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Louisville Criminal Defense Blog

Do you have to let the police in?

You're sitting at home watching television one night when there's a knock on the door. You're not expecting anyone, so you pull out your phone and check the doorbell camera feed. There is a squad car sitting in the driveway and two officers standing at your door.

You go over and talk to them through the window. They ask, in a rather forceful manner, if you will open the door and let them inside. You turn around to pause the show you were watching, and you take a moment to think over your options.

Young people more likely to be arrested than past generations

Decades ago, young people living in Kentucky and elsewhere in the U.S. were much less likely to be arrested before the age of 26 than they are today, according to a new study. The study was conducted by the RAND Corporation and published in the journal Crime & Delinquency.

To complete the study, RAND researchers examined data from the long-running Panel Study of Income Dynamics, a survey that tracked information on 35,000 Americans from 5,000 families over 50 years. They found that adults between the ages of 26 and 35 were 3.6 times more likely to have been arrested before the age of 26 than adults ages 66 and above. Over the course of the Panel Study survey period, the arrest rate for young white men increased almost three times, and the arrest rate for women from all ethnic groups increased from 1 in 100 to 1 in 7.

Court clarifies how to evaluate personal beliefs of jurors

>Jury selection in Kentucky involves the careful evaluation of potential jurors. The defense and prosecution generally have differing priorities, and a judge must also consider whether someone could act appropriately as a juror. All parties will scrutinize the personal beliefs of jurors, and decisions to remove people from jury selection sometimes create legal controversies. In one out-of-state case, a defense attorney challenged a judge's dismissal of a potential juror for cause and received a decision from the state's highest court.

The defense attorney had been representing an African-American man accused of trafficking in cocaine. During jury selection, the judge disqualified a woman who expressed her view that the system treated African-American men unfairly. Although she had added that she would act impartially as a juror, the judge deemed her a bad fit for the jury despite the defense attorney's protests. A jury later went on to convict the defendant.

Insurance fraud defined

A type of white-collar crime that impacts people in Kentucky and across the country is insurance fraud, but the manner in which insurance fraud is defined varies from state to state. Often times, insurance fraud laws are written into a state's criminal code. In other cases, these statutes are contained among other fraud laws. Charges of insurance fraud can also vary, with some classified as felonies and others as misdemeanors.

Insurance fraud can involve a variety of policies, including health care and property liability, At trial, a prosecutor in some jurisdictions will be required to show that documentation containing false or misleading information was used in order to obtain an insurance policy or reimbursement.

Alternatives to incarceration reduce recidivism rates

The recent passage of the FIRST STEP Act has been lauded by civil rights advocates as a welcome first step on the road toward a fairer and less discriminatory criminal justice system, but the federal law does not offer any relief to more than 2 million inmates of state prisons and jails in Kentucky and around the country. Much of the discussion over mass incarceration has focused on the disproportionately harsh sentences handed down to African-American defendants in narcotics cases, but most of the progress in this area has been made by local authorities exploring alternatives to prison.

In New York City, lawmakers, community groups and law enforcement have worked together to find ways to lower recidivism and make neighborhoods safer, and the number of people under lock and key in city jails has fallen from more than 21,000 in 1991 to fewer than 8,200 as a result. Programs designed to rehabilitate rather than punish offenders in New York City are operated by nonprofit groups, prosecutors and the courts.

The most common legal consequences of alcohol abuse

If you have a loved one who is dealing with an alcohol addiction, it is likely that you are concerned about their health and well-being, but unsure of exactly how to help them. In addition, you may be worried about them getting in trouble with the law in the state of Kentucky as a result of their alcohol abuse.

Addiction to alcohol can pose many issues for a person's health, safety and the safety of others. People who are able to consume alcohol responsibly can, for example, limit themselves regarding how much they choose to drink. However, those struggling with addition will likely feel compelled to continue drinking, regardless of the circumstances. This can often lead addicts to drive while intoxicated, because they face the pressure of fulfilling daily responsibilities while dealing with their addiction.

Giving away drugs for free is drug dealing under the law

Teenagers in Kentucky and across the country face a lot of pressures in today's world, and many of them turn to drugs to help them cope. It isn't just street drugs that are a problem. Many teens abuse prescription drugs, some of which are more addictive than alcohol or marijuana. The legal consequences of drug use are serious, and dealing drugs is a crime with even higher penalties. What may alarm many teens and their parents is the fact that no money needs to be exchanged in order for someone to be charged as a drug dealer. If a person gives drugs to another person, the law considers that drug dealing.

Teens often share drugs, or pool their money to buy them. Anyone who gives drugs to another person can be charged with drug dealing. In a worst-case scenario, if someone dies from a drug overdose or as the result of taking a drug, anyone who was involved with that person's acquisition of the drug can face charges, including murder. A report in the NY Times mentions cases in which adults and teens have been charged with murder after supplying drugs for free to people who overdosed and died.

The steps that lead to a DUI charge

Those who drive on Kentucky roads while impaired by alcohol could be taken into custody for doing so. Drunk drivers are taken into custody to ensure that they don't hurt themselves or anyone else who is on the road. Individuals may be deemed to be driving while intoxicated even if they don't necessarily feel like they are impaired. An officer may suspect an individual is drunk before or during a traffic stop.

For instance, police officers may observe vehicles swerving or being driven without headlights at night. Aggressive driving can also be a sign of impaired driving. Drivers may showcase physical signs of impairment such as slurred speech or an inability to stay upright. Upon observing physical or other signs that a person may be drunk, a driver could be asked to perform field sobriety tests. These tests may include taking a Breathalyzer test or walking in a straight line.

The First Step prison reform bill passes the Senate.

A major prison reform bill is closer to becoming law after overwhelming support in the US Senate. If is becomes law, many federal prisoners in Kentucky may see an early release. The president is expected to sign the legislation.

The bill is commonly called the First Step Act. The bill seeks to reform harsh prison sentencing guidelines that were originally enacted in the 1980s. Many federal crimes, especially drug crimes, carry lengthy prison sentences. Often these sentences are in excess of ten years for a nonviolent offense. Many believe these sentences are a reason the US has one of the highest inmate populations in the world. Over 175,000 inmates are housed in federal prisons.

Alcohol abuse and drunk driving rates higher among veterans

According to the American Addiction Centers, veterans in Kentucky and throughout the U.S. have been drinking at higher rates in recent years. The data found that the rate of binge alcohol consumption among veterans has increased from 14 percent in 2013 to about 16 percent in 2017. Furthermore, it was determined that the increase was about 3 percent for women, which was significantly higher than the increase for men. An increase in the amount of alcohol consumed by veterans has led to a higher rate of drunk driving.

Among this group, 1.6 percent said that they drove while drunk in 2014. That number has since increased to 2.5 percent. While the overall rate of binge drinking was higher for women, men were more likely to drive after doing so. One reason why veterans may be drinking more is because of trauma experienced while in Iraq and Afghanistan.

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