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Hopkinsville Kentucky Criminal Law Blog

Public nudity can often lead to criminal charges

Sex crimes come in many different forms. While some of these involve penetration and physical contact, others don't. One example of a criminal act that doesn't require any contact is indecent exposure. You might not think much about this crime, but it can have serious impacts on your future if you are convicted.

Many factors come together to determine whether a person committed the crime of indecent exposure. One of the primary ones is that you have to expose bare genitals. When those are covered by clothing, even if it is skimpy, you aren't guilty of indecent exposure.

Indictments are only required in some cases

There are many steps that occur in a criminal case. Some of these only happen in some cases and not others. One of these is the grand jury process. When the grand jury reviews a case, they are trying to determine whether there is enough evidence to warrant a criminal trial. If they find that there is, they will issue an indictment. The prosecutor can choose to abide by that indictment and bring charges or they can decline to follow the indictment and not press charges.

Not all cases are handled through a grand jury. Federal cases that are felonies must go through the grand jury. It is up to each state to determine which cases must be handled in this manner. The rules of the specific court system will apply to the grand jury proceedings if they are used.

Know about your defense options for domestic violence charges

Facing domestic violence charges isn't an easy feat. You have to think carefully about which defense options will apply to your case. This means that you must consider the factors of the incident to determine your defense strategies.

One of these is that you can claim that there is no proof that you were violent toward your partner or spouse. You will have to make the jury question whether the prosecutor's case is believable. If the jury convicts you, the jurors must believe that you committed the crime beyond a reasonable doubt. Being able to make them question any element of the prosecutor's claims might result in a not guilty finding.

Know what defense options you can utilize in a criminal case

Criminal charges can impact your life in a variety of ways. The criminal justice system in the United States is based on the premise that defendants are innocent until they are found guilty in court; however, this isn't always the way that society will view the matter. For some defendants, having to deal with the social repercussions of these charges becomes overwhelming. People, even some that are close to the person, might begin to think the defendant is guilty.

We know that there are many ways that this can affect you right now. Your family members might turn their back on you. Your friends might leave. You might lose your job. You may lose your home. All of these might occur before you are ever convicted, but they can become more likely if you are convicted.

Rape charges can stem from various situations

Anytime you have sexual contact with someone, you must have that person's consent. There is a chance that you might face criminal charges if you don't. One of the possibilities for this is rape. Many people view rape as the most serious of sex crimes, and for good reason.

In order to be charged with rape, there has to be penetration, even if it is only slight penetration. Each instance of penetration equates to one count of rape. There are many different instances in which rape can occur. Those are considered when charges are levied, and some of these points might have an impact on the sentence you are facing if you are convicted.

Don't overlook the long-term impacts of your defense strategy

Criminal defense strategies have to take the facts of the case into account. There are many things that this might entail, so you must look at the circumstances surrounding the situation. We know that you may have some questions about what you can do and how the options might impact your case. We are here to answer those questions so that you can determine what to do for your defense.

Some people think that all criminal cases should be handled in the same manner. This isn't how things work. Even when charges are similar, defense strategies must be customized to the unique facts of a case. You can't set up a defense strategy for one drug charge based solely on what worked in another case with similar points. We can help you to review your options and consider how they might impact your needs.

Law enforcement officers are watching for impaired drivers

Keeping the roads safe is one of the priorities for police officers who are on patrol. One of the hazards that they have to try to fight on a daily basis is drunk drivers. Each time a drunk driver is able to operate a vehicle on the road, they can put themselves and others in danger.

As the Memorial Day weekend approaches, anyone who is going to be around alcohol needs to remember that they can face criminal charges if they try to drive anywhere after having a few drinks. With the increases in patrols that come with holiday weekends and the summer months, knowing what police officers look for when they are trying to spot impaired drivers can help you immensely.

Avoiding self incrimination: What your rights really are

One of the criminal rights that every person should know and invoke is the right to not incriminate themselves. The United States Constitution's Fifth Amendment includes a clause that notes that no person can be forced to become a witness against themselves in court. Even though that sounds straightforward, there are some points that you should know about this fundamental right.

Defendants in criminal cases can't be tortured or coerced in any manner to try to get them to make statements that show they are guilty of a crime. This is traced back to England when Puritans refused to provide information to interrogators. When some of the individuals came to the United States from England, they brought the concept to this country.

Registered sex offenders have serious limitations

Being convicted on some sex crimes requires that the person be placed on the sex offender registry. This designation means that the person has to comply with some very strict laws. Failing to obey those laws can mean that the person might face new criminal charges that have serious consequences.

One aspect of life that is limited for these individuals is where they can reside. They are prohibited from living within 1,000 feet of a school, licensed daycare facility or publicly owned playground. This is often difficult, because if a new licensed daycare or other prohibited facility opens within that distance, the person has only 90 days to move to remain in compliance with the restriction.

Defenses against sex crime charges shouldn't be rushed

Some criminal charges seem much worse than others simply because of the person who is considered the victim in it. One of these is when there is a sex crime charge pending against someone. These charges usually involve very personal facts about the victim, so they are often delicate matters. Trying to present a defense in these cases is a complex undertaking.

One thing that you don't want to do is to seem like you are attacking the victim in court. This makes it very challenging to be able to call the person's past intimate activities in question. For example, if you are accused of rape, but the person was a known personal escort, it might be hard to bring up that point without making it seem like you are bashing the victim.

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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