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Covington Criminal Defense Law Blog

What do Kentucky residents need to know about BAC levels?

Of all the criminal charges that a Kentucky resident could face, most people know quite a bit about drunk driving charges. DUIs are fairly common, and it wouldn't be surprising if most of our readers either know someone who has been arrested for DUI before or have been arrested themselves. However, despite the fact that DUI arrests are quite commonplace, the view of those who are arrested seems to only get worse.

There is no denying that facing a DUI charge is a serious matter. But, do most people know what one of the key pieces of evidence is in a DUI case? The answer - the suspect's alleged blood alcohol content level.

The right approach on cyber theft crimes

The last year has seen a lot of media coverage of cybercrimes across the country. The hacking of several different major retail companies, resulting in the credit card information for millions of consumers being taken, has been a seemingly regular occurrence. Another instance of cybercrime, the recent hack of Sony Pictures, allegedly by agents of North Korea, is yet another example of a high-profile criminal case shining the spotlight on potential cyber theft crimes.

Of course we all want to be safe and secure in our digital information and assets, but can this be taken too far? Many law enforcement agencies throughout the country, including in Kentucky, have been shifting resources to combat cybercrimes.

What are the specifics of an intoxicated manslaughter charge?

Anyone who gets arrested on drunk driving charges in Kentucky knows that they are facing a very serious situation. However, there are certain types of scenarios in which a DUI charge isn't just a run-of-the-mill case - things can be much worse. For instance, what if an alleged drunk driver causes an accident? And what if someone dies in that accident? Chances are that alleged drunk driver will be facing an intoxicated manslaughter charge.

But, what exactly is intoxicated manslaughter? Well, the charge is technically called manslaughter in the second degree, a Class C felony. This charge will be filed if a prosecutor decides that the arrestee "wantonly" caused another person's death. Under the applicable Kentucky statute, incidents involving the operation of a motor vehicle are specifically cited.

54-year-old man faces drug charges after traffic stop

Our Kentucky readers who have seen previous posts here know that traffic stops are probably the biggest source of drug arrests. It is a scenario that is quite common, but still a bit unbelievable: a cop pulls someone over for, say, a busted taillight; the cop then asks the driver some routine questions, and maybe "Do you mind if I search your car?"; and then the driver says, "Sure" - and that's when drugs are discovered in the vehicle.

It makes most people ask, "Why would a driver voluntarily allow a police officer to search their vehicle if they know they have something illegal?" Well, probably the most obvious answer is that many people simply don't know that they have the right to refuse.

Possession of a firearm by a convicted felon in Kentucky

Firearm laws vary quite a bit from state to state. In some states openly carrying a weapon could get someone arrested. In others, the presence of a weapon during the commission of a crime elevates the charge to a higher level of felony. In Kentucky, one particular law could lead to serious weapons charges for a certain group of people: convicted felons.

As is the case throughout the country, it is illegal for someone who has been convicted of a felony to own or possess a firearm in Kentucky. It doesn't matter what type of firearm it is either - shotgun, rifle or handgun. Although, according to the Kentucky statute, if the firearm in question is a handgun, the charge will be a Class C felony instead of a Class D felony.

Defending against aggressive prosecution in a sex crimes case

When a Kentucky resident is facing a sex crimes charges, there is almost always a wide variety of fallout. For starters, sex crimes cases often generate quite a bit of media attention right from the start, and there seemingly is never any coverage of someone who is exonerated or found not guilty if the charges weren't correct. But, when the media coverage starts, the damage to reputation is done.

Beyond the negative media attention, a suspect will often have problems in their professional life. Even if the case turns out to be false accusations, many employers simply do not want the distraction that could come with employing someone who at one time faced sex crimes charges. It would take quite a unique employer indeed to stick with an employee throughout this type of ordeal.

What is an ignition interlock device?

Any of our Kentucky readers who have seen previous posts here know by now that all DUI charges should be taken seriously. Even first-time offenses, which are usually charged as misdemeanor offenses, can lead to a lengthy driver's license suspension, a probation term and possibly even a few days in jail. However, it is repeat DUI offenders who face the most severe punishments, including prison sentences and the possibility of having an ignition interlock device installed in their vehicle.

Many Kentucky residents may be wondering, what exactly is an ignition interlock device? For those who have never seen these devices in action before, the concept is actually quite simple. First, the device is installed and connected to the ignition in an offender's vehicle. From there, each time that the offender needs to drive the vehicle that person must first provide a breath sample by blowing into the device - similar to the standard breathalyzer instrument used in most DUI stops.

DUI charge could be dropped if driver was having a medical issue

Some arrest reports can have a certain level of shock value, and as a result the named defendant can face immediate prejudice as well as a devastating hit to their personal and professional reputation. For instance, many of our readers may have heard about a bus driver who was arrested on November 23 on drunk driving charges. While obviously bus drivers don't typically work on a non-school day, this case was different: this alleged drunk driver was transporting 41 high school students, as well as several chaperones, from a field trip to Louisiana.

The shock value of this report is obvious: a bus driver allegedly driving under the influence of alcohol with students as her passengers. However, as is the case with many arrests, there is quite a bit more to this story.

An overview of burglary charges in Kentucky

As is the case with most crimes, the severity of burglary charges varies depending on the circumstances. In Kentucky, the burglary statutes classify the crime in the first, second or third degree, with first degree burglary obviously the most serious. Burglary is always a felony charge.

The least severe burglary charge, burglary in the third degree, comes into play when a suspect is alleged to have entered a building. Note that the law does not require that the suspect actually enter the building by force, or "break in" - a person can be charged with burglary even if they simply open an unlocked or faulty door on a building where they don't belong. However, the key element of the charge is that the suspect entered the building with the intent to commit a crime, usually theft. Third degree burglary is a Class D felony.

What are the possible penalties with a theft charge?

There are a couple of different approaches that states take when it comes to prosecuting theft crimes. In one approach, the simpler approach, the unlawful taking of any type of property from another person is considered theft, and the charge is usually a felony. This applies no matter what the property is or what the property's value is. However, another approach is to break down the charges based on the value of the property that was alleged to have been stolen. This is the approach taken in Kentucky.

So, what is the range of penalties associated with a theft charge in Kentucky? Well, the law begins with the basic presumption that the unlawful taking of any property is a Class A misdemeanor. A Class A misdemeanor is the highest level of misdemeanor charge, which means that the potential penalty goes up to 12 months in jail, with a minimum of 90 days. A fine of $500 could also be levied.

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