Were you recently arrested for a marijuana crime in Lexington, KY? Violations carry harsh penalties in Kentucky despite the relaxation of marijuana laws across the U.S. An experienced Lexington marijuana crimes lawyer at Oakley & Oakley, LLC can help you defend yourself aggressively.
We’ve been fighting to protect the rights of clients in Lexington, Kentucky, since 2017. Our reputation as elite trial lawyers is well-known. When we walk into the courtroom, prosecutors know that it won’t be easy to convict.
Your future is too important to trust just any lawyer with your criminal defense. Call our law offices today for a free consultation with a lawyer experienced in handling cases involving marijuana charges.
How Can Oakley & Oakley, LLC Help if You Were Arrested for a Marijuana Crime in Lexington, KY?
States across the U.S. are decriminalizing marijuana possession. Kentucky has yet to follow suit. Even possession of a small amount of marijuana remains a crime. If you’re charged with a Lexington drug crime, you could face jail time and steep financial penalties.
Our Lexington criminal defense attorneys can fight to minimize the fallout.
When you hire our legal team, your lawyer will:
- Investigate to locate all relevant evidence
- Ensure you understand all of your legal options and rights
- Build a strong defense and fight to have your charges dismissed
- Fight to have your charges downgraded if dismissal isn’t possible
- Ensure that your constitutional rights are respected throughout the entire criminal process
- Advocate for your rights in court if necessary
When you’re arrested on criminal charges, it’s important to remember that you’re innocent until proven guilty. Police and prosecutors might behave as though your guilt is a foregone conclusion. In reality, the prosecution is required to prove every element of the crime beyond a reasonable doubt to secure a conviction.
At Oakley & Oakley, LLC, our Lexington criminal defense lawyers have over 15 years of experience defending Lexington residents. When you hire us, we’ll do everything we can to make the prosecution’s job as difficult as possible.
If you’ve been arrested, the clock is ticking. Call our law firm today so that we can get started.
Overview of Marijuana Crimes in Kentucky
Kentucky marijuana laws criminalize a range of activities related to the use, possession, growth, and sale of marijuana. Medical marijuana isn’t legal in Kentucky–and what may seem like a simple indiscretion can quickly escalate into serious charges.
Marijuana possession is by far the most common marijuana crime charged in the state of Kentucky. Possession of marijuana is still illegal in Kentucky. Under KRS 218A.1422, marijuana possession is Class B misdemeanor.
It’s also illegal to possess items and paraphernalia used to smoke marijuana–including pipes and bongs.
Trafficking in marijuana or other illegal drugs is a much more serious offense. Drug trafficking can be charged at the state or federal level. Under Kentucky state law, intent to distribute can be assumed if the defendant possessed more than eight ounces of marijuana.
Under KRS 218A.1421, prosecutors can escalate a drug possession charge to felony drug trafficking if you’re found with more than eight ounces of marijuana, as follows:
- Trafficking in between eight ounces and five pounds of marijuana is a Class D felony for first offenders and a Class C felony for repeat offenders
- Trafficking in more than five pounds of marijuana Class C felony for first offenders and a Class B felony for repeat offenders
Trafficking in less than eight ounces of marijuana is a Class A misdemeanor for first offenders and a Class D felony for second and subsequent offenses.
Cultivation of Marijuana
Under Kentucky law, a person can be convicted of marijuana cultivation for:
- Knowingly and unlawfully planting, cultivating, or harvesting marijuana with the intent to sell or transfer the marijuana
The severity of the charge depends upon how many marijuana plants were involved. Cultivating fewer than five marijuana plants is a Class A misdemeanor for first offenders and a Class D felony for repeat offenders.
Cultivating five or more marijuana plants is a Class D felony for first offenders and a Class C felony for repeat offenders.
Prosecutors can use the fact that five or more marijuana plants were involved as evidence that the plants were cultivated with intent to sell or transfer the marijuana.
