Were you arrested for drug trafficking in Lexington, KY? Even if you’re only under investigation, there’s no time to waste. A Lexington drug trafficking lawyer at Suhre & Associates, LLC can give you the best possible chance at avoiding conviction and protecting your future.
Collectively, our lawyers have more than 100 years of experience fighting complex criminal charges in Lexington, Kentucky.
To learn more about how our experience can work to your advantage, call our criminal defense law firm today. We offer a free consultation, so contact us now at 859-569-4014 to get the legal advice you deserve.
How Suhre & Associates, LLC Can Help if You Were Arrested for Drug Trafficking in Lexington
Drug trafficking is one of the most serious drug crimes you can face in Lexington. Police and prosecutors will throw the full weight of their resources into securing a conviction. You deserve an aggressive Lexington criminal defense lawyer in your corner.
When you hire Suhre & Associates, LLC, you can rest assured that our legal team will:
- Investigate to find any exculpatory evidence
- Make sure your legal rights are respected
- Hire experts who can strengthen your defense
- Help you understand all of your legal options, including plea bargain options, so that you can make smart choices
Navigating the criminal justice system is never easy. Having an experienced Lexington criminal defense attorney by your side can make all the difference in the world. To learn more about how we’ll fight for your rights, call to schedule a free consultation today.
Overview of Drug Trafficking Laws in Kentucky
Kentucky drug trafficking laws cover a wider range of offenses. Most people probably envision cartel-level operations, but that’s rarely the case.
You can be charged and convicted for drug trafficking for possessing a relatively small amount of a controlled dangerous substance (CDS), including prescription drugs. Prosecutors often use the law to turn a simple drug possession case into a drug trafficking charge.
Drug trafficking is almost always a felony in Kentucky.
The severity of the charges will depend upon a few different things, including:
- The type of drug involved
- The amount of the drug found in your possession
- Your past criminal history of drug offenses
- Who the drugs were sold to (trafficking charges can be aggravated if the buyer was a minor)
Drug trafficking charges can be aggravated if the activities occurred within 1,000 feet of a school building.
However, to convict, the prosecution will also have to prove that you had the required knowledge and intent to traffic the drugs in question.
Are you facing drug trafficking charges in Lexington? Call Suhre & Associates, LLC today to speak with an experienced Lexington drug trafficking attorney who can help you fight the charges.
First Degree Drug Trafficking in Kentucky
First degree drug trafficking charges apply if the prosecution can prove the defendant both knowingly and unlawfully trafficked in:
- Four grams or more of cocaine
- Two grams or more of methamphetamine
- Ten or more dosage units of a Schedule I or Schedule II CDS that is a narcotic drug or a controlled substance analog
- Any amount of heroin, fentanyl, carfentanil, or fentanyl derivatives and certain other substances
First degree drug trafficking is usually a Class C felony. Repeat offenders will face Class B felony charges.
However, defendants can face Class D felony charges for trafficking in any amount of cocaine, methamphetamine, or Schedule I or II narcotic drugs. Repeat offenders will face Class C felony charges even if the amount in their possession does not exceed the listed thresholds.
Second Degree Drug Trafficking
Second degree drug trafficking is usually a Class D felony for first offenders.
Second degree charges usually apply in criminal cases involving:
- 20 or more dosage units of a Schedule III drug
- 10 or more dosage units of a non-narcotic Schedule I or II drug
- Anabolic steroids
Defendants can face more serious Class C felony charges for subsequent offenses.
Third Degree Drug Trafficking
Third degree drug trafficking charges apply in cases involving 20 or more units of a Schedule IV or V drug.
The precise charge depends upon the amount of the drug in question:
- Class A misdemeanor charges apply for a first offense involving 120 or fewer dosage units
- Class D felony charges apply for more than 120 dosage units
- Class D felony for a second and subsequent offenses
If charged with a Class A misdemeanor, the defendant has the benefit of a presumptive period of probation in lieu of jail time.
