Michael J. Thompson, Attorney at Law

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Hopkinsville Kentucky Criminal Law Blog

Your actions prior to arrest might impact your defense options

Many people don't realize that their defense options are impacted by every aspect of their case. Even before they are formally charged, people need to be aware of their rights and how their actions might affect what happens in the future. We know that this isn't always an easy realization but thinking carefully about what you are doing can be beneficial.

One of the most important things to remember is that you can refuse to speak to police. Invoking the right can't be construed as an admittance of guilt. It is often best to speak to your attorney and find out what your options are. Getting some advice might help you better understand how making a statement or signing something might alter the course of the case.

Immigration status might be impacted by felony convictions

The classification of a criminal charge can have a big impact on how it affects the rest of your life. When you are facing a felony, you run the risk of having a lifetime of consequences if you are convicted. These impacts are far-reaching and can impact every aspect of your life. You should make sure that you consider these as you plan your defense strategy.

One of the most notable consequences is being labeled a felon, which includes being stripped of some of your rights. It can also make it difficult for you to find a job or housing because many people won't hire or rent to felons.

Many factors impact criminal sentencing

Defendants who have been convicted of a crime and those who plead guilty will have to go through the sentencing phase of the criminal justice system. For many, the unknown surrounding this component of the process is troubling. They don't know what they are going to have to deal with and they might be very worried about it.

There are many things that are considered when the court is trying to determine the person's sentence. All of these can either shorten or lengthen the sentence the person will have to serve. These include:

  • The person's criminal history
  • The presence or lack of regret or remorse
  • The status of the person during the commission of the crime (accessory or main offender)
  • Any injuries due to the crime
  • The presence of cruelty or vindictive or destructive behavior
  • Personal duress or stress at the time of the crime

Address the personal issues at the heart of domestic violence

There are times when a family member might push your buttons and get you so upset that you can't think straight. If this anger turns physical, there is a chance that you might end up facing charges for domestic violence. Some people think that this is a minor charge; however, domestic violence is classified as a violent crime.

You need to work on your defense right away. In the case of domestic violence, starting the defense planning immediately can benefit you since you might be able to remember small details that may help you. As time goes on, those very minor details might fade from your memory. We can work with you to get your strategy started.

Homicide cases can lead to 2 types of charges

Homicide detectives have a serious job to do when they are working to determine whether there was a criminal element to a killing or not. Many people don't realize that not all homicides are the same thing. In fact, there are some homicides that aren't criminal matters at all.

The homicides that are criminal matters are divided into two large categories with classifications beneath each one. Murder and manslaughter charges are the two primary categories. Under murder, there are degrees of the crime with first degree being the most serious. Involuntary and voluntary are the two classifications of manslaughter.

Prepare for social events that will involve alcohol

The hot summer days and warm nights are going to give way to cooler air soon. This means that it is the perfect weather for bonfires. For many adults, these social gatherings come with the presence of alcoholic beverages, such as beer. If you are planning on enjoying a drink or two when you are by the fire, make sure that you have a plan to make it home.

Drunk driving charges carry serious penalties. We discussed some of these in our previous blog post. It is necessary to think about these so that you have the motivation to make suitable arrangements for getting home. We know that this might not be easy, especially if you have a last-minute invitation to the event.

Drunk driving penalties are serious in Kentucky

Driving after consuming alcohol is illegal in Kentucky. All drivers should be aware of this already, but it is sometimes tempting to think that you aren't impaired enough for it to impact your ability to drive. What you might not think about is that being caught driving drunk can lead to some very serious legal penalties, even if you think you are able to drive safely.

There are different rules for drivers who can legally drink and those who can't. For example, the legal limit is .08 percent for those who are 21 or older, but it is only .02 percent for underage drivers. The penalties are also different.

Your defense strategy must be customized to your case

The criminal justice system is one place that most adults hope they will never have to deal with as a defendant. When charges are levied against you, your first reaction might be disbelief. You need to make sure that you take the time to consider what kinds of strategies you might use to answer the charges. We are here to help you learn about these and make plans for the direction of your case.

Many defendants aren't keen on having to go through a trial. Instead, they want to try to get the case over with as quickly as possible. This might be possible through a plea deal. The one thing that you need to remember in these cases is that you have to acknowledge that you did the crime. You also need to consider the mark on your criminal record.

Juvenile court cases are often a cry for help from troubled youth

Thinking of the juvenile court system, you might think of children who don't have any adults in their lives. This isn't the case. Most of the children who are facing a case in this court system do have a very loving family standing behind them. These children have just made some bad judgment calls and need to be given the chance to improve and learn from those mistakes. Unfortunately, the law sometimes puts a label on them and sets them in front of a judge.

When a child is brought into the court system, an evaluation on what is needed must be done. This gives the judge presiding over the case an idea of how to handle things. In many cases, there is a choice that must be made between putting the child in a juvenile detention facility or providing services to the family. This is a tough decision in many cases.

Domestic violence cases often involve similar factors

There is no one profile that describes all people who are involved in domestic violence cases. Men and women can be the aggressor or the victim. People in same-sex relationships can be just as likely to be involved in domestic violence as those in heterosexual ones.

When a domestic violence case moves into the criminal court system, it is often because there has been some element of physical abuse. This is partly due to the fact that this type of violence can be documented through pictures and medical reports.

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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