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Hopkinsville Kentucky Criminal Law Blog

Violence Against Women Act defines domestic abuse

Domestic violence allegations often involve physical violence. However, the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) establishes that hitting someone is not the only way to face criminal charges. While the definition of abuse has changed since the passage of the law, society's perception of the situation really hasn't.

Some people think only about physically battered women, but abuse claims under VAWA can also include intimidation, harassment and interfering with a person's liberty. They can also apply when a male is the alleged victim.

False accusations of rape are more common than you think

When people hear that someone is facing a rape charge, they assume the worst. This is one thing that can be especially damaging to the defendants because there is always the chance that the accusation was false. Unfortunately, this is something that is more common in this country than what some might realize.

Some believe that false accusations are rare; however, this isn't actually the case. These false accusations can ruin careers, reputations and lives. For the men and women who have to face them, the battle often feels like an uphill one that is going to be more trouble than they are prepared to handle.

Representing yourself might close doors in criminal cases

When you are facing a criminal charge, one of the first decisions you have to make is whether you are going to hire a defense attorney or not. This can have a big impact on the outcome of your case, so you must think carefully about what you are going to do.

Some people think that they have a good handle on the case and will believe that they can represent themselves. This is almost never a good idea because your options can become much more limited when you don't have a defense attorney. When you are facing charges, you need as many options open to you as possible.

People on probation must follow the rules or face consequences

One of the common sentences for many criminal cases is probation. This enables the court to punish the person who was convicted of a crime, but that person will be allowed to remain out of jail or prison.

The use of probation is fairly easy to understand because it keeps new people from having to go into the overcrowded prison system. This also saves the government money because it doesn't have to pay the incarceration expenses of the person.

Securing a release from jail during your criminal case

People who are arrested on felony charges often wonder how they are going to be released from jail. For most of them, the answer to this is that they will have to pay bail to secure their release. This is a financial surety that they will attend the court hearings they have coming up. When you first learn of your bail amount, you might wonder how you will cover it.

There are two options to pay bail. One is that you can make a cash payment to the appropriate authority to cover the entire amount required. The other is that you work with a bail bondsman. Typically, this individual will charge 10% of the bail amount. They may also require you to pay a fee.

Field sobriety tests can be important in your criminal defense

Police officers watch for signs of impairment when they are out patrolling. If they see signs that someone is impaired, they are going to pull the vehicle over. Once they have the driver with them, they are going to try to figure out what's going on. They can do a field sobriety test and chemical testing to determine whether the person is under the influence of something that is affecting their ability to drive.

One thing that many people don't realize is that all sobriety tests aren't the same. Some tests are standardized while others aren't. The Standardized Field Sobriety Test is the only one that is endorsed by the National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration (NHTSA). There are three components of this test: the one-leg stand, the horizontal gaze nystagmus and the walk-and-turn. Together, these can provide a fairly accurate estimation of impairment.

Impairment and intoxication can negate sexual consent

There is some confusion as to what constitutes rape. Some people think that it means that a person uses violence to force a person to do sexual acts; however, this might not be the case. In the simplest terms, a rape occurs when there isn't consent by one party, and there is penetration of the anus or vagina by any body part from the other person. There is also a provision that makes penetration by an object rape if it is forced into the victim by the rapist.

When you look at the definition of rape, you can see that there isn't much room for guessing what it entails. What you might not realize is that it doesn't matter how much the body part or object penetrates. Even the slightest penetration is considered rape. Another point that some people don't realize is that every penetration can be a separate charge.

Your rights dictate you receive a fair trial for criminal charges

When a person is facing a criminal charge, they have to determine how they are going to handle their defense. Many cases are resolved through plea deals, but some are handled through criminal trials. There are good and bad points to both, so a defendant must ensure that they are carefully considering both.

One thing that you should know if you are facing this decision is that you are entitled to a fair trial if that is the avenue your case takes. This right is rooted firmly in the Constitution, so it continues to remain true even when other laws change.

Domestic violence cases present unique challenges

Domestic violence cases are often difficult for prosecutors. In some cases, the victims cooperate, and the case goes smoothly. The issue that often comes up is that the victim might opt to recant their statements, which can throw a wrench into the prosecution's case. There are some instances in which the prosecutor might choose to drop the charges in your case.

The prosecutor needs to have evidence that a crime occurred. When it comes to domestic violence, this can come in the form of photos of injuries, statements from the victims and witness accounts. When any of these are missing, the case might be dropped.

Learn all you can about your criminal case

Facing a felony charge is a serious event. You have to be sure that you understand the implications of this so that you can determine what type of defense strategy you are going to employ. When you find out that you are the subject of a criminal case, you must get to work immediately.

One of the first things that you should do is find out the exact charge you are facing. This is how you can find out the criteria that the prosecutor has to prove in order for you to be convicted. It also lets you know what penalties you are facing. These are the backbones of your defense strategy.

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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