Drug Possession Charge in Kentucky

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Kentucky does not take drug offenses lightly. Possession of even a small amount of illegal drugs carry large fines and can even land you in jail.

Kentucky and Federal Drug Schedules
Schedule I Drugs with a high potential for abuse and that have no accepted medical use in the United States or lack accepted safety for use in treatment under medical supervision such as heroin, GHB, LSD, marijuana, and ecstasy.
Schedule II Drugs with a high potential for abuse which may lead to severe psychic or physical dependence, and that currently have accepted medical use in the United States with or without severe restrictions such as methamphetamines, methadone, amphetamines, opium, and cocaine.
Schedule III Drugs with less potential abuse than those listed in Schedules I or II which may lead to moderate or low physical or high psychological dependence, and that currently have accepted medical use in the United States such as anabolic steroids, testosterone, codeine, hydrocodone, ketamine, and certain depressants.
Schedule IV Drugs with a low potential for abuse relative to substances in Schedule III which may lead to limited physical or psychological dependence, and that currently have accepted medical use in the United States such as sedatives and certain tranquilizers.
Schedule V Drugs with a low potential for abuse relative to substances in Schedule IV which may lead to limited physical or psychological dependence, and that currently have accepted medical use in the United States such as non-prescription preparations that have Codeine in them.

Penalties for Possession of Controlled Substances in Kentucky

Kentucky drug possession laws level penalties based on whether the charge is considered a first, second, or third degree offense. The law determines the degree by the type of controlled substance possessed.

First Degree

A person is guilty of possession of a controlled substance in the first degree when he knowingly and unlawfully possesses a controlled substance that contains any quantity of methamphetamine, including its salts, isomers, and salts of isomers or,
that is classified in Schedules I or II which is a narcotic drug; a controlled substance analogue; lysergic acid diethylamide; phencyclidine; gamma hydroxybutyric acid (GHB), including its salts, isomers, salts of isomers, and analogues; or flunitrazepam, including its salts, isomers, and salts of isomers. The penalty for possession of a controlled substance in the first degree is:

  • For a first offense a Class D felony.
  • For a second or subsequent offense a Class C felony.

Second Degree

A person is guilty of possession of a controlled substance in the second degree when he knowingly and unlawfully possesses a controlled substance classified in Schedules I or II which is not a narcotic drug or a controlled substance classified in Schedule III but not lysergic acid diethylamide, phencyclidine, or marijuana. The penalty for possession of a controlled substance in the second degree is:

  • For a first offense a Class A misdemeanor.
  • For a second or subsequent offense a Class D felony.

Third Degree

A person is guilty of possession of a controlled substance in the third degree when he knowingly and unlawfully possesses a controlled substance classified in Schedules IV or V. The penalty for possession of a controlled substance in the third degree is:

  • For a first offense a Class A misdemeanor.
  • For a second or subsequent offense a Class D felony.


Kentucky Penal Code Designation of Offenses

Class D Felony: A term of imprisonment of at least one (1) but not more than five (5) years.

Class C Felony: A term of imprisonment of at least five (5) but not more than ten (10) years.

Class A Misdemeanor: A term of imprisonment with a maximum which falls between ninety (90) days and twelve months.



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