Michael J. Thompson, Attorney at Law

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Hopkinsville Kentucky Criminal Law Blog

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.

Know how and when to invoke your Miranda rights

When you are being detained and police want to question you, they must read you your Miranda rights before they get started with the questions. These are fundamental rights that you have according to the Fifth Amendment of the Constitution. The need for police officers to inform you of these rights was firmly established in Miranda v. Arizona. The U.S. Supreme Court issued the ruling in 1966 and it has been upheld since. Some defense strategies include claims of rights violations.

There are four things that must be included in the Miranda warning. None of these can be missing, but each police department can word the warnings differently as long as the meaning remains consistent. These warnings include that you can remain silent, that your statements can be used against you in court, that you have the right to have an attorney and that you can have a court-appointed attorney if you can't afford one.

Domestic violence cases can creep into family law cases

Being charged with domestic violence is a serious accusation. Not only will you possibly have to face the criminal court system, but this charge can also filter over into other areas of your life. There are some instances in which the domestic violence issues might creep into a family law case. This is sometimes the case when there are accusations that your children witnessed the events.

We know that this is a frightening time for you. It is imperative that you take the time to review your options for handling the case. One thing that you must remember is that you can't contact anyone if there is a protective order in place between you and them. If this is your spouse, you might be facing a very difficult road. In some instances, the court might include your children in the order, which means that you won't have time alone with them. It is possible that you might have supervised visits.

Know the factors that are used for sentencing

Many factors affect the defense of a criminal charge, so anyone who is facing these charges must consider carefully what they will do at each stage of the process. One component of the trial that many people might overlook is the sentencing phase. Some might think that they don't have to worry about it because they assume that they will be found not guilty. Even if you think that, it is still a good idea to consider what might come into the picture with sentencing.

There are several factors that are used to determine what sentences defendants face. When the case is complex, there is likely a pre-sentencing report provided with input from several entities, including the prosecutor, the community corrections agency and the defense. This provides an overview of various aspects of what components of sentencing might be important in the case.

Penalties of a DUI can be serious

Drunk driving charges must be handled very carefully because of the consequences that come with them. There are many things that you need to address if you are facing these, so you have to make sure that you are paying close attention to what is going on with everything. These cases are rather unique because you have to think about the criminal aspects of the matter, as well as the administrative aspects of the case.

There are many things that might be the end result of a drunk driving conviction. One of the possibilities is that you might have to install an ignition interlock device on your vehicle. This makes you blow a breath sample into it so it can check the blood alcohol concentration (BAC) before the engine starts. If the result of the BAC test is more than what is allowed, which is usually .02 percent, the vehicle won't start. You also have to be able to pass the BAC tests if the device says a test is needed during a trip.

Kentucky sheriff arrested, charged with DUI after crash

The sheriff of Breckinridge County, Kentucky, has left his post for 45 days while he spends time in a rehabilitation center in Tennessee.

He made that decision after he was arrested on charges of suspicion of driving under the influence and booked into Hardin County Detention Center.

Think about what goal you have for your defense

When you are facing a felony charge, you have a lot to think about. The way that you are going to handle your case has a direct impact on the outcome, so you should think carefully about the defense strategy you will employ. There are several options that might be available. You need to think about the circumstances of your case in order to decide what might be appropriate. We are here to help you review the available options so you can decide.

Many things come into the picture when you are trying to determine what to do. Once you know what is possible in your case, you need to think about what goal you have for the outcome. Even though this seems like you might have a foolproof defense, you still need to focus on the possibility that a jury might not see things your way.

Some criminal cases end with a jury trial

When you are charged with a criminal case, you might decide that you want to have your case heard by a jury. This is a fundamental right that is guaranteed by the Sixth Amendment of the United States Constitution. Many people think that it applies to all cases; however, it doesn't. Only criminal cases that can lead to at least six months in prison are guaranteed a trial before a jury of the defendant's peers. If you do opt to pursue a jury trial instead of working toward a plea deal, you should have a basic idea of what is going to happen.

Before the trial begins, attorneys from both sides are going to select the jurors. This also includes alternate jurors who hear the entire case but only work on deciding the outcome if one of the main jurors is unable to serve for some reason such as a sudden illness that requires hospitalization.

Drunk driving requires a multifaceted defense plan

Drunk driving charges shouldn't be thought of as minor criminal matters. Instead, they have to be taken very seriously because the impact they can have on your life is severe. While part of your defense plan is going to have to be addressing the legal aspects of the matter, you also have to think about the administrative penalties and life consequences so you can address those.

The administrative penalties that you face come swiftly. You have very limited time to address them when you are charged with drunk driving. Many people worry about the loss of their driver's license. This is one of the facets of this type of charge that is usually addressed in the administrative process.

Group wants to ban domestic violence convicts from owning guns

A group of political activists from Kentucky are advocating to prevent those convicted of domestic violence from being able to possess guns. The advocacy group, Moms Demand Action, is hoping that Kentucky will align its laws with federal laws that cover gun possession.

The group is proposing a new law, SB 177, that would require the temporary confiscation of guns from anyone convicted of domestic abuse. Gun owners would later be allowed to appear in court to ask a judge to let them have their guns again, but only if the judge agrees that the situation warrants it.

Michael J. Thompson, Attorney at Law

16360 Fort Campbell Blvd.
Oak Grove, KY 42262
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