Drug Charges You Could Face
In the Commonwealth of Kentucky, a person may be charged with any of the following drug-related offenses:
Drug Possession or Possession of a Controlled Substance
Under Kentucky law, a person may be facing drug possession charges if he or she knowingly and unlawfully possesses a controlled substance or illicit drugs, such as cocaine, methamphetamines, marijuana, or other controlled dangerous substances (CDS).
Under Kentucky Statutes section 218A.1423, a person may be guilty of marijuana cultivation when he knowingly and unlawfully plants, cultivates, or harvests marijuana with the intent to sell or transfer it.
A person may be facing drug trafficking charges if he or she partakes in making, transferring, selling, or possessing controlled substances, with intent to make, sell, or transfer. Drug trafficking is a very serious crime that is punished severely in Kentucky.
Methamphetamine is the most commonly manufactured CDS in Kentucky. A person may be guilty of drug manufacturing for knowingly and unlawfully manufacturing methamphetamine or for having two or more chemicals, compounds, or pieces of equipment that can be used to make the drug.
Prescription Drug Fraud
A person may be facing prescription drug fraud charges for forging a prescription slip, robbing pharmacies, altering a legitimate prescription, impersonating medical staff, or faking ailments.
Drug Schedules in Kentucky
In the Commonwealth of Kentucky, controlled substances and the compounds that are used to manufacture them are classified into five different "schedules." These include:
- Schedule I: These are drugs with a high potential for abuse and have no known medical use. Examples include hallucinogens (LSD), opiates, marijuana, peyote, opium derivatives, ecstasy, and heroin.
- Schedule II: These drugs have a high potential for abuse but have severe restrictions for medical use. Examples include cocaine, morphine, opium, methadone, methamphetamine, and PCP.
- Schedule III: These substances have a high potential for abuse but lower than Schedule I or II drugs. They are currently accepted for medical use. They include Tylenol with codeine, Vicodin, HGH, Marinol, and anabolic steroids.
- Schedule IV: These substances have a low potential for abuse relative to Schedule III substances. They include stimulants and depressants, such as Xanax, Darvon, Versed, and Valium. These are acceptable for medical use and treatment purposes.
- Schedule V: These are drugs with an even lower potential for abuse relative to other scheduled drugs. They are permissible for treatment purposes. They include Robitussin AC, Phenergan with codeine, and cough syrups.
Possible Penalties for Drug Possession in Kentucky
Possession of a controlled substance in Kentucky is considered unlawful. The criminal penalties will depend on the quantity and type of controlled substance found in the defendant's possession and other surrounding circumstances. Possible penalties include:
Possession of CDS in the First Degree
A first-degree offense is when a person intentionally or knowingly possesses certain amounts of Schedule I or II substances. For the first or second offense, the defendant may be subjected to presumptive probation or a deferred prosecution program. Defendants who are unable to meet the conditions for probation may be charged with a Class D felony, punishable by one to three years in prison and a fine between $1,000 and $10,000.
Possession of CDS in the Second Degree
A second-degree offense is when a person intentionally or knowingly possesses certain amounts of Schedule I or II substances that are not narcotic drugs, or some Schedule III drugs. This may be charged as a class A misdemeanor and punishable by up to one year in jail, a fine of $500, or both.
Possession of CDS in the Third Degree
A third-degree offense is when a person intentionally or knowingly possesses Schedule IV or V drugs. This may be charged as a class A misdemeanor. Punishable by up to one year in jail, a fine of $500, or both.
Work With a Skilled Criminal Defense Attorney
Trying to fight your drug charges without experienced representation can actually increase your chances of getting convicted and suffering the maximum penalties. If convicted, you could face substantial fines, a lengthy prison sentence, and other social ramifications. That’s why hiring a highly skilled criminal defense attorney is absolutely imperative when it comes to protecting your rights and building a strong defense.
At the Law Offices of John Schmidt & Associates, we are committed to aggressively defending individuals facing drug crime charges. As your attorney, we will review and investigate every last detail of your case, outline an effective defense strategy for your unique situation, and do everything in our power to fight for the best possible outcome in your case. Our team will help you navigate the Kentucky criminal justice system, fight vigorously to defend your rights, and ensure that you have the best chance at getting the justice you deserve. Don’t wait. Call or reach out to our firm today to put an experienced criminal defense attorney on your side.