Grass – pot – Maui wowie – cannabis – doobie – joint – loco weed – maryjane – reefer… Whatever you call it, marijuana is not a good thing to have on your criminal record.
In 2007, for example, there were 20,329 arrests in Kentucky for marijuana offenses. And regardless of conversations about legalizing marijuana, medical marijuana, and hemp as a cash crop, the fact is that possessing marijuana, growing marijuana and selling marijuana are all crimes in the state of Kentucky. So is driving under the influence of marijuana. And possession of drug paraphernalia can also get you in trouble.
YOUR FIRST STEP
If you find yourself facing any marijuana-related charges, you need an attorney. Dan Carman, Attorney at Law, PLLC will be able to help you through the legal tangle and achieve the best possible outcome for you. Call us at (859) 838-1415 as soon as you know you are facing marijuana charges, or use this online form.
OUR FIRST STEPS
One of the advantages of using a local criminal defense attorney is that we know how drug cases are usually handled by our local prosecutors and judges. We’re familiar with the outcome of cases similar to yours, and we can put this experience to work for you.
We’ll look at your record of prior arrests, if there were any. Kentucky allows conditional release or alternative or diversion sentencing for people facing their first prosecution. We’ll discuss with you the possible penalties and seek reduction of charges where that is a possibility.
POSSESSION OF MARIJUANA
In Kentucky, marijuana is classified as a Schedule I substance. It is a crime to possess any amount of marijuana, including small amounts for personal use.
Kentucky has recently reduced the penalties for first offenses of possession of marijuana. Possession for personal use of up to eight ounces of pot is a Class B misdemeanor, with a maximum penalty of 45 days in jail. Subsequent offenses with up to eight ounces are still felonies, punishable by up to five years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000. Possession of 8 ounces or more is typically considered trafficking by default.
It is illegal to cultivate marijuana plants in Kentucky. A person who possesses five or more plants is presumed to be cultivating with the intent to sell. A first offense for cultivation of five or more plants is a Class D felony, punishable by one to five years’ imprisonment and a fine of $1,000 to $10,000; second and subsequent offenses are Class C felonies, punishable with a fine of $1,000 to $10,000, five to ten years in prison, or both.
If you are found to be growing four or fewer plants, the prosecutor must prove that you had the intent to sell marijuana. A first offense is a Class A misdemeanor, punishable by a maximum sentence of 12 months’ imprisonment and a maximum fine of $500; but subsequent offenses are Class D felonies and can get you one to five years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine.
Trafficking includes processing or selling marijuana (or possessing with the intent to do so). Trafficking in marijuana is illegal in Kentucky, and penalties vary according to the violation.
A first offense of trafficking up to eight ounces of marijuana is a Class A misdemeanor, punishable with a fine of up to $500, up to 12 months in jail, or both. Second and subsequent offenses in this amount are Class C felonies, punishable with a fine of between $1,000 and $10,000, between five and ten years in prison, or both.
If you are found guilty of selling between eight ounces and five pounds of marijuana, you are facing a felony conviction. A first offense is a Class D felony, punishable with a fine of between $1,000 and $10,000, between one and five years in prison, or both. Second and subsequent offenses are Class C felonies, punishable with a fine of between $1,000 and $10,000, between five and ten years in prison, or both.
A first offense of trafficking five pounds or more of marijuana is a Class C felony, punishable with a fine of between $1,000 and $10,000, between five and ten years in prison, or both. Second and subsequent offenses are Class B felonies, punishable with a fine of between $1,000 and $10,000, between ten and 20 years in prison, or both.
Distributing any amount to a minor is a felony, as is distributing any amount on or within 1,000 feet of a school building. Penalties depend on whether it is a first or subsequent offense.
It is illegal in Kentucky to possess or distribute drug paraphernalia or to manufacture or possess paraphernalia with the intent to distribute it. You cannot advertise items that you know or should know are designed or intended to be used as drug paraphernalia. Paraphernalia includes items used in growing, harvesting, processing, selling, storing, or using marijuana.
Items which could be considered drug paraphernalia commonly used with marijuana include rolling papers, blunts (cigar tubes), pipes, bongs, and roach clips.
Possession of paraphernalia (first offense) is a misdemeanor, punishable by 1 year in jail and a $500 fine.
Possession of paraphernalia (subsequent offense) is a felony, punishable by 1-5 years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine.
HELP IS AVAILABLE
A phone call to Dan Carman could be the next step you need to take. We take seriously what could be serious business for you and your family. Contact us by phone at (859) 838-1415 or through our online form here.