If you have been arrested on drug charges involving marijuana, you should know that Kentucky has a firm stance on the possession and sale of cannabis. The state classifies cannabis as a Schedule I substance, and it is a crime to possess, sell, or cultivate marijuana in Kentucky. This includes medical marijuana.
Defendants can be prosecuted if they have any amount of marijuana on their person or in their control, with the potential penalties rising with the amount of marijuana involved. For this reason, it is vital that you speak with a drug possession defense lawyer at The Law Offices of Steven R. Adams as soon as possible. Call us today at (513) 929-9333 for your free case evaluation.
What You May Be Charged with After a Marijuana Arrest
If this is your first arrest, police and prosecutors may be pressuring you to plead guilty and just accept the “minor” penalties you are facing. However, even if you accept some jail time or community service, you will still have a criminal record for drug possession that can be used against you when you apply for jobs, try to get into college, or even want to rent an apartment. The best way to protect your future is to fight the charges against you from the beginning.
If you have been arrested with marijuana in Kentucky, you may be charged with:
- Possession. Even if you have a small amount of marijuana for personal use, you can be charged with a class B misdemeanor, punishable with a fine up to $250 and up to 45 days in jail.
- Possession of drug paraphernalia. You don’t necessarily need to have marijuana on your person to be charged with a drug crime. In Kentucky, it is also illegal to possess, manufacture, or distribute drug paraphernalia, or to market or advertise items that are designed or intended to be used as drug paraphernalia. A first offense violation of any of these laws is a class A misdemeanor, carrying a penalty of up to 12 months in jail and a fine up to $500.
- Cultivating. It is illegal to plant, grow, or harvest marijuana plants in Kentucky. Defendants who have four (or fewer) marijuana plants can be charged with a class A misdemeanor, punishable by up to 12 months in jail and a fine of up to $500 for a first offense. Any subsequent offenses are class D felonies, punishable by up to five years in prison and fines up to $10,000.
- Cultivating with intent to sell. If you have five or more marijuana plants, you can be charged with cultivating with intent to sell. This bumps the charge to a class D felony, even for a first offense. Second or subsequent offenses are class C felonies, punishable with fines up to $10,000 and a prison sentence between five and ten years.
- Trafficking. You may be charged with trafficking if you were arrested selling marijuana or possessing a quality of the drug with the intent of selling it. If you were found with eight ounces or less, you may be charged with a class A misdemeanor and face a fine of up to $500 and up to 12 months in jail. If you were carrying between eight ounces and five pounds, you may be charged with a class D felony and face a fine up to $10,000 and up to five years in prison. Finally, if you possess five pounds of marijuana or more, you may be charged with a class C felony and face up to $10,000 in fines and between five and ten years in prison.
- Trafficking within 1,000 feet of a school building. Penalties may be increased if you were selling or attempting to sell marijuana on or near school property. While a first offense violation is a class D felony, harsher penalties may apply depending on the amount possessed.
If you are facing a criminal investigation or charges, you need an experienced drug crimes attorney. As a former prosecuting attorney, Steve Adams knows what must be proven in order to get a conviction, as well as the rules police officers must follow when making an arrest. We understand the difference the discovery of an improper traffic stop or missing search warrant can make in this type of case, and we will not overlook any detail.
Don’t wait to get legal advice after a drug charge! Call The Law Offices of Steven R. Adams at (513) 929-9333 today for your free case evaluation.