Facing Criminal Charges
We understand that facing criminal charges is a daunting situation. You may fear damage to your reputation, occupation, personal relationships, and the loss of your liberty. Our attorneys will carefully review your case to determine how best to preserve your legal and constitutional rights and achieve a favorable outcome. Depending on the circumstances, we will facilitate diversion, work with prosecutors to reduce or dismiss charges, negotiate sentences, or formulate defenses and proceed to trial. Throughout your case, we will help you understand Kentucky’s criminal procedure and the effects of the charge on your life.
About Our Firm’s Criminal Defense Practice
Our firm’s criminal defense practice focuses on first-time offenders, youthful offenders, and persons seeking to avoid future contact with the criminal justice system. Even if the crime charged carries a low penalty, hiring a defense attorney has clear advantages over facing the charge alone and deciding to plead guilty without a lawyer’s advice. Our knowledge of criminal law and procedure allows us to not only negotiate with prosecutors, but keep you informed about the case and manage your expectations regarding possible results. If applicable to your case, we may also have your bond reduced, gather evidence needed for your defense, assist you in entering a diversion program, and more.
Commonly Charged Criminal Offenses
The range of chargeable offenses is vast, so feel free to contact our firm on any criminal matter whether or not listed specifically here. Examples of offenses our firm handles include:
- Drug Possession, i.e. Possession of Marijuana, KRS 218A.1422.
- Status/Juvenile Offenses, i.e. Possession of Alcohol, KRS 244.085.
- Public Intoxication, KRS 525.100 and Alcohol Intoxication, KRS 222.202.
- Disorderly Conduct, KRS 525.060.
- Theft Offenses, i.e. Theft By Deception, KRS 514.040.
- Criminal Mischief / Property Damage, KRS 512.030.
- Identity Theft, KRS 514.160.
- Forgery, KRS 516.040.
- Assault, KRS 508.030.
- Menacing, KRS 508.050.
- DUI, i.e. Operate Motor Vehicle Under Influence of Alcohol / Drugs, KRS 189A.010.
- Traffic Offenses, i.e. Reckless Driving or Careless Driving, KRS 189.290.
Frequently Asked Questions
- Why hire an attorney if the charge is a pre-payable offense? Why hire an attorney if the prosecutor might offer me a plea?
- A charge that is pre-paid counts as a guilty plea. Similarly, a plea may be offered but this means that you are pleading guilty to some charge(s). In either case, you end up with guilty verdicts on your record. In some cases, expungement may be available, but the charge will remain on your record until it is expunged, if this is even possible.Many clients have told us they were unaware that these charges would remain on their criminal records, and years later asked us for assistance in removing them. However, it is easier to prevent charges from getting on their in the first place than to try to deal with them after the fact. If you do not want charges on your record, then you should strongly consider hiring an attorney when charges are first filed.
- Why do attorneys say I should not talk to the police or others when I am charged with a crime?
- A law professor and former criminal defense attorney lists the reasons why talking about the incident with anyone but your attorney is a bad idea in this video, viewed almost 2 million times: Don’t Talk to Police. But to sum up, it cannot help your case.No amount of describing the situation that led to the criminal charges will make those charges go away. The prosecution has the burden of presenting facts to show a crime was committed by a particular defendant beyond a reasonable doubt. A talkative defendant provides evidence and may in fact unintentionally mention details that make the case easier for a prosecutor to prove. You never know when your statements are being recorded. Memories are imperfect and it is sometimes difficult to recall details, which makes you appear uncertain or suggests that you covering something up. Let the attorney handle what facts already exist and do not add to potential evidence against you by making statements you are not required to make.
- Do officers have the right to search my vehicle, pat me down, etc.?
- Police officers have the right to conduct a search if they see a crime occurring or if they obtain a warrant based on probable cause or reasonable suspicion that a crime is occurring or has occurred. Under either circumstance, the search is supposed to be confined only to the area where the drugs could be held, a weapon could be hidden, etc. That is, the scope of a search is generally very narrow.If an officer asks you if he or she may search your vehicle, pat you down, etc., he or she is asking because there is no probable cause or reasonable suspicion. You do NOT have to consent to the search. Rarely, if ever, is this actually beneficial to you. If you consent to a search and illegal items are found, you may be placed under arrest and the items obtained in the search may be used against you.An officer is NOT required to tell you that the search is optional. Officers know this and try to make is sound like the search is mandatory or pressure you into agreeing. They will usually accept anything other than a refusal as your consent to the search (example: saying “I guess so” or “if you have to” will probably provide sufficient consent). Therefore, it is generally best to politely and clearly refuse an officer’s search request.
- What is criminal diversion?
- Diversion is a program usually offered for less serious offenses whereby a criminal defendant pays a fine, performs some community service, or completes restitution in exchange for having the charges dismissed. It exists to reduce the number of cases on the criminal docket and reserve resources for more serious cases. If the defendant does not complete the terms of diversion or receives other criminal charges while diversion is underway, the county attorney usually rescinds the offer and proceeds with general prosecution.Our firm is experienced with the terms of diversion and can work towards getting the prosecution and court to agree to it. Diversion is a preferred scenario for many clients, but in some cases alternatives may be preferable: accepting a plea, going to trial, etc. We can advise clients on the ramifications of entering into diversion or pursuing alternative defenses.
- What is the difference between a misdemeanor and a felony?
- A misdemeanor is a charge that carries a maximum penalty of up to 365 days in jail. It may be brought by a citation (issued by a police officer) or a warrant (sworn out by any person, including a private citizen). Misdemeanors are heard in District Court.A felony is a charge that carries a minimum penalty of 1 year in jail. It may be brought by a citation, warrant, or grant jury indictment (jury of peers review allegations and formally accuse the person of the crime). Felonies are heard in Circuit Court.In Kentucky both misdemeanors and felonies are classified by the letters A through D, with A being the most severe. See the Kentucky Criminal Law Manual.
- What makes a good criminal defense attorney?
- A good criminal defense attorney is knowledgeable about the law, familiar with the legal procedures, a good communicator, and makes the client feel comfortable. A criminal defense attorney should care about the resolution of the client’s situation as if it were his or her own, and demonstrate this by being attentive to the case and easy to get a hold of.A lot of times clients are embarrassed about criminal charges or simply scared about what might happen to them. While the attorney might not have personally faced similar charges, he or she should be empathetic to the situation and relate to the client as best as possible.If you are considering hiring our firm to assist in your criminal defense, please contact us. We are confident you will find us to be knowledgeable and empathetic.
Legal Services Offered and Cost
Legal fees: hourly rate, or flat fee may be available depending on circumstances
Filing fees and other costs: fine and court costs possible, depending on the case. Please contact our firm for more information given the circumstances of your charge(es).
- Review of client’s information and charge information
- Case evaluation to determine how best to contest the charge(es)
- Meeting with client to prepare defense and/or plea arrangement
- Negotiations with prosecutor
- Representation at trial, if necessary and agreed to by firm
- Communication with client as to final resolution of criminal charge(es)
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