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Hopkinsville Kentucky Criminal Law Blog

Victims may recant statements, but that doesn't drop the charge

Domestic violence charges can stem from incidents that weren't necessarily criminal acts. This is because there is a chance that the victim embellished what happened in their statement to the police officers or investigators. Unfortunately, this isn't going to make it any easier for you if you're facing these charges.

One thing that the victim can do is recant their statement. When they do this, they are saying that they want to take the statement back. In some cases, they might opt to change their statement. While this might seem like a good thing, it might not make much of a difference in your case.

A civil and a criminal case can stem from 1 event

When you're charged with a criminal case that involves an injury to another person, there is a chance that you'll have to face more than one court case. This is because the authorities can charge you with a criminal act and the victims of the incident can file a civil claim against you.

There are some big differences between these two types of cases. One of the most important to many people is that the criminal case can result in incarceration, but the civil case can't. For this reason, the criminal case must show that you're guilty beyond a reasonable doubt if you're going to be convicted. The civil case only has to show that you caused the damages by a preponderance of the evidence.

The matter of consent in sex-related criminal charges

Sex-related crimes in Kentucky have a host of conditions that must be met before a person can face a conviction. Understanding some of the ins and outs of these laws is beneficial because it can help you avoid facing situations in which you may be charged with a crime. If you're already facing a charge, knowing these may help you as you set your defense strategy.

A sexual assault charge generally requires a lack of consent from the alleged victim to the sexual contact. A reasonable adult can easily provide consent for sexual activities -- but there are some individuals who are legally unable to give consent. It's important to understand the distinction.

Learn the sentencing factors that impact your case

A person who's facing a felony charge needs to know what factors go into the sentencing phase of these cases. Knowing what the court will look at may help you determine the direction of your case if you're in this position.

Each criminal charge in the justice system has a sentence guideline. These are set to help give judges an idea of what the law deems appropriate for the charge. They are often denoted as ranges and typically give the court a wide berth for determining what sentence to give in a specific case.

Securing your release from jail before your trial

A person who is arrested for a criminal charge might have to spend some time in jail. There are incidents in which this time might last until the trial or until the case is resolved. Many criminal charges require a person to post a bail in order to be released prior to the trial. This is so that the court can ensure the person will appear for the required court appearances.

There are several factors that go into the court's decision to issue a bail amount. The type of charge the person is facing, their criminal history, their ties to the community and the likelihood that they will flee the area before facing the court are some of the things that are considered.

What can cause an officer to suspect you of drunk driving?

Traffic stops for suspected drunk driving are an all-too-common occurrence for automobile drivers here in Kentucky and other parts of the United States. It's the most likely interaction that any average person will ever have with law enforcement in their lives. A police officer is likely to suspect that a motorist who operates their car recklessly is driving under the influence (DUI) more so than others here in Bowling Green.

Driving under the influence is illegal in all 50 states. The legal limit for a blood alcohol content (BAC) here in Kentucky and virtually every other state is .08%. A BAC of .02% for motorists under the age of 21 is considered a DUI here.

What restrictions do I face after a domestic violence conviction?

Domestic violence is a crime in Kentucky much like it is any other state. Individuals who are convicted of this offense may not only face potential criminal penalties for this crime but also have other restrictions placed on them once they've served their time in jail.

Individuals who commit domestic violence often find themselves being served with a protective order before ultimately being charged with a crime. Kentucky judges will generally sign off on these orders in hopes of stopping any future escalation in violence from happening.

What's the long-term impact of being a convicted felon?

When a defendant is facing criminal charges, they often think about the short-term implications of being convicted of a crime such as fines or jail time. They don't tend to think about the long-term impact of being found guilty of a felony. If they were aware of the latter, then they'd likely never agree to accept a plea deal or fight harder to defend themselves in court.

There are some basic civil rights that defendants lose when they're convicted of felony charges including the ability to vote.

Take court-ordered community service seriously

Judges often have considerable leeway when they're handing down sentences in criminal matters. While there are some crimes that are serious and require a person to serve time behind bars, there are other options that judges have for less serious crimes.

One option that might be possible in some cases is community service. This gives the defendant a chance to serve the people in their area as a way to atone for their crimes. The court may order this type of sentence alone, but it is usually combined with other sentence types.

Misdemeanors and felonies have some big differences

People who are facing criminal charges need to find out several key points of information when they're dealing with their case. One of these things is the category of the charge. There are two primary categories – misdemeanors and felonies. The way that your charge is classified can have a big impact on how a conviction impacts your future.

Within each of those categories, there are subcategories, which are known as classes. These are typically lettered with A being the most serious that's associated with the harshest penalties. As you move through the alphabet, the penalties lessen, and the charge isn't considered as serious.

Michael J. Thompson, Attorney at Law

Michael J. Thompson, Attorney at Law
15744 Fort Campbell Blvd
Oak Grove, KY 42262

Toll Free: 866-397-7788
Phone: 270-605-0441
Fax: 270-439-1177
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