Driving under the influence of marijuana or a controlled substance is also illegal in Kentucky. Operating a motor vehicle with any measurable amount of marijuana in your system is a crime.
Most people think DUI laws are primarily aimed to stop drunk driving. However, drugged driving is just as illegal in Kentucky. KRS 189.103 allows law enforcement officials to perform blood or urine tests to detect marijuana use if they have probable cause.
Police can also use your behavior to arrest on marijuana DUI charges. If convicted, you could lose your driver’s license and face financial penalties and jail time.
What are the Penalties for Marijuana Crimes in Lexington, Kentucky?
Marijuana crimes can be charged as misdemeanors or felonies. The potential penalties depend upon how the charge is graded. Your prior criminal history can also come into play when prosecutors are deciding whether to upgrade your charges to a more serious crime.
Penalties for Marijuana Possession
A conviction for possessing less than eight ounces of marijuana carries a maximum of 45-day jail sentence and a $250 fine.
Possession of drug paraphernalia, however, can be charged as a Class A misdemeanor. Class A misdemeanors are punishable by up to one year in jail and a $1,000 fine.
Penalties for Felony Conviction on Marijuana-Related Charges
You can face a significant prison sentence if you’re convicted on felony marijuana charges–even as a first offender.
The sentencing guidelines in Kentucky provide that the following punishments may apply:
- Class D felony charges: between one and five years in prison and between $1,000 and $10,000 in fines
- Class C felony charges: between five and ten years in prison and between $1,000 and $10,000 in fines
- Class B felony charges: between ten and 20 years in prison and between $1,000 and $10,000 in fines
It’s also important to consider the stigma of a felony conviction. Potential landlords and employers often ask whether you’ve been convicted of a felony. You’ll have to disclose your felony conviction well after you’ve served your punishment.
What Defenses Can Be Raised if I’m Accused of a Marijuana Crime?
Remaining silent is one of the most important things you can do if you’ve been arrested for a marijuana crime. Speak with your lawyer before talking to anyone else. Remember, you have the right to speak with your attorney before you answer police questions.
Your statements could eliminate valuable defense strategies to minimize the consequences of a crime. You could even wind up incriminating yourself for further crimes–and you’ll probably make the prosecution’s case easier to win by offering up information.
At Oakley & Oakley, LLC, our Lexington marijuana drug crimes attorneys will thoroughly investigate your case. We’ll use the facts to build a custom defense to the charge you’re facing. You can rest assured that we’ll consider every single potential defense option with one key goal: getting your charges dropped or reduced.
In cases involving marijuana crimes, defense strategies often include:
Police officers are required to respect your constitutional rights. If law enforcement officials violated your rights, the evidence they found is considered tainted.
Our attorneys in Lexington will move to have all illegally obtained evidence thrown out. Often, police search a suspect’s home or vehicle without following the proper procedures. In this case, any evidence they find can be excluded from your trial.
Sometimes prosecutors simply don’t have the evidence to prove the crime charged. For example, in a drug trafficking case, prosecutors have to prove that you possessed the marijuana with intent to sell. If they can’t establish the required intent, they can’t convict.
In other cases, it might be difficult to prove that the drugs were actually yours–especially if they were in a place where others had access.
The prosecution generally must prove that the substance in your possession was actually marijuana. They also have to prove the weight of the drugs involved in your case.
Prosecutors and labs make mistakes all the time. Errors in how the substance was handled or tested after the police took it into custody can be used in your defense strategy.
Did the police use statements you made after arrest to their advantage? If they failed to properly advise you of your right to remain silent and contact an attorney, any statements you made can be excluded from your case.
Schedule a Free Consultation With a Lexington Marijuana Crimes Lawyer
If your facing drug charges, you need a criminal defense attorney who understands the Kentucky legal system inside and out. An experienced Lexington marijuana crimes lawyer at Oakley & Oakley, LLC can help you get your life back on track. Your first consultation is free of charge, so call today to schedule yours.