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Trafficking – Penalties and Laws in KY

Posted on June 17, 2016 in Federal Crimes in Northern KY General Criminal Law Issues - Northern KY State Crimes in Northern Kentucky

I am often asked what differentiates trafficking from possession if a person is not caught in the act of selling?

The specific definition of trafficking of a controlled substance is found in KRS 218A.010 (50) “Traffic,” except as provided in KRS 218A.1431, means to manufacture, distribute, dispense, sell, transfer, or possess with intent to manufacture, distribute, dispense, or sell a controlled substance.  The trier of facts (typically a jury) can use other indicia of trafficking to infer trafficking or intent to traffic.  For example, if a defendant is found with a large quantity of the controlled substance, a phone (or phones) with text messages indicating trafficking, cash or other items, then that person may be charged with trafficking under KRS 218A.1412 or other statutes.

methamphetamine is found in KRS 218A.1431 as follows (3) “Traffic” means to distribute, dispense, sell, transfer, or possess with intent to distribute, dispense, or sell methamphetamine.

Trafficking of Marijuana is typically a misdemeanor, unless within 500 feet of a school zone or more than 8 ounces (oz.).  Small trafficking is generally a class D Felony, punishable by 1-5 years in prison.  Some trafficking offenses have higher penalties.  For example the following are charged as a Class C Felony, punishable by 5-10 years in prison:

(a) Four (4) grams or more of cocaine;
(b) Two (2) grams or more of heroin, fentanyl, or methamphetamine;
(c) Ten (10) or more dosage units of a controlled substance that is classified in Schedules I or II and is a narcotic drug, or a controlled substance analogue;
(d) Any quantity of 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.

Of additional note, most non-violent felonies are at least eligible for probation and have parole eligibility after serving 20% of a sentence.  Pursuant to KRS 218A.1412 (c) Any person convicted of a Class C felony offense or higher under this section shall not be released on probation, shock probation, parole, conditional discharge, or other form of early release until he or she has served at least fifty percent (50%) of the sentence imposed in cases where the trafficked substance was heroin. This was modification made by recent statutes in March, 2015.

If you have been charged with possession or trafficking of a controlled substance, you need an experienced criminal defense attorney.  For representation in Northern Kentucky, call Michael Bouldin at 859-581-MIKE.  Email mwbouldin2@gmail.com or call 859-581-6453.