If you were charged with a drug crime in Kentucky, you might be facing misdemeanor or felony charges. After evaluating the situation, a criminal defense attorney can explain exactly what's at stake. In the meantime, here’s some general information about drug charges—and their potential penalties—in the Bluegrass State.
What Constitutes a Misdemeanor Charge?
Misdemeanor offenses are less serious than felony ones. As such, they carry less severe penalties. In Kentucky, for example, the possession of most controlled substances is a class A misdemeanor. An exception applies to narcotics, methamphetamine, LSD, PCP, GHB, and flunitrazepam. The possession of any of these substances is a class D felony.
Trafficking marijuana can also be a misdemeanor in Kentucky. As long as it’s the defendant’s first offense and less than eight ounces of marijuana was involved, it will result in a class A misdemeanor charges. Potential penalties for the conviction of a class A misdemeanor include a fine of up to $500 and a jail sentence of up to one year.
It's worth noting that the possession of salvia, which is not a controlled substance under federal law, is also illegal in the state of Kentucky. It’s a class B misdemeanor, and potential penalties include a fine of up to $250 and a jail sentence of up to 30 days.
What Constitutes a Felony Charge?
Repeat offenders can face felony charges for the misdemeanor offenses listed above. Felony charges can also apply to manufacturing methamphetamine and to selling or trafficking controlled substances, including cocaine and heroin. For example, trafficking schedule I or II substances is a class C felony, which carries a fine of up to $10,000 or double the gain of the offense and up to 10 years in prison.
If you already have a record, it’s essential to consult with a criminal defense attorney because you could face class B felony charges instead. A conviction for a class B felony carries the same fine and a prison sentence of between 10 and 20 years.
If you’re facing misdemeanor or felony drug charges in Kentucky, turn to the criminal defense team at Lonneman & Associates, PLLC. Located in Elizabethtown, this firm has been representing the community for more than 30 years. With a commitment to forming a lasting relationship with each client, they offer a broad range of legal services. To explore all their areas of practice, visit their website. To request a consultation with a criminal defense attorney, call (270) 765-2190.