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Criminal Defense Archives

Man charged for assault while out on bond

A 43-year-old Kentucky man was charged with assault after an incident at a home in McCracken County on Sept. 27. At about 8:30 p.m., deputies visited the home after receiving a report about a domestic disturbance. Deputies allegedly witnessed the accused man leave the home while running after a woman. When deputies instructed the man to stop, he ran back into the home.

Understanding accomplice liability

In Kentucky, people may be charged with a crime and face substantial penalties if they were complicit with another person who actually committed the offense. The person who is charged for being complicit in the commission of a crime is known as an accomplice and may face an identical punishment as the person who committed the crime.

What to do if there is not adequate legal representation

Kentucky residents may know that people are entitled to have an attorney if they if they are charged with a felony or a misdemeanor that could lead to incarceration. However, their rights do not stop here. They are also entitled to what is known as adequate representation. This means that even though a person may not have the best attorney, the attorney must be competent.

Miranda rights and interrogation

While many Kentucky residents recognize that they have rights when detained by authorities, they may not clearly understand how to invoke them. Miranda rights include the right to have a lawyer present during questioning and the right to remain silent when interrogated. However, invocation of the rights is necessary to access the full protection provided. Silence alone may not put an end to questioning.

Alternate ways to resolve criminal cases

Plea bargains are an essential part of the Kentucky criminal justice system. They save time, keep the courts from being bogged down and can help alleviate crowding in jails and prisons. Prosecutors like plea bargains because they weed out minor cases and concentrate instead on the serious cases that need their full attention. They also prefer plea bargains as they represent a sure thing as opposed to a trial that may or may not go their way.

Intent and mental state factor into criminal laws

When a Kentucky state prosecutor levels criminal charges against a person the specific facts of the alleged crime will be used to select the precise charges. The concept of "mens rea" will be applied to make the decision. This Latin term describes the legal process of determining the extent of guilt found within the person's mental state at the time of the crime. It splits crimes between those in which people intended to commit a crime and those that involved people who did not mean to do anything wrong.

Death row inmates among the 149 prisoners exonerated in 2015

Kentucky residents may have read media stories about innocent individuals being set free after sending decades in prison. A report issued on Feb. 3 by the National Registry of Exonerations, which is a University of Michigan Law School project, revealed that a record number of prisoners were exonerated in 2015, and researchers said that much of the credit should go to prosecutors around the country who have reviewed previous convictions for indications that the defendants may have been innocent.

False confessions during questioning

Many Kentucky residents may think that a criminal case is straightforward if a person confesses, but experts say that this is not always the case. In certain circumstances, innocent people may be induced to confess to things they had nothing to do with. This is the scenario explored in the popular Netflix series "The Making of a Murderer." In 2011, a man who confessed under similar circumstances was found not guilty. One significant different between his case and the case profiled on the Netflix documentary is that the man found not guilty had testimony from a false confession expert at his trial.

Defense options for actions while intoxicated

While intoxication may typically be viewed as a reason for filing criminal charges against an individual, some situations might allow for a defense to be mounted in Kentucky courts based on the type of intoxication in question. The ability to use intoxication as a defense often depends on whether it was a voluntary or involuntary state.