The Warren County Attorney's Office is responisble for prosecuting the following criminal cases:
The Warren County Attorney’s Office handles the prosecution of misdemeanor cases. A misdemeanor is a criminal offense for which the punishment is up to twelve months in jail. Kentucky law requires that the charge be instituted within one year of the date of the offense
Kentucky Revised Statutes Chapter 189A addresses Operating a Motor Vehicle Under the Influence. The Warren County Attorney’s Office prosecutes all first, second and third offense Driving Under the Influence charges in Warren County. These cases are handled in Warren District Court.
A person’s driving may be impaired by alcohol, drugs (even prescription medications), or a combination of both. A person is presumed to be too impaired to operate a motor vehicle with a blood or breath alcohol level of .08 or higher.
DUIs penalties are enhanced within a five-year period, which means that the more DUIs a person receives within a five-year period, the harsher the penalties the person receives upon conviction.
Penalties for a first offense DUI include a $200 – $500 fine, and/or up to thirty days in jail. License suspension for a first offense DUI is thirty days to one hundred twenty days.
Penalties for a second offense DUI include a $350 – $500 fine, and seven days to six months in jail. License suspension for a second offense is twelve to eighteen months.
Penalties for a third offense DUI include a $500 – $1000 fine, and thirty days to twelve months in jail. License suspension for a third offense is twenty-four to thirty-six months.
A fourth offense DUI is a Class D felony. These cases are prosecuted by the Warren County Commonwealth’s Attorney’s Office.
Any person convicted of DUI is required to attend and complete an alcohol education program. In addition, many persons convicted of DUI in Warren County will be required to attend a Mothers Against Drunk Driving Victim Impact Panel, where presenters explain the devastating effects that DUI-related accidents can have on a friend or loved one’s life.
If a person charged with DUI is under the age of twenty-one and had a breath or blood test between .02 and .08, penalties include a $100-$250 fine or up to twenty hours of community service. License suspension for an under twenty-one DUI is thirty days to one hundred twenty days.
Domestic Violence Prosecution
Domestic violence and abuse is defined by statute as physical injury, serious physical injury, sexual abuse, assault, or the infliction of fear of imminent physical injury, serious physical injury, sexual abuse, or assault between family members or members of an unmarried couple. When a family member or member of an unmarried couple has been a victim of domestic violence and abuse in Warren County, that individual can obtain an Emergency Protective Order or Domestic Violence Summons against the alleged perpetrator. This is filed in Family Court and can be extended into a Domestic Violence Order for a period of up to three years following a Hearing in Family Court. Domestic Violence Orders can be issued for up to three (3) years. Should the Petitioner like the Domestic Violence Order to be extended beyond the three (3) years, the Petitioner must file a Motion for another Hearing prior to the expiration of the Domestic Violence Order.
Should the Family Court determine the Petitioner is not eligible for an Emergency Protective Order, the Court will inform the Petitioner of their option to contact our office so to discuss potential criminal prosecution of the underlying assault, threats, menacing, or harassment of the domestic violence. Our office will meet with the Petitioner so he/she may be knowledgeable regarding any potential criminal charges available for the Commonwealth to bring so to address the domestic violence.
Our office prosecutes violations of Emergency Protective Orders and/or Domestic Violence Orders. This type of offense is a Class A misdemeanor, punishable by up to twelve (12) months in jail and/or a $500.00 fine. Should a Defendant violate an Emergency Protective Order and/or Domestic Violence Order issued by a Kentucky Judge or out of state Judge, the Defendant can face the maximum penalties allowed by Kentucky law. Additionally, the Defendant, upon being convicted of a violation of an Emergency Protective Order and/or Domestic Violence Order, may face various civil penalties including contempt and financial sanctions.
When family members or members of an unmarried couple assault another member, the perpetrator of the violence can be charged with Assault in the Fourth Degree, Domestic Violence or Child Abuse (should the victim be a child). This assault charge is a Class A misdemeanor, punishable by up to twelve (12) months in jail and/or a $500.00 fine. As a condition of any plea deal regarding Assault in the Fourth Degree, our office often requires jail time along with probated jail time so to ensure the Defendant does not commit an assault again. Other conditions often include no contact or no criminal contact with the Victim, no new acts of Domestic Violence, Defendant to obtain a Domestic Violence Assessment and follow all recommendations, no new violations of law, and Defendant to pay Court Costs and fines as Ordered. Should the Defendant fail to meet any of the stated conditions, the Defendant would be at risk for the probated jail time to be revoked.
Animal Issues Prosecution
The Warren County Attorney’s Office cares about the four-legged “citizens” of Warren County and we work hand-in-hand with law enforcement and the Bowling Green Warren County Humane Society in animal related cases. These cases can range from animal cruelty cases which are governed by state law, to pet owners failing to properly vaccinate.
A pet owner may have to appear in Warren District Court if an animal is involved in a situation where a person or other animal is attacked. The Warren County Attorney’s Office strongly encourages all pet owners to properly supervise and care for our four-legged “citizens” of Warren County.
Kentucky has a number of statutes governing hunting and fishing and these laws are primarily enforced by the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife. We strongly encourage all those who enjoy hunting and fishing to familiarize themselves with these laws. Violations of hunting and fishing laws can result in fines, loss of hunting and/or fishing privileges, and even jail time.
The Warren County Attorney’s Office, Juvenile Division, handles a variety of cases involving children. These cases are broken down into three general areas: one, violations of criminal laws which are called public offenses; two, status offenses, which involve a child violating a law that is written especially for children (examples of these laws include truancy, beyond control of school or parents, underage purchase of alcohol or tobacco); and three, dependency, abuse or neglect cases, which involve cases where children are the victims of the inappropriate actions of their caretakers. Cases that involve juveniles are confidential and therefore, the hearings are closed to the public.
When a juvenile is charged with a crime or status charge, the case is prepared by a Court Designated Workers. Court Designated Workers are a branch of the judicial system. They try to resolve charges involving juveniles informally. The Warren County Attorney’s Office reviews all juvenile charges at the Court Designated Workers Office, and after consulting with the Court Designated Worker, decides if the charge needs formal Court involvement. Our goal is to try to find the best balance between what is in the juvenile’s best interest and what is in the community’s best interest.
When parents or custodians are charged with dependency, neglect or abuse of a child, this office presents the case to a Family Court Judge. In these types of cases, children are sometimes placed in the custody of the State and put into foster homes. If and when a child is in the custody of the State, this office may seek to collect child support from the parents of that child.
The total number of juvenile cases in Warren County is somewhat overwhelming. In 2009, over 1000 cases were filed at the Court Designated Worker’s Office and overseen by this office. An additional 916 juvenile cases were filed with the Warren County Circuit Court Clerk’s Office. In order to process this volume of cases and meet the goals of balancing between the juvenile’s best interest and the community’s needs, it is important that we have good relations with a host of various organizations. Our office works cooperatively in these cases with our community partners, including the Court Designated Worker’s Office, CASA, Cabinet for Health and Family Services, Bowling Green Independent School System, the Warren County School System, and treatment providers, including LifeSkills, Inc., Rivendell Hospital, Child Advocacy Center, BRASS, and Hope Harbor.