felony drug charge in Kentucky

What counts as a felony drug charge in Kentucky?

Health

All states control and regulate CDS (Controlled Drug Substances), yet every state is different in context of penalties, punishment, and their definition of CDS. For example: In Kentucky, they classify drugs such as cocaine, heroin, and marijuana as a controlled substance – but their CDS guidelines also include compounds utilized to create the drugs. So considering how confusing some of this may be in the event you’re charged with a felony drug crime in Kentucky, we’re going to break such a situation into layman terms.

So When Was The Crime Committed?

A major factor that comes into play regarding CDS and penalties is when the crime was allegedly committed. This is essentially broken down into these categories:
  – Less Than A Single Month Ago.
  – 1-3 Months
  – 4-6 Months
  – 7-12 Months
  – Over 12 Months Ago
It’s also worth mentioning that we’re only covering possession due to the fact that selling or carrying CDS is subject to different penalties. In addition to this (and although it is considered a CDS), this piece does not include Kentucky’s sale and posession laws.

Kentucky & CDS Classification

By utilizing five “schedules”, Kentucky  determines what is considered dangerous in terms of CDS. These schedules also determine the penalties that will be applied in the event of possession. These schedules are as follows:
 – Schedule I Drugs – These drugs have no acceptable medical use and have high potential for abuse.
  – Schedule II Drugs – These drugs have severely restricted use in medicine (or one use) and have a high possibility of being abused.
  – Schedule III Drugs – These drugs have accepted medical use, but have less potential to be abused as the drugs listed in Schedule I and II (which includes high psychological dependence, or low/moderate dependence.)
  – Schedule IV Drugs – These drugs have accepted medical use and have a lower potential for abuse than drugs listed in both Schedule I and II (which includes limited psychological dependence or physical dependence.)
  – Schedule V Drugs – These drugs have accepted medical use and have low potential when it comes to abuse (in comparison to Schedule IV drugs.)
If you have found yourself in a position where you have been arrested for possession of a CDS, it’s important to note the Kentucky Code in which the controlled drug fits into.

CDS & Possession Penalties

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Although there’s a few limited exceptions (ex: legally prescribed drugs through prescription), it is against the law to be in possession of CDS in Kentucky. The crime one is charged with – and the penalties applied – depend on the amount and the type of CDS that was involved in such violation.

CDS Possession: First Degree

If an individual possesses amounts of Schedule I or Schedule II substances, Flunitrazepam, GHB, phencyclidine, LSD, methamphetamine, or controlled substance analogues, it’s likely they will be charged with what’s known as a class D felony. If the said individual is on their second or first offense, it’s likely that the judge make have the defendant subjected to a deferred prosecution program or presumptive probation. Such alternatives are favored in first offenses, but can happen for a second offense.

Under deferred prosecution or presumptive probation, a defendant is allowed to enter a probation program. If the defendant complys with the judge’s probation conditions, the defendant may be released or discharged without spending time in prison or paying fines.

In the event the defendant fails to meet such conditions, the judge will put the defendant on class D felony charges. If the defendant is convicted, the penalties can be at least one year in prison (up to three) and double the total gain of the crime or a penalty of $1,000 (which goes up to $10,000.) Worst case scenario, the defendant can be charged with both. In the event of a third and/or subsequent offense, a defendant must stand trial for crimes committed, yet they will not have the opportunity to have a deferred prosecution.

CDS Possession: Second Degree

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If an individual possesses Schedule I or Schedule II drugs that are not narcotics, or substances that fall into Schedule III, it’s possible that one may be given a class A misdemeanor. If the individual is convicted, they serve up to one year in jail, a fine of $500, or both combined.

CDS Possession: Third Degree 

If an individual possesses Schedule IV or Schedule V substances, it’s likely that they will be charged with what’s known as a class A misdemeanor. If the individual is convicted, they’ll serve up to one year in jail, a fine of $500, or both combined.

Salvia Possession

If an individual possesses saliva intended for human consumption, it is known as a class B misdemeanor. The penalties can include (up to) 30 days in jail, a fine of $250, or both combined.

First Degree Persistent Felony Offender

A first degree persistent felony offender is an individual who is a persistent felony offender (in the first degree) who happens to be over the age of 21 (and was older than 18 at the time of past conviction) and has more than one felony conviction in any state where the felony charge incurs a year (or more) of prison.

In this scenario, the defendant must have either been in custody, parole, on probation, or completed their sentence (for previous felonies) within the five year time frame of when the current crime being charged was committed.

In the event the current charged crime happens to be a class B felony, the prison sentence that can be applied increases to 20 (up to 50) years. In the event the charged crime happens to be a class D or class C felony,the prison sentence increases to 10 to 20 years.

Considering the information above, Kentucky CDS charges are no laughing matter. Contact us so we can get you in touch with attorneys who handle drug penalty cases today.

Sources

https://www.lexingtondefense.com/drug-charges/

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