Have you or someone you love been arrested for a drug crime in Boone County, Kentucky? Don’t give the state any extra time to build a case against you. Contact the Boone County criminal defense attorneys specializing in drug crimes at Suhre & Associates, LLC for immediate legal assistance.
The Suhre & Associates team includes defense attorneys who were formerly law enforcement, which gives us an insight into the minds of the prosecution and results in more effective representation for you. When it comes to drug crimes in particular, retaining an attorney with in-depth knowledge of the specific area of law is paramount to crafting a successful defense.
If you’ve been charged with a drug crime in Boone County, KY, it’s important to remain calm and seek the advice of an experienced criminal defense attorney specializing in drug crimes as quickly as possible. Even a minor drug charge can have lasting and substantial legal and social consequences, so it is advisable to seek counsel to help you defend against the charge as best as you can.
How Suhre & Associates Will Defend You Against Drug Charges in Boone County, KY
Due to the varying degrees of drug crimes and the specific requirements of each, there are many possible defense strategies that may apply to your individual situation. The attorneys at Suhre & Associates will analyze your particular situation and formulate the best approach for your circumstance.
Our attorneys are committed to fighting tirelessly on behalf of the people of Boone County. So, when you ask us for assistance with your case, you can expect us to:
Protect Your Constitutional Rights
An experienced defense attorney who specializes in drug crimes will hold the prosecution to the burden of proof required to prove guilt. If there are defects in the prosecution’s case, it is the responsibility of the defense attorney to identify those flaws and bring them to light for the accused’s benefit.
For example, many drug crimes require that the prosecution prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the accused knowingly and intentionally possessed the substance. The accused must also have the requisite intent to commit the crime for which he/she is charged, and actual possession which is defined as “direct physical control or custody.”
If the prosecutor lacks evidence to prove any of the above elements, the prosecution’s argument will fail.
Negotiate a Plea Agreement
Additionally, a minor charge can easily spiral into more serious allegations, and a subsequent charge can catapult the accused from facing a misdemeanor to a felony charge. When the accused does not seek the representation of a skilled and experienced criminal defense attorney specializing in drug crimes, the consequences can be severe.
Further, even if the person charged did commit the crime, a good defense attorney will use strategy and experience to identify weaknesses in the prosecution’s case and, as a result, will be in a position to negotiate a lesser charge or punishment for the accused.
While jail time and fines are the standard punishment, for first-time nonviolent offenders, probation or a deferred prosecution program may be available. Deferred probation programs require an individual to complete court-mandated requirements, like community service work and submit to random drug testing, as an alternative to jail time.
Craft Your Defense
A person accused of a drug crime may offer a defense that attacks either the stated facts offered by the prosecution or the procedure that led to the arrest.
The accused may present evidence that he/she was unaware that the substance was a controlled substance, did not possess the controlled substance knowingly, was the subject of unlawful search and seizure, or was the victim of entrapment. Further, an accused may offer an affirmative defense such as a prescription for the controlled substance.
While there are many defenses to drug crimes, each case is very fact-specific. A great criminal defense attorney specializing in drug crimes will identify the relevant facts or lack thereof, and sort through the superfluous factors to reach the best outcome for you.
What is a Drug Crime?
In Kentucky, a “drug crime” is the term used to describe a wide range of crimes that involve the possession of a controlled substance without a prescription.
The definition of a controlled substance includes:
- Anabolic steroids
- Heroin, and
- Several other substances or chemical compounds.
Drug crimes are prosecuted severely and, depending on the conditions surrounding the arrest, the accused can face either misdemeanor or felony charges.
When deciding a case, a court may consider elements such as:
- The controlled substance possessed
- The amount possessed
- How long it was in your possession
- Whether or not you were aware of your possession
- Whether you had a prescription
- Whether you sold the drug
- And other relevant aggravating or mitigating factors.
Even the least severe drug crimes can be charged as a first-degree misdemeanor, punishable by up to a year imprisonment.
Kentucky criminal statutes impose penalties not only for possession, but also for trafficking, dispensing, prescribing, distributing, or administering any controlled substance (except as authorized by law) and more. (See list below.)
Kentucky criminal statutes classifies commonly known drugs such as marijuana and cocaine as controlled substances, and also includes ingredients frequently used in manufacturing synthetic drugs. For purposes of classification, there are five schedules of controlled substances. Each schedule has its own corresponding range of penalties for possession.
