In Kentucky, a misdemeanor crime is carries a penalty of one (1) year or less of imprisonment in a county jail and/or a fine of $500 or less. There are two separate classes of Misdemeanors:
"Class A" Misdemeanors are classified as more serious offenses, and carry a possible punishment between ninety (90) days and one (1) year in jail and a fine of up to $500.00.
"Class B" Misdemeanors are classified as less serious and carry a possible punishment up to ninety (90) days in jail and a fine up to $250.
Types of Misdemeanor cases
What Happens at my Court Dates for a Misdemeanor?
In Kentucky, District Court has jurisdiction over misdemeanors. The first appearance before a Judge for a misdemeanor offense will be your arraignment. Arraignment is just a formal term that refers to the first official court date as your case is getting started. Usually, arraignment is more of a formality. Depending on the severity of the charges against you, we can sometimes resolve your case during arraignment. Sometimes, though, on more complex misdemeanors, we will set your case for a pretrial hearing date.
During arraignment, the Judge will formally tell you the charges against you and will determine an appropriate bond if you are in jail. When setting the bond, the Judge will consider the seriousness of the offense you are charged with, and your likelihood to return to Court for future dates. It is an excellent idea to be represented during the arraignment and bond proceedings if you are in jail. The best way to fight a criminal case against you is The Judge will then enter a plea of "not guilty" on your behalf and give you a date to come back for a pretrial conference. There is no statutory requirement for when this date must be held. Typically, whether or not you are in jail will determine how quickly you will have to return to Court.
2. Pretrial Conference(s)
The next Court date will be a pretrial conference. During a pretrial conference, your attorney will be able to speak with the prosecutor and sometimes the arresting officer or witness. If there is a pertinent witness to your case we will be sure that they are subpoenaed to court and present. We will also discuss some of the evidence the prosecution has and determine if any motions need to be made to exclude any evidence. We can then negotiate a resolution to your case with the prosecutor. This would be an offer to plead guilty to the charge or an amended charge with an agreed upon sentence. When any offer is made to resolve the case, we will always tell you the offer and discuss it with you. All offers are your decision to accept or reject. If a resolution cannot be reached then we can set
your case for trial.
Once your case is set for trial, we will file a motion to force the prosecutor to produce all the discovery in your case as well as a Bill of Particulars to make them state exactly what statute you are accused of violating as well as the date and time of the alleged offense. Once the discovery is received, then we will review all the documents with you and discuss any evidence we may choose to present on your behalf. During the trial, it is the Prosecutor’s burden to prove your guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. You have the 5th Amendment right to not incriminate yourself and are not required to testify at your trial. We may choose to try your case before a judge, or before. a jury. In Kentucky, for a misdemeanor trial in district court, the jury will consist of six (6) individuals from your county and they will decide your guilt or innocence. The trial may also be in front of a judge only and the judge would determine your guilt or innocence. Both options can have advantages and we will help you review these options and advise you.