Criminal Defense Attorney in Jackson, Kentucky
Being arrested and facing criminal charges are scary experiences. The uncertainty of how to navigate the criminal justice system can be overwhelming and emotionally draining. At the Law Office of Patrick E. O’Neill, PSC, I understand the fear and anxiety that comes with an arrest. Having a thorough knowledge of case law and over two decades of legal experience, I am fully prepared to partner with you to achieve the best possible outcome for your case. Everyone has rights, and no one deserves to take on the legal system alone. When you work with me, I will fight to protect your personal well-being and your legal rights.
Regardless of whether you are facing misdemeanor or felony charges, I provide strategic defense for a wide variety of crimes that includes:
Drug trafficking and possession
Sexual assault and rape
Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs
Murder, manslaughter, and homicide
If you are facing criminal charges in Jackson, Kentucky, or in the neighboring communities of Campton, Stanton, West Liberty, Beattyville, and Booneville, call the Law Office of Patrick E. O’Neill, PSC now to start the conversation about protecting your future.
Criminal Charges in Kentucky
All crimes are not created equal, and like most states, Kentucky categorizes the majority of crimes into three buckets: minor offenses, misdemeanors, and felonies.
Minor offenses are the lowest type of legal violation and typically result in small fines. Minor offenses include traffic tickets and violating local ordinances such as loitering, loud music, or failing to honor neighborhood leash laws.
In Kentucky, a misdemeanor offense is more serious than a minor offense. Misdemeanors can carry a variety of penalties such as fines, court-ordered rehabilitation programs, and jail.
The most common classifications of misdemeanors in Kentucky are:
Class A Misdemeanors carry a maximum of 12 months in jail and up to $500 in fines. Examples include:
Theft (under $500)
Cultivation of marijuana (less than five plants)
Violation of a protective order
Class B Misdemeanors carry a maximum of 90 days imprisonment and up to $250 in fines. Examples include:
Unlike most minor offenses, a misdemeanor charge can lead to a criminal trial. Even though the penalties for a misdemeanor are less severe than that of a felony, the conviction remains on your criminal record and can have a lasting impact on your future.
Felonies are the most serious of criminal offenses, carrying the harshest penalties. Depending on the class of the felony, a conviction can lead to permanent incarceration and, in some cases, is punishable by death.
Felonies in Kentucky include Capital Offenses (such as murder or kidnapping that results in death) and Classes A to D. Examples of crimes that could be charged as felonies include murder, rape, manslaughter, assault, sex crimes, theft, drug trafficking, and driving under the influence (fourth offense), among others. Because of the severity and vast scope of felony charges, it is critical that anyone facing a felony charge seek legal representation from a Kentucky criminal defense attorney.
Kentucky Criminal Court Process
Understanding the criminal process is vital to defending against any criminal charges. Most defendants are aware that the criminal process begins with an arrest and ends with a trial. What happens in the middle can seem messy and unknown to an everyday person.
Following an arrest, a defendant is given the opportunity to enter a plea (guilty or not guilty). After this initial hearing, there is a period of information sharing, gathering of evidence, and decision-making. These motions, once completed, pave the way for the jury to be selected and the trial to take place. It is important to note that at any point before the verdict is delivered, plea agreements may be discussed and agreed upon. If a plea agreement is not attained, the verdict is delivered by a judge or jury, and sentencing soon follows. Although the goal is to always pursue the best possible outcome, a defendant may appeal the court's decision in hopes they would review or dismiss the charges.
Remember, even small mistakes in the criminal court process can be costly. Because of this, it is always in your best interests to avoid navigating the courts on your own and let an experienced criminal defense attorney walk you through each step.
The Appeals Process
If convicted, a defendant may file an appeal within 30 days of sentencing. Appealing a conviction can be a complex process. Once a conviction takes place, timing is critical to meet certain deadlines for raising arguments and seeking the reversal or dismissal of charges. Depending on the type of case, multiple options for appeal may be available. Those seeking to appeal a conviction need the expertise of a criminal defense attorney to navigate the appeals process and ensure their rights are justly protected.
Criminal Defense Attorney
Serving Jackson, Kentucky
Nobody should face criminal charges alone. A criminal defense attorney fights for your rights and best interests. If you have been arrested and are facing criminal charges in Kentucky, the Law Office of Patrick E. O'Neill, PSC is here to help. I offer passionate legal representation for clients charged with crimes of all types. Call today to discuss your needs with an experienced and dedicated attorney in Jackson, Kentucky.