WHAT IS OFFICIAL MISCONDUCT?
Generally, a public official is a person who works for the government, whether that employment was acquired through appointment or election. State law specifies that a public servant is “any public officer or employee of the state or of any political subdivision thereof or of any governmental instrumentality within the state; or any person exercising the functions of any such public officer or employee.” Examples include firefighters, police officers, judges, city clerks, code enforcement personnel, and public social workers.
The range of offenders and actions that may constitute misconduct are broad, but some common inappropriate acts involve intentionally or recklessly failing to perform any duty, knowingly performing any act forbidden by law, or knowingly accepting any reward for an act unauthorized by law. Corrections Officers at county or regional detention centers are probably the ones charged with this crime as frequently as anyone else.
HIRING AN EXPERIENCED CENTRAL KENTUCKY CRIMINAL ATTORNEY
An official misconduct conviction can result in, among other things, losing your job, harming your reputation, paying a fine, and even spending time in jail. Because of these significant consequences, it is important to consult a Kentucky criminal defense attorney upon being investigated or charged.
As a former Judge Advocate “JAG” (defense lawyer and prosecuting attorney) for Marine Corps and Navy personnel charged with felonies, Attorney Dan Carman has distinctive insight into both sides of the legal process, which can be a great advantage to those charged with criminal offenses.
Official misconduct in Kentucky is a misdemeanor charge stemming from a public employee’s overstepping the boundaries of the office in which they serve, and using that office’s power to circumvent accepted rules, often for personal or financial gain. Official misconduct in the first degree is considered a Class A misdemeanor and is punishable by 90 days to 12 months in jail and a fine of up to $500. A slightly less serious offense, official misconduct in the second degree is considered a Class B misdemeanor and is punishable by up to 90 days in jail and a fine of up to $250.
DEFENSES TO OFFICIAL MISCONDUCT CHARGES
When facing criminal charges, hiring an experienced lawyer is one of the most important things you can do. An effective defense can be mounted against an official misconduct charge. Common defenses include:
- You were not actually a public servant.
- You were not aware the act was unauthorized.
- The questionable activity was not part of your official duties.
- The statute of limitations has passed.
- The witnesses are not credible.
- You just didn’t do it!
Talking with a lawyer as soon as possible after you have been charged with official misconduct is the only way to ensure that you have the best defense and the most legal options. Attorney Dan Carman of the Carman Law Firm will work closely with you every step of the way. He knows that misunderstandings can lead to erroneous charges, and he can help you make informed decisions regarding the most advantageous course of action. Dan provides aggressive and comprehensive criminal defense representation and has been admitted to practice in all Kentucky state courts, the federal courts in both the Eastern and Western Districts of Kentucky, and in the U.S. Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals.
Please contact him if you or someone you care about has been investigated or arrested for official misconduct. Call his office at (859) 838-1415, or fill out his online contact form.