Have you been charged with a misdemeanor in Louisville, KY? While not as serious as felonies, misdemeanors are still criminal offenses. You are facing possible jail time, hefty fees, a permanent criminal record, and possibly far-reaching consequences. You deserve a legal advocate who will fight for your freedom and good name.
Suhre & Associates, LLC has defended clients against all types of misdemeanor crimes since 2009. We are committed to upholding your constitutional rights and clearing your name. Call our law office today at (502) 371-7000 for a free consultation with a Louisville misdemeanor lawyer to begin exploring defense options.
How Suhre & Associates, LLC Can Help if You Are Arrested for a Misdemeanor in Louisville
Being arrested for any crime can be a frightening and overwhelming experience. Maybe you have already been through the criminal justice system and have prior convictions. If so, you may now be facing enhanced penalties or even sentencing under a felony charge. Perhaps this is your first interaction with the criminal court system and law enforcement and you are now facing a criminal record.
No matter your situation, Suhre & Associates, LLC is here to help you. Our Louisville criminal defense lawyers have more than 100 years of combined legal experience defending Louisville residents charged with misdemeanor crimes. Our legal team includes a former prosecutor and former police officer with valuable insight into the tactics the state will use against you.
Choose Suhre & Associates, LLC to defend you in your misdemeanor criminal case and we will:
- Offer legal advice to help you make informed decisions about your defense and plea bargains
- Work with experts in several fields to provide expert testimony that can raise reasonable doubt, give credibility to your defense, and counter evidence the prosecution uses against you
- Argue the prosecution has not proved their case
- Seek exculpatory evidence to strengthen your defense
- Protect your legal rights at every step
- Negotiate for reduced or dismissed charges or argue for lenient sentencing
When you are facing jail time and the loss of your freedom and rights, you deserve a misdemeanor defense attorney who is passionate and cares about you. Suhre & Associates, LLC is ready to put decades of experience to work for you. Call our law office in Louisville, Kentucky to get started on your legal defense.
Overview of Misdemeanor Crimes in Kentucky
There are two types of criminal offenses in Kentucky: felonies and misdemeanors, the less serious of the two.
Class A & Class B Misdemeanors in Kentucky
Kentucky Revised Statues §532.020 designates two types of misdemeanors: Class A and Class B.
Class A misdemeanors are the more serious type of misdemeanor offense. Theft under $500, a second DUI on a suspended license, violating a restraining order, and selling a firearm to a convicted felon are all Class A misdemeanors.
Class B misdemeanors are the least serious. Common Class B misdemeanors include first-offense DUI, public intoxication, prostitution, and resisting arrest.
Kentucky also has a mini-Class B misdemeanor offense with the most lenient punishment. The typical mini-Class B misdemeanor charge is Possession of Marijuana.
Common Misdemeanor Offenses in Louisville, KY
Many criminal offenses in Louisville are considered misdemeanors.
Suhre & Associates, LLC represents clients charged with misdemeanors such as:
- Misdemeanor DUI
- Misdemeanor domestic violence
- Theft under $500
- Simple assault
- Criminal property damage
- Disorderly conduct
- Indecent exposure
- Promoting prostitution
- Violating a restraining order
- Simple drug possession of a non-Schedule I or Schedule II drug
- Lesser weapons charges such as selling a firearm to a convicted felon
Do not make the mistake of assuming a misdemeanor is not serious. Penalties can still be harsh, and many offenses can be upgraded to felonies.
When Can a Misdemeanor Become a Felony in Kentucky?
A “wobbler” is a criminal offense that may be a misdemeanor or a felony depending on the circumstances.
Common “wobbler” crimes in Louisville include:
- DUI. This is usually a misdemeanor but it can be a felony if it is a fourth offense.
- Theft. Theft offenses are charged based on the type of theft and the value of the item or services stolen. Theft exceeding $500 becomes a felony.
