Misdemeanors

Misdemeanors

Misdemeanors are divided into two categories, the sentences for which are laid out in Kentucky Revised Statutes (KRS) 532.020 and KRS 532.090.

Class A misdemeanors are punishable by 90 days to 12 months in jail and a fine of up to $500. Examples of Class A misdemeanors include theft by unlawful taking under $500, violation of an emergency protective order, carrying a concealed deadly weapon, and assault in the fourth degree.

Class B misdemeanors are punishable by less than 90 days in jail and a fine of up to $250. Examples of Class B misdemeanors include disorderly conduct in the second degree, criminal mischief in the third degree and criminal trespass in the second degree.

Consequences of a Misdemeanor

A misdemeanor is a relatively minor crime when compared to a felony. However, there are still serious direct and indirect consequences associated with a misdemeanor that can have lasting effects for the rest of your life. Direct consequences may include time in jail and significant court costs and/or fines. Indirect consequences may include the loss of the right to own a firearm, difficulty in obtaining a job, license suspension, loss of a professional license, and deportation.

Arraignment

An arraignment is a formal reading of the charges against the Defendant. If the Defendant is in custody, the court will make a decision regarding bond. If the Defendant is indigent and therefore unable to hire an attorney, the court will appoint a public defender to represent the Defendant. Once a plea of “not guilty” is entered, the case will be passed for a pre-trial conference.

Bond

After a Defendant is arrested, he or she is interviewed and assessed by pre-trial services at the jail. Pre-trial services provides a report to the court. The court uses this information to make decisions regarding bond. The court has several options regarding bond and release. The court may choose to set a bond, to release the individual on their own recognizance or to release on conditions. The court may also set a bond and release a defendant on the home incarceration program in lieu of bond.

Pre-Trial

A pre-trial conference is an opportunity for the prosecutor and defense attorney to discuss the case against the Defendant. Usually, the prosecutor will subpoena the police officer and/or witnesses involved in the case. Once the prosecutor speaks to the witnesses and assesses the evidence, he or she will usually make a plea offer to the defendant. Many times, a case will have several pre-trial conferences before an agreement is reached. If a plea deal is not accepted, the case is scheduled for trial.

Trial

Prior to trial, counsel for the Defendant will file appropriate motions, including a motion for discovery. Sometimes the outcomes of pre-trial motions will assist in coming to a resolution in the case. Misdemeanor trials proceed in the same way as felony trials: a jury is selected and sworn in, opening statements are heard, followed by the case for the Commonwealth, the case for the defense, jury instructions, closing statements, and jury deliberations.

Sentencing

There are a wide range of sentencing options in Jefferson District Court. A defendant may be sentenced to serve all or a portion of his or her sentence in Louisville Metro Corrections or on the Home Incarceration Program in lieu of the jail. The defendant may also be sentenced to conditionally discharged time. This means that the defendant is given a jail sentence but does not have to serve the sentence as long as he follows certain conditions for a certain amount of time. For example, on a domestic violence case, the conditions might be to attend Batterer’s Intervention Program, to have no contact with the victim, and to have no new offenses. Often, a sentence may include a combination of conditions.

Kellner Green’s experienced attorneys have the knowledge to assist you in seeking the best possible outcome in your case. We assist our clients in determining when it is in their best interest to accept an offer and when it is in their best interest to set a trial date. We explain the process and all possible outcomes to our clients so that they can make informed decisions about their case. We also take the time to work with our clients’ families so that they too understand what is going on in their loved one’s case.

If you’d like to learn more about how we can help you with your case, contact us to set up a free consultation.

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