Despite recent efforts to change state law regarding the prescription of marijuana for medicinal purposes, Kentucky currently remains one of just 14 states that have yet to legalize the possession or sale of cannabis in any form. State statutes also impose harsh sanctions on individuals convicted of drug-related criminal offenses for other controlled substances. Even possession of certain substances can be punishable by multiple years of imprisonment.
If you are facing any criminal allegation related to the possession, distribution, or manufacture of illicit substances, getting help from a Florence drug lawyer may be crucial to preserving your future freedom. State authorities take these kinds of crimes very seriously, so you should not try to proceed with your legal defense without guidance and support from a qualified criminal defense attorney.
Classifications of Controlled Substances in Kentucky
The state of Kentucky follows roughly the same classification system established under federal law, categorizing various controlled substances into one of five “Schedules” based on their potential for abuse and recognized legitimate medical uses. Schedule I drugs are considered the most dangerous in this regard, while Schedule V drugs are substances that are considered to have legitimate medical uses and low potential for abuse, but still can be hazardous if used improperly. A Florence drug charge attorney could go into detail about these categories and explain what impact a controlled substance’s classification may have on potential consequences following a conviction.
Notably, marijuana is addressed separately from other controlled substances under state law. Kentucky Revised Statutes § 218A.1422 makes marijuana possession a distinct offense classified as only as a Class B misdemeanor. This means it is considered less severe than unlawful possession of other controlled substances. However, trafficking and cultivation of significant amounts of marijuana can still be prosecuted as felonies.
Possible Penalties for Different Drug Offenses
Kentucky law classifies unlawful possession of any Schedule IV or V substance as a Class A misdemeanor offense, and K.R.S. § 218A.1416 likewise makes the possession of Schedule III substances or non-narcotic Schedule I or II substances a Class A misdemeanor. A conviction under either statute could lead to maximum penalties of one year in jail and $500 in fines.
Possession of narcotic Schedule I or II substances or their analogues is a Class D felony that could result in financial penalties of $1,000 to $10,000 and a prison sentence of one to three years. However, K.R.S. §218A.14151 establishes that first- and second-time offenders may be eligible for participation in a deferred prosecution program. A drug defense lawyer in Florence could explain this further if it applies to a particular situation.
Convictions for trafficking in controlled substances may result in sanctions commensurate with anywhere from a Class A misdemeanor to a Class B felony. This will depend on the type and amount of controlled substance(s) involved, as well as whether the defendant has been convicted under the same section(s) of state law before. Finally, K.R.S. § 218A.1401 makes the sale of any controlled substance to a minor a Class C felony regardless of criminal history, and a Class B felony for subsequent convictions.
Retain the Services of a Florence Drug Attorney
The nature of your drug charges and the consequences they could produce upon conviction can vary significantly depending on the circumstances of your arrest and what you are charged with. Because of that, there is no one-size-fits-all approach to contesting drug-related criminal accusations, so assistance from legal counsel who know how to handle various types of cases can be essential.
A knowledgeable Florence drug lawyer could be an important ally to have on your side at every stage of your criminal case. Schedule your consultation by calling today.