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Hopkinsville Kentucky Criminal Law Blog

Self incrimination, the truth and how they work in criminal cases

Have you ever paid attention to the oath that you have to take before you testify before a court? This same requirement to speak truthfully is something that you will encounter at various stages of the criminal justice process. If you aren't truthful, there is a good chance that you might face perjury charges for lying under oath.

We understand that you might be a bit confused about how you are supposed to tell the truth about everything and not face the possibility of incriminating yourself. This is quite the conundrum, but there is a way that you can do this. You can opt not to answer any questions by pleading the Fifth Amendment of the Constitution.

Command respect when you invoke your right to remain silent

You have the right to remain silent if you are being questioned in relation to a crime. You can invoke this right whenever you feel the need if you are dealing with law enforcement officers. There are a few points that you need to remember if you are ever put in a position where you might want to do this.

When you do opt to invoke this right, you need to make sure that you are very clear about what you are saying. Once you state that you are going to remain silent, you should stick to that statement. Don't answer any questions or make any other statements. You are actually protecting yourself by invoking this right, so don't mess that protection up by saying anything.

Don't try to hide from criminal charges; they do catch up to you

Nobody wants to think about having to face felony charges over the holidays. This is one reason why many people try their best to stay on the right side of the law toward the end of the year. Still, there are some circumstances that are out of your control. If you are one of the people who finds yourself fighting for your freedom right now, you need to know that you do have someone on your side. We are here to help you find out what options you have to present a defense.

One thing to remember if you know that you are facing criminal charges is that they aren't going to go away on their own. Instead, you have to work to get them out of your life. There aren't any guarantees in the criminal justice system, so we will stand by your side to ensure that we are standing up for your best interests throughout the process.

Impaired driving in Kentucky can land you in jail

The holiday season is here, which means that adults are probably going to have invitations to office Christmas parties and other festive occasions. If you are planning on attending any of these, you need to properly prepare so that you don't have to face the decision about whether you are sober enough to drive or not. Typically, it is best to plan for a ride home than it is to face a drunk driving charge.

The laws in Kentucky about drunk driving are pretty cut and dry. Adults who are 21 years old or older can't have a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08 percent or more and still be able to legally drive. For drivers who are under 21 years old, the limit is .02 percent.

Don't get caught driving drunk this holiday season

If you are planning on heading out to the local pubs or other parties for football, basketball or the holiday festivities, you need to make sure that you have transportation back home if you plan on drinking a few. There are some instances in which you might not be able to plan in advance. We understand that things happen that you can't control, such as a designated driver backing out or even inadvertently having one sip of alcohol.

One thing that you need to remember is that if you've had any alcohol at all, you are taking a risk if you try to drive home. Any little error you make when you drive might be construed as a reason to pull you over. While this can happen even if you haven't been drinking, it might seem like there is an increased chance if you've had even a sip of alcohol and can still smell it on your breath.

Try not to bank on one strategy in criminal defense cases

A criminal case requires you to spend a lot of time preparing for a trial. Many defendants automatically assume that they will be able to work out a plea deal if they do acknowledge that they did the crime. While this is a possibility, there is another facet of criminal justice that you need to think about.

Most criminal cases do end with a plea agreement, but you have to think about what happens if you can't work one out. If you've spent all your time banking on the plea deal, you might not have a suitable defense when it comes time for you to face a jury.

Criminal investigations depend on the circumstances of the crime

The investigative process is very important in the criminal justice system. Anyone who is accused of committing a crime and has charges levied against him or her will likely have been the subject of some type of investigation. The type of investigation depends on the circumstances of the criminal act.

One of the most obvious ways that a crime is investigated happens when the police officer sees someone doing something illegal. In this case, the officer will likely ask questions after catching the person red-handed. The arrest could follow quickly after this since the officer witnessed the crime.

You have options when you are facing criminal charges

The criminal justice system and the juvenile justice system are two independent entities. While some of the concepts used in one differs from the other, there are many similarities. Whether you are facing a charge or your child is facing one, we can help you evaluate the possible defenses you might launch for the case.

There are many different things to look at when you are facing criminal charges. One of these is finding out what you might do if you are going to go to trial. For adults, this would likely be a jury trial, but for juveniles, this is a trial before a judge. In each case, you have to think about the person or people who will hear your case. The defense has to be tailored to them.

Kentucky's juvenile justice system is a model for others

People who are facing a first-time arrest usually aren't hardened criminals who deserve the proverbial book to be thrown at them. Instead, some of these people need to have someone redirect them back toward a productive life that isn't riddled with crime. This is true for young defendants, including those in the juvenile justice system.

The purpose of the juvenile justice system is to help rehabilitate the juvenile. This doesn't always happen. In fact, 91 percent of juveniles who are sentenced to detention won't have any form of rehabilitation while they are behind bars. For these juveniles, the system is actually failing them.

Understand the right to trial by a jury of your peers

One of the rights of some criminal defendants is having a trial before a jury of their peers. Many people think that this Sixth Amendment right is present in all criminal cases, but this isn't the case. Defendants who aren't facing at least six months in prison aren't automatically afforded the right to a jury trial.

If you are considering pushing your case to a jury trial, you should understand that a jury of your peers doesn't mean that you are going to have a jury full of people who are the same age, race, economic status or gender as you. Instead, the interpretation of a jury of your peers means that the jury will be comprised of people who represent a cross-section of your community.

Michael J. Thompson, Attorney at Law

16360 Fort Campbell Blvd.
Oak Grove, KY 42262
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Phone: 270-605-0441
Toll Free: 866-397-7788
Fax: 270-439-1177

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