Have you been arrested for drug possession in Lexington, KY? Do not delay in seeking experienced legal counsel to help you fight the charges. With your freedom, good name, and even your employment on the line, Oakley & Oakley, LLC is here to help you.
Our criminal defense lawyers have more than 20 years of experience defending Lexington residents in federal and state courts for drug crimes. Contact our law firm to schedule a free consultation with a Lexington drug possession lawyer to begin building the strong defense you deserve.
How Oakley & Oakley, LLC Can Help if You’re Arrested for Drug Possession in Lexington
When you are charged with drug possession, you are facing the full brunt of the criminal justice system. Kentucky drug laws are harsh. Prosecutors have little sympathy for alleged offenders, even in cases involving simple drug possession for personal use.
You deserve a Lexington criminal defense attorney on your side who will protect your constitutional rights and uphold the sacred principle that you are innocent until proven guilty.
Oakley & Oakley, LLC has represented Lexington, Kentucky residents since 2017. Our attorneys have over 20 years of experience handling federal and state criminal charges.
When you choose Oakley & Oakley, LLC to represent you in your drug possession case, we will:
- Offer sound legal advice on the best approach to winning your case
- Investigate your case to determine if your rights were violated
- Challenge the state’s evidence against you, including how it was identified and obtained and whether it is valid
- Work with specialists for expert testimony to level the playing field against you
We believe you deserve a defense lawyer who cares about you. We will fight to preserve your future and secure the best possible outcome. Contact Oakley & Oakley, LLC today for a free case review with a Lexington drug possession lawyer to begin crafting your defense.
Overview of Drug Possession Laws in Kentucky
Possession of a controlled substance is perhaps the most common drug offense in Lexington. Kentucky Revised Statutes Chapter 218A classifies common controlled substances and defines prohibited acts related to controlled substances.
In Kentucky, controlled substances and the compounds used to manufacture them are divided into five “schedules.” The severity of a drug possession offense will depend on the type of drug and its schedule, the amount of the drug, and whether you have a prior criminal record.
Drug possession is a first-degree, second-degree, or third-degree offense in Kentucky. Note that possession of marijuana is also illegal, but treated separately from controlled substances.
First-Degree Drug Possession
Under KRS 218A.1415, First-Degree drug possession is a Class D felony for a first offense. For a subsequent offense, it is a Class C felony. First-degree possession is charged for Schedule I or Schedule II narcotics, methamphetamine, and controlled substance analogues.
You will be charged with first-degree drug possession if you have any amount of cocaine, heroin, LSD, methamphetamine, and other Schedule I and Schedule II narcotics.
Second-Degree Drug Possession
Under KRS 218A.1416, this is a Class A misdemeanor for a first offense. It is a Class D felony for a subsequent offense. It is charged for possession of non-narcotic Schedule I or Schedule II drugs and the majority of Schedule III controlled substances. Some prescription drugs are included in this category.
Third-Degree Drug Possession
Under KRS 218A.1417, this is a Class A misdemeanor for a first offense. It is upgraded to a Class D felony for a subsequent offense. Third-degree possession is charged for possession of Schedule IV and Schedule V drugs.
Possession of Marijuana
Marijuana possession is a separate type of drug possession offense under KRS 218A.1422. This is typically a Class B misdemeanor. Marijuana cultivation and trafficking are separate charges that may be felonies.
It is common for a simple drug possession offense to be escalated to far more serious drug trafficking charges. Trafficking of a controlled substance may be charged if you are found in possession of a drug above the threshold amounts. For example, more than 10 doses of a Schedule I or II narcotic or non-narcotic can be considered trafficking.
How Are Controlled Substances Classified in Kentucky?
Controlled substances, chemicals used to manufacture, and their analogues are classified into drug schedules in Kentucky. Note that controlled substance analogues are substances that are similar to controlled substances or represented as being similar.
Schedule I Controlled Substances
These drugs have the highest risk of dependency and abuse with no accepted medical uses. Examples include:
Schedule I drugs have the harshest penalties.