Kentucky Laws on Trafficking in Marijuana
Marijuana is not legal in Kentucky. Still, laws governing marijuana crimes are structured differently than those involving other types of illegal drugs. That doesn’t mean that a marijuana trafficking charge should be taken lightly.
Trafficking in Marijuana can be charged as a serious felony or a misdemeanor, depending upon the amount of marijuana involved, as follows:
- Trafficking in less than eight ounces of marijuana is a Class A misdemeanor for first offenders and a Class D felony for repeat offenders
- Trafficking in eight or more ounces but less than five pounds of marijuana is a Class D felony for first offenders and a Class C felony for repeat offenders
- Trafficking in five or more pounds of marijuana is a Class C felony for first offenders and a Class B felony for repeat offenders
Prosecutors can use the fact that the defendant possessed eight or more ounces of marijuana as presumptive evidence that the defendant intended to sell or transfer the drugs.
Federal Drug Trafficking Laws
In addition to Kentucky state criminal charges, you could also face federal charges.
Federal drug trafficking charges might apply if:
- You took the drugs across state lines
- You sent the drugs through the U.S. mail system
- The federal government suspects you are a member of a larger criminal organization
- The alleged drug trafficking operation is linked to a death out-of-state
- Large amounts of money were involved
- Federal law enforcement officials made the arrest
If federal charges apply, your case will be heard in federal district court. You could also face a mandatory minimum sentence in federal prison. If charged, you need an experienced federal crimes lawyer by your side. Call Suhre & Associates, LLC to start building your defense today.
What are the Penalties for Drug Trafficking in Lexington, Kentucky
Under Kentucky law, drug trafficking is usually a felony.
A felony conviction in Kentucky could carry the following possible prison sentences:
- Up to three years in prison for a Class D felony conviction
- Between five and ten years in prison for a Class C felony conviction
- Between ten and 20 years in prison for a Class B felony conviction
You could also be subject to significant financial penalties, probation, and parole once you’ve been released from prison.
First degree drug trafficking charges can also carry a mandatory minimum prison sentence. Any person convicted of a Class C felony drug trafficking charge or higher is required to serve at least 50% of their prison sentence before becoming eligible for parole if the charge involved heroin, fentanyl, carfentanil, or fentanyl derivatives.
What Defenses Can Be Raised if I’m Accused of Drug Trafficking?
It can be easy to feel overwhelmed and even hopeless if you’re accused of drug trafficking. However, every defendant is innocent until proven guilty. At Suhre & Associates, LLC, our lawyers take that statement seriously.
Multiple defense strategies can be combined in a drug trafficking case.
Lack of Required Knowledge or Control
To convict, prosecutors have to prove that you were in control of the drugs and that you knew what the drugs were. That’s not always as easy as it sounds. Drugs might be found in areas where other people had access–such as a vehicle or common area of a shared home.
Prosecutors sometimes rely on circumstantial evidence to prove you had the required knowledge and control. Our attorneys will do everything they can to weaken that assumption.
Police are required to follow the law when investigating drug charges. That means they have to respect your constitutional rights. If police found the drugs during an illegal search, we can file a motion to have the evidence excluded from your case. Similarly, if the police violated your Miranda rights, any statements you made during the interrogation can be thrown out.
Lack of Evidence
In some cases, the prosecution simply doesn’t have the evidence to convict. In drug trafficking cases, prosecutors must prove possession of a controlled substance in excess of certain thresholds. If you possessed less than the required amount, prosecutors might try to make drug trafficking charges stick in some other way.
We may be able to challenge witness statements, establish police bias, or even bring in forensic experts to cast doubt on the prosecution’s case. In short, our lawyers will do everything we can to make conviction as difficult as possible.
Schedule a Free Consultation With a Lexington Drug Trafficking Lawyer
Were you arrested or charged with drug trafficking? Fighting back is the only way to avoid a criminal conviction. Call an experienced Lexington drug trafficking lawyer at Suhre & Associates, LLC today. Your initial consultation is always 100% free, so don’t hesitate to call.