There are a wide range of criminal charges related to opioids (legal and illegal drugs that act on opioid receptors in the brain to dull pain and produce a high). These charges could be brought against anyone in Kentucky, from a homeless person living on the street to a medical professional. If you use or sell opioids and are being investigated by law enforcement, or have already been arrested, we can help.
Kentucky Opioid Charges Involve the Famous and Not So Famous
These types of arrests are common occurrences in Kentucky.
- Raids ended in dozens of arrests and thousands of dollars of drugs being confiscated in a multi-state sting by local and federal agents in May, reports WDRB. Drugs that were confiscated included marijuana, heroin, ecstasy pills and opioid pills.
- Churchgoers in Graves County called the police because two men in their parking lot were acting suspiciously. Police arrested the two after they were found with scales, a large amount of cash, a plastic bag containing OxyContin and other drugs, reports KFVS.
- Two Lawrenceburg residents were arrested in Anderson County on federal opioid distribution charges. Their vehicle was pulled over by Louisville police, who found more than two pounds of fentanyl in it, worth an estimated $1.6 million dollars, according to WKYT.
- Former University of Kentucky basketball star Rex Chapman became addicted to opioid pain medications, including Vicodin and OxyContin, after suffering a number of injuries. His erratic behavior included retail theft, for which he was arrested in 2014, according to his article in Sports Illustrated.
Often, charges involving opioids are the result of cooperation between local and state police along with the federal Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA). Depending on the facts, violations of state and federal law may be charged. Sometimes arrests are the result of random events, like a car’s being pulled over and opioids being found in the vehicle.
Kentucky Opioid Charges You Might Face
The types of drug-related criminal charges include:
- Paraphernalia: This is any equipment used to prepare, inject, inhale, produce or conceal illegal opioids. It’s against the law for anyone to possess, sell, import or export drug paraphernalia.
- Possession: It’s a crime under both federal and state drug laws to possess any illicit controlled substances, such as illegal opioids (heroin) or legal opioids (oxycodone (OxyContin), hydrocodone (Vicodin), codeine, morphine and fentanyl), which have been obtained or manufactured illegally. If you’re found in possession of an illegal drug you may be charged with simple possession or with possession with intent to distribute, depending on the amount, which could result in increased criminal penalties if convicted.
- Manufacturing/Delivery: You could be charged with drug manufacturing if you’re involved in any step of the production process of illegal opioids. The delivery of an illegal opioid is also a crime under federal and state laws.
- Trafficking: Drug trafficking and distribution laws make it illegal to sell, transport and import illegal opioids. This is a more serious crime than just drug possession because it normally involves the transportation of a large amount of illegal opioids.
- Dealing: This generally covers selling of illegal opioids on a smaller scale. This normally involves one person selling a small amount, and the punishment is less severe than trafficking larger amounts.
- Prescriptions: Medical professionals can be charged with crimes if they’re involved in “pill mills” and provide prescriptions for opioids to those who don’t have a medical reason for them (they want opioids due to their addiction or to sell to others). If a person steals prescription forms and forges an opioid prescription and a healthcare provider’s signature, he or she can also be charged with a crime.
- Murder and manslaughter: Increasingly, murder (intentional killing) or manslaughter (killing because of negligence) charges await dealers and others who supplied opioids to users who died of overdoses. .
- Miscellaneous: Because of an addiction to opioids, a person may resort to theft, burglary or shoplifting to support their habit. Parents who become addicted may be so focused on their drug use that they neglect or endanger their children. Drivers high on opioids can be arrested for driving under the influence.
Help for Those Facing Kentucky Opioid Charges
If you’re abusing opioids, get medical help before law enforcement gets involved in your life or you end up killing yourself with an overdose. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse …
- Kentucky healthcare providers wrote 97 opioid prescriptions for every 100 residents, or 4.47 million prescriptions — a rate that’s nearly 30% higher than the national average.
- Kentucky is one of the top ten states with the highest opioid-related overdose deaths. There were 989 opioid-related overdose deaths in the state in 2016, a rate of 23.6 deaths per 100,000 persons — nearly twice the national rate.
- Heroin overdose deaths went up from 143 to 311 since 2012, and deaths connected to synthetic opioids went from 70 to 465.
If you have been charged with an opioid-related offense or any crime in Kentucky, the Carman Law Firm offers experienced representation. Dan Carman has practiced law in Kentucky for years, and also served as in-house counsel for an infantry battalion when he was deployed to Iraq as a U.S. Marine. From arrest to appeal, he has the necessary expertise to effectively maneuver your case through the criminal process. Contact him by phone at (859) 685-1055 or by filling out our online contact form.