Schedule II Controlled Substances
These drugs are highly addictive but have some medical use. Common examples include opium, cocaine, and morphine.
Schedule III Controlled Substances
These drugs have some potential for abuse. Common examples are codeine and ketamine.
Schedule IV Controlled Substances
This group of drugs has a relatively low risk of dependency with accepted medical uses. Examples are prescription drugs for anxiety, sleeping medication, and tranquilizers.
Schedule V Controlled Substances
These drugs pose the lowest risk for abuse and dependency. They also have accepted medical uses.
What Are the Penalties for Drug Possession in Lexington, Kentucky?
The penalties for a Lexington drug conviction are serious, no matter the degree of the offense. Penalties will depend on the degree of possession and any prior criminal record. However, Kentucky drug crime sentencing does offer options to avoid jail time, even for a second offense.
If you are convicted of possession of a controlled substance in the first degree, a first or sometimes a second offense may be punishable with presumptive probation or deferred prosecution. This option is available under KRS 218A.1415. Through a deferred prosecution program, you will be required to follow the terms of probation set by a judge. If probation is completed, the charge can be discharged without time in prison or fines.
If you do not meet the conditions for probation, the penalties for a Class D felony conviction include up to 3 years in prison and a fine of up to $1,000.
For a second or subsequent offense, first-degree drug possession is a Class C felony in Kentucky. This crime is punishable by 5 to 10 years in prison, if you are not eligible for deferred prosecution or probation.
Deferred prosecution is not available for a third or subsequent offense.
Most drug possession offenses in Kentucky are felonies. However, you may be charged with misdemeanor drug possession with the following penalties:
- Drug possession in the second degree may be punishable by up to one year in jail and/or a fine of up to $500 as a Class A misdemeanor.
- Drug possession in the third degree is punishable by up to one year in jail as a Class A misdemeanor.
- Marijuana possession is a Class B misdemeanor punishable by up to 45 days in jail and a fine of up to $250.
If you have prior felony convictions, you may face enhanced penalties due to a persistent felony offender status. This will not apply if you are charged with a Class D felony that would otherwise be a Class A misdemeanor if it was a first offense.
A persistent felony offender in the first degree charged with Class C or Class D felony drug possession will face 10 to 20 years in prison. A persistent felony offender in the second degree will be sentenced at the next highest degree of the charge. A Class D felony will be sentenced as a Class C felony.
A drug conviction can have lifelong consequences that go far beyond jail or prison time. It’s crucial to consult with an experienced defense attorney in Lexington as soon as possible to build your defense and seek alternatives to conviction.
What Defenses Are Available if I’m Accused of Drug Possession in Lexington, KY?
There are many ways to defend yourself against a drug possession charge in Lexington. Our Lexington drug crime lawyers will help you explore possible defense strategies available in your case.
One important defense is available through KRS 218A.133. This statute protects people who overdose on drugs from prosecution when they seek medical care.
We may also build a defense based on the following strategies:
- Violations of your constitutional rights or police misconduct. We will investigate whether police conducted an illegal search and seizure or whether other constitutional rights were violated. If so, we will seek to have evidence suppressed.
- Lack of possession. The prosecution must show that the drugs were under your control, in your possession, and belonged to you. If drugs were not yours, you may have a valid defense if the drugs were found in a shared area of your home, a roommate’s room, or in your car.
- Entrapment. if you were convinced to commit a drug offense through illegal tactics or manipulation, you may have a defense of entrapment.
It’s important to contact us as soon as possible after your arrest. We will investigate the circumstances of your case and begin working on a strong defense.
Contact a Lexington Drug Possession Lawyer for a Free Consultation
When you are facing drug possession charges, remember that you are innocent until proven guilty. You may feel hopeless, but our experienced Lexington drug possession lawyers will fight to clear your name or seek alternatives to jail time and conviction.
Contact Oakley & Oakley, LLC today for a free consultation. We will help you explore the best legal options in your case.