty before trial to the charged offenses, or to lesser charges in exchange for a more lenient sentence or the dismissal of related charges.

Arrest

Criminal prosecution typically begins with an arrest by a police officer. A police officer may arrest a person if (1) the officer observes the person committing a crime; (2) the officer has probable cause to believe that a crime has been committed by that person; or (3) the officer makes the arrest under the authority of a valid arrest warrant. After the arrest, the police books the person, who is now considered to be a suspect. When the police complete the booking process, they place the suspect in custody. If the suspect committed a minor offense, the police may issue a citation to the suspect with instructions to appear in court at a later date.

Bail

If a suspect in police custody is granted bail, the suspect may pay the bail amount in exchange for a release. Release on bail is contingent on the suspect’s promise to appear at all scheduled court proceedings. Bail may be granted to a suspect immediately after booking or at a later bail review hearing. Alternatively, a suspect may be released on his “own recognizance.” A suspect released on his own recognizance need not post bail, but must promise in writing to appear at all scheduled court appearances. Own recognizance release is granted after the court considers the seriousness of the offense, and the suspect’s criminal record, threat to the community and ties to family and employment.

Arraignment

The suspect makes his first court appearance at the arraignment. During arraignment, the judge reads the charges filed against the defendant in the complaint and the defendant chooses to plead “guilty,” “not guilty,” or “no contest” to those charges. The judge will also review the defendant’s bail and set dates for future proceedings.

Preliminary Hearing or Grand Jury Proceedings

The government generally brings criminal charges in one of two ways: by a “bill of information” secured by a preliminary hearing or by grand jury indictment. In the federal system, cases must be brought by indictment. States, however, are free to use either process. Both preliminary hearings and grand juries are used to establish the existence of probable cause. If there is no finding of probable cause, a defendant will not be forced to stand trial.

A preliminary hearing, or preliminary examination, is an adversarial proceeding in which counsel questions witnesses and both parties make arguments. The judge then makes the ultimate finding of probable cause. The grand jury, on the other hand, hears only from the prosecutor. The grand jury may call its own witnesses and request that further investigations be performed. The grand jury then decides whether sufficient evidence has been presented to indict the defendant.

Pre-Trial Motions

Pre-trial motions are brought by both the prosecution and the defense in order to resolve final issues and establish what evidence and testimony will be admissible at trial.

Trial

At trial, the judge or the jury will either find the defendant guilty or not guilty. The prosecution bears the burden of proof in a criminal trial. Thus, the prosecutor must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant committed the crimes charged. The defendant has a constitutional right to a jury trial in most criminal matters. A jury or judge makes the final determination of guilt or innocence after listening to opening and closing statements, examination and cross-examination of witnesses, and jury instructions. If the jury fails to reach a unanimous verdict, the judge may declare a mistrial, and the case will either be dismissed or a new jury will be chosen. If a judge or jury finds the defendant guilty, the court will sentence the defendant.

Sentencing

During the sentencing phase of a criminal case, the court determines the appropriate punishment for the convicted defendant. In determining a suitable sentence, the court will consider a number of factors, including the nature and severity of the crime, the defendant’s criminal history, the defendant’s personal circumstances and the degree of remorse felt by the defendant.

Appeal

An individual convicted of a crime may ask that his or her case be reviewed by a higher court. If that court finds an error in the case or the sentence imposed, the court may reverse the conviction or find that the case should be re-tried.

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If you find yourself faced with a criminal offense in a Central Kentucky Court, consider contacting my office.  For more information: http://speddinglawoffice.com/felonies_misdemeanors/

Employee Embezzlement: A Fox Guarding the Henhouse

A Fox Guarding the Henhouse:

A story broke today where a long time bookkeeper employee for a small business was arrested for embezzling over $1,000,000 from the company. The employee was considered “family” by the company. The moral of the story is this.

  • Require two signatures for all checks
  • Require your bookkeeper to take at least one vacation per year and while on vacation have an audit done on your books; and
  • Be proactive if you are the business owner.

My experience in law enforcement, retail loss prevention and as a criminal defense attorney have conclusively shown me that once an employee steals from a company once, it becomes an addiction and the theft can be devastating. Remember, nobody cares about YOUR company as much as YOU do.

Please click on the link below to see the story.

http://www.wkyt.com/content/news/KSP-Jessamine-Co-bookkeeper-embezelled-more-than-1M-from-company-387682381.html

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If you find yourself faced with an employee embezzlement issue, consider contacting my office.

For more information: http://speddinglawoffice.com/automotive-law/

A Dangerous Ride: What can happen if you get locked up

This is a strange question, but do you ever see a paddy wagon or other prison transport vehicle and wonder what goes on inside of them? Ever see them on TV?  Well if you are one of those who have, or if not and this post makes you wonder, please click on the link below. It is very disturbing. The moral of the story: Don’t  get locked up. But “Bad Things Happen to Good People” so if you do, CALL ME!

http://www.nytimes.com/2016/07/07/us/prisoner-transport-vans.html?smprod=nytcore-ipad&smid=nytcore-ipad-share&_r=0

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If you find yourself faced with a criminal offense in a Central Kentucky Court, consider contacting my office.  For more information: http://speddinglawoffice.com/felonies_misdemeanors/