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Dwayne B.
Dwayne B., Attorney
Category: Legal
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Experience:  Began practicing law in 1992
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I am a business owner trying to figure out my options in dealing

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I am a business owner trying to figure out my options in dealing with a former employee who continues to cause problems for my business. In each of the following incidents, please tell me specifically what crime (if any) has been committed, and what penalties the former employee could be facing if I were to press charges:

1. Upon his termination, he turned in his keys to the office. However my surveillance shows that he kept a set of keys and has been using those to enter the office in the middle of the night.

2. While on the premises in the middle of the night, he has entered my and other co-workers offices, gone through personal and business papers and files, and has taken pictures of notes and papers on peoples desks.

3. More concerning, he has repeatedly placed hidden recording devices in my office and in the offices of other co workers, recording multiple private business and personal conversations.

4. He has then repeatedly shared details of those conversations with multiple people - mutual friends and colleagues.

Again, if you could tell me the specific crimes committed in each of the issues listed above, and the potential penalties, I'll be able to weigh my options. Thank you!
1. The most obvious charge just for entering is criminal trespass. However, that usually requires some type of warning or notice being given to the person telling them not to enter the premises OR that the premises be surrounded by some type of fence. However, the fact that his keys were taken from him and he is using a set that you were unaware he had should get around the warning or enclosure requirement. Entering a building, as opposed to a residence, is a class B misdemeanor and has a potential sentence of up to 90 days in jail.

2. The "messing with people's stuff" really doesn't raise the level of the crime past that described in #1.

3. It is a felony to overhear or record, through use of an electronic or mechanical device, a wire or oral communication without the consent of at least one party to that communication. Ky. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 526.010. A person is guilty of eavesdropping when he intentionally uses any device to eavesdrop, whether or not he is present at the time. Ky. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 526.020. This can carry a penalty of up to 1-5 years in prison.

4. KY is one of the few states that makes it a separate crime to share information obtained while recording illegally. Divulging information obtained through illegal eavesdropping is a separate crime, punishable as a misdemeanor. Ky. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 526.060.

When you combine the entering the building with the placing of the eavesdropping devices then the combination of those two acts can be burglary and would likely be Burglary in the Third Degree which is a Class D felony and like the one above, has a potential sentence of 1-5 years in prison.

511.040 BURGLARY IN THE THIRD DEGREE

(1) A person is guilty of burglary in the third degree when, with the intent to commit a crime, he knowingly enters or remains unlawfully in a building.

(2) Burglary in the third degree is a Class D felony.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Would this person potentially be liable for any civil suit, perhaps in the case of #3? What would that look like?

There is a potential civil suit either for an injunction to prevent him from coming on the property or one for damages, but nothing in your facts indicates that any damages were suffered so it would end up costing more to pursue that kind of a lawsuit than you would recover. Attorney's fees are not a recoverable item in this type of a damages suit.
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Thank you very much for the Positive Rating. Please come back and visit us if you have any new questions and feel free to ask for me by placing “FOR JD 1992” in the subject line or as the first words of your question and I will pick up as soon as I see it.

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