Kentucky criminal statutes list the following as drug crimes:
- Involving minors in drug offenses
- Manufacturing (typically includes the growing of marijuana or creation of methamphetamine)
- Methamphetamine manufacture
- Possession (includes possession of marijuana and paraphernalia, methamphetamine, cocaine, crack, heroin, and narcotics obtained without a prescription)
- Possession of drug paraphernalia
- Possession with intent to deliver
- Prescription Fraud; possession or manufacture of prescription drugs
- and more
Additionally, Kentucky criminal statutes categorize controlled substances into the following schedules:
Schedule I Drugs
Schedule I drugs are defined as substances that have a high potential for abuse and no accepted medical use in treatment within the United States.
Examples of Schedule I drugs include:
- Mescaline ( peyote)
- Ecstasy, and
- Other hallucinogens
Note, Kentucky has laws specifically dedicated to the criminalization of marijuana.
Schedule II Drugs
Schedule II drugs are defined as substances that have a high potential for abuse and a currently accepted medical use in treatment within the United States, the abuse of which is likely to lead to severe psychic or physical dependence.
Examples of Schedule II drugs include:
- Opium Derivatives (such as Dilaudid and Morphine)
Penalties for crimes involving Schedule II drugs tend to be more serious than those for crimes involving Schedule III offenses.
Schedule III Drugs
Schedule III drugs are defined as substances that have a potential for abuse less than the substances listed in Schedules I and II, the abuse of which may lead to moderate of low physical dependence or high psychological dependence.
Examples of Schedule III drugs include barbiturates (other than those specified in Schedule II Non-narcotics), Benzphetamine, Mazindol (Sanorex), and Phendimetrazine (Stratobex).
Schedule IV Drugs
Schedule IV drugs are defined as substances that have a low potential for abuse in comparison to the substances in Schedule III, have a currently accepted medical use in treatment within the United States, the abuse of which may lead to limited physical dependence or psychological dependence relative to the substances in Schedule III.
Examples of Schedule IV drugs include Meprobamate (Equanil, Milltown), Paraldehyde, Oxazepam (Serax), Pemoline (Cylert), and stimulants such as diethylpropion (Tenuate) and phentermine (Lonamin).
Schedule V Drugs
Schedule V drugs are defined as substances that have a low potential for abuse in comparison to the substances in Schedule IV, have a currently accepted medical use in treatment within the United States, the abuse of which may lead to limited physical dependence or psychological dependence relative to the substances in Schedule IV.
Examples of Schedule V drugs include Codeine Cough Preparations – Cheracol, Robitussin AC, Phenergan with Codeine, and more.
Criminal Consequences of a Drug Conviction in Boone County, Kentucky
A person convicted of a drug crime can face years of incarceration, expensive fines, and damage to reputation and social status. Having a drug conviction on your criminal record can also severely limit your eligibility for employment in many fields, your ability to hold a professional license, and, unfortunately, may even affect a prospective employer or renter from offering employment or housing in the future.
A person who possesses a controlled substance is guilty of a Class A misdemeanor. For a Class A misdemeanor conviction, if convicted, the defendant faces incarceration for a term not to exceed 12 months, and a fine of not more than $500. A Class A misdemeanor drug charge is the lowest level of drug crimes in the state of Kentucky.
A person who traffics a controlled substance or dispenses, prescribes, distributes, or administers any controlled substance (except as authorized by law) is guilty of a Class D felony for the first offense and a Class C felony for subsequent offenses.
A Class D felony conviction in Kentucky carries a sentence of imprisonment of not less than one year and not more than five years, plus a fine of at least $1,000 but not more than $10,000, or double the gain from the crime (whichever is greater). A person convicted of a Class C felony can face a term of incarceration of not less than five years and not more than ten years, plus a fine of at least $1,000 but not more than $10,000.
Additionally, the presence of one or factors (including attempt to sell to a minor, conspiracy, or possession of a firearm at the time of offense, or previous convictions) may result in enhanced penalties.
Schedule a Free Consultation With Our Boone County Drug Crimes Attorneys Today
When the people of Boone County need an attorney to help them fight back against drug charges, they know that there is only one law firm they need to turn to – Suhre & Associates, LLC. When you call us for help, you benefit from:
- More than 15 years of experience defending clients like you;
- Former law enforcement in your corner;
- Aggressive approach;
- In-depth understanding of Kentucky drug crime laws; and
- “10-out-out 10” Rating by Avvo (Attorney Joseph Suhre).
We have the knowledge and experience needed to handle even the most complex cases. To learn more about our legal services or set up a free consultation with a member of our team, just give us a call or contact us online.