Manual Series

The Department publishes the following manuals available for download below. For questions about the manual series, contact

Trial Law Notebook: 

  • Description: The DPA Trial Law Notebook, 6th Edition, provides a resource which is both comprehensive and quick-to-consult.  The Guide to Kentucky Sentencing Law is contained in the latter half of the manual and can assist with sentencing and exposure calculation and release eligibility details. The Trial Law Notebook is specifically designed for use during a trial: each section of the Notebook is in the order of each corresponding part of a criminal trial.
  • ​Download Manual:

Evidence Manual:

  • ​Description: The Evidence Manual is designed to be helpful in the courtroom at the moment a question must be answered.  Many sections have been improved by placing the cases discussed under each rule in alphabetical order for quick reference. As indispensable as the rules of evidence themselves, the newly revised DPA Evidence Manual, 8th Edition will be a welcome aide to judges, prosecutors, defense attorneys, and any criminal defense practitioners needing quick and accurate information on the current state of the law regarding evidence issues. 
  • Download​ Manual: Evidence Manual (2017)

Juvenile Advocacy Manual: 

  • Description: The manual covers how to handle all the most routine charges a juvenile defendant may face, with the relevant statutes and case law laid out in each instance.  The manual covers everything from Beyond Control charges to the transfer of a juvenile to circuit court as an adult.  Best practices and the most important issues to confront in the handling of a juvenile case are also included.
  • Download Manual: Juvenile Manual

Pretrial Release Manual: 

  • Description: Compiled in response to the need to address long-standing systemic inequalities in the uniform application of the bail statutes throughout the state, and in response to the need to expedite the provisions of HB 463 which were conceived as an attempt to address the problem, the Pretrial Release Manual is at once both a concise introduction to the law of pretrial release in Kentucky as well as a guide to extended litigation of the issues surrounding pretrial release as well.
  • Download Manual: Pretrial Release Manual (2013)

Kentucky Bail Practice Guide: 

  • Description: This practice guide is intended as a quick reference manual to arguments commonly made and suggested in the context of pretrial release, including new constitutional arguments that are gaining ground nationally. This guide is an outline of the effective methods of challenging denial of pretrial release in Kentucky. It contains portions of the Pretrial Release Manual
  • Download Manual: Bail Practice Guide  (2019)

DUI Manual: 

  • Description: This manual is intended to take you through a DUI charge from beginning to end, addressing issues you may see along the way.  Much of this manual is affected by the law changes which are going into effect in July 2020, which is covered in detail in the DUI Manual, 3rd Edition (July 2020).
  • Download Manual: DUI MANUAL, 3rd Edition (July 2020)

Collateral Consequences Manual: 

  • Description: The message of Padilla v. Commonwealth, 130 S.Ct. 1473 (2010) is: Competent counsel must warn a client considering a guilty plea about the consequences of conviction that are 1) severe and certain, 2) of predictable importance to the client, 3) whether they arise from statute, regulation, or contract. In response to this expansion of effective assistance of counsel, the Kentucky Department of Public Advocacy has published a new manual of Collateral Consequences of Criminal Convictions in Kentucky. This 110-page manual includes a survey of state statutes and administrative regulations, as well as a number of federal statutes, to bring together in one place the “severe and certain” consequences of a guilty plea which will most often be “of predictable importance to the client.”  While the manual is not exhaustive, all of the most predictable collateral consequences of conviction have been included.
  • Download Manual: Collateral Consequences Manual

Expert Funds Manual: 

  • Description: The Expert Funds manual is a review of United States and Kentucky caselaw on the defense right to expert funds, a review of the relevant Kentucky statutes, and a number of practice aids such as sample motions and orders for funding. 
  • The Expert Funds Manual is currently being updated

Mental Health Manual: 

  • Description: Completely revised in November, 2014, the manual is a comprehensive guide to mental health defenses, examination, diagnoses, and expert witnesses. 
  • Download Manual: Mental Health Manual​

Litigating Race Issues Manual:

  • Description: Published in May, 2008, this manual is a comprehensive guide to litigating racial issues from selective prosecution, to pretrial release, to suppression, to voir dire, and through sentencing.  It is composed of thirteen informational articles on various aspects of litigating race. ​
  • Download Manual: Litigating Race Issues Manual

Best Practices Guide – Recitation of Rights in Criminal Cases:

  • ​A joint project of Kentucky District Court Judges, County Attorneys, Public Defenders, and Criminal Defense Lawyers. This manual outlines the Best Practices for the Recitation of Rights in a Criminal Case.
  • Download the Best Practices Guide: Best Practices – Recitation of Rights

Expungement – Lawyers Guide:

  • The Lawyers Guide to expungement in Kentucky is a manual designed to provide attorneys with all the necessary resources to assist their clients in seeking expungement. 
  • The Expungement Guidebook is a quick-reference pamphlet designed to quickly determine if a client is eligible for expungement.