- Possession of a controlled substance. Possession of many types of controlled substances is a misdemeanor in Kentucky. However, possession of Schedule I or Schedule II drugs such as LSD, methamphetamine, heroin, and cocaine is a felony, regardless of the amount.
Some misdemeanors may be upgraded to a felony if the defendant has a prior criminal record. A misdemeanor may also become a felony if there are aggravating factors. For instance, the use of a weapon can make misdemeanor assault a felony aggravated assault charge.
Depending on the type of offense, there may be other factors that can influence whether it is a misdemeanor or felony. Drug offenses, for example, can be upgraded to felonies depending on the type and amount of drug.
What Are the Penalties for a Misdemeanor in Louisville, Kentucky?
A misdemeanor charge in Kentucky is considered a lesser offense than a felony. Misdemeanors are punishable by jail time of up to 1 year rather than prison time. These charges are also more likely than felonies to result in fines and alternative punishments like probation.
If you are convicted of a misdemeanor offense in Louisville, you face the following penalties.
- Mini-Class B misdemeanor: up to 45 days in jail.
- Class B misdemeanor: up to 90 days in jail and fines up to $250.
- Class A misdemeanor: up to 12 months in jail and fines up to $500.
In many cases, you may avoid jail time and instead be sentenced to alternative penalties. KRS §533.010 allows for probation with alternative sentencing plans different from traditional probation with a conditional release.
Experienced Louisville criminal defense lawyers will help you build a strong case for alternatives to jail such as:
- Community service
- House arrest
- Treatment program for alcohol or drugs
- Shock probation
Shock probation is usually used when the defendant is younger, particularly juveniles. It must be applied for and it involves a very short jail sentence followed by probation.
Some misdemeanor charges can carry additional penalties and serious consequences. For instance, some misdemeanors like theft are considered crimes of moral turpitude in Kentucky. They may have an impact on immigration issues and employment.
DUI conviction also carries a wide range of DUI penalties. You will face mandatory license suspension if convicted. You may also be required to have an interlock ignition device installed, attend an alcohol treatment program, perform community labor, and pay much higher car insurance rates. All of these penalties will be at your own cost. A DUI can easily cost thousands of dollars, even a first-time misdemeanor.
What Defenses Can Be Raised if I’m Accused of a Misdemeanor in Louisville, KY?
The best legal defense available in your case will depend on the type of misdemeanor you are charged with. However, Suhre & Associates, LLC will begin all types of criminal cases by investigating the circumstances of your case. We will review the investigation, arrest, and interrogation to determine if your constitutional rights were violated.
If your rights were violated, such as an illegal search and seizure or not allowing you to speak with a lawyer, we will fight to have the evidence obtained suppressed.
Specific legal defenses will depend on the type of offense.
Depending on your charge, we may build a case around:
- Lack of evidence to convict
- Lack of intent if necessary in the offense, a strategy typically used in violent offenses like assault
- Lack of control and knowledge, commonly used in weapons and drug offenses
- Entrapment which may be argued in cases involving drugs, weapons, and prostitution
- Consent. This defense is most commonly used in sex crimes but it may be a defense in some misdemeanor charges.
- Mistaken identity or false allegations.
- Good faith. This may be a defense in some offenses such as fraud if there was a good-faith error due to clerical mistakes or miscommunication.
We will also conduct an investigation to search for exculpatory evidence. This may be used to prove innocence, false allegations, or introduce reasonable doubt in your case.
Suhre & Associates, LLC will help you craft the strongest legal defense possible. If the prosecution’s case against you is strong, we will build a case to argue for the most lenient sentencing possible, particularly alternatives to jail.
Schedule a Free Case Evaluation with a Louisville Misdemeanor Lawyer
Have you been arrested for a misdemeanor offense in Louisville, KY? Even if the penalties seem fairly light, you may still be facing jail time, a permanent criminal record, and life-long ramifications. At Suhre & Associates, LLC, we are committed to giving you the legal representation you deserve to fight the charges you are facing.
Contact our law office today to schedule a free case review with a Louisville misdemeanor lawyer ready to fight for you.