Drug Trafficking

Drug Trafficking is a very serious crime and the punishments can vary widely depending on the type of drug, the amount, and whether it is a first offense. Additionally, some trafficking offenses are not currently eligible for expungement. You need a criminal defense lawyer to review the facts of your case. The difference between a possession and trafficking charge can be life changing. Below are a few of the drug trafficking laws in Kentucky.

218A.1412 Trafficking in controlled substance in first degree -- Penalties. (1) A person is guilty of trafficking in a controlled substance in the first degree when he or she knowingly and unlawfully traffics in:(a) Four (4) grams or more of cocaine; (b) Two (2) grams or more of 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 heroin, fentanyl, carfentanil, or fentanyl derivatives; 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; or (e) Any quantity of a controlled substance specified in paragraph (a), (b), or (c) of this subsection in an amount less than the amounts specified in those paragraphs.

(2) The amounts specified in subsection (1) of this section may occur in a single transaction or may occur in a series of transactions over a period of time not to exceed ninety (90) days that cumulatively result in the quantities specified in this section.

(3) (a) Any person who violates the provisions of subsection (1)(a), (b), (c), or (d) of this section shall be guilty of a Class C felony for the first offense and a Class B felony for a second or subsequent offense. (b) Any person who violates the provisions of subsection (1)(e) of this section:1. Shall be guilty of a Class D felony for the first offense and a Class C felony for a second or subsequent offense; and 2. a. Except as provided in subdivision b. of this subparagraph, where the trafficked substance was heroin and the defendant committed the offense while possessing more than one (1) items of paraphernalia, including but not limited to scales, ledgers, instruments and material to cut, package, or mix the final product, excess cash, multiple subscriber identity modules in excess of the number of communication devices possessed by the person at the time of arrest, or weapons, which given the totality of the circumstances indicate the trafficking to have been a commercial activity, shall not be released on parole until he or she has served at least fifty percent (50%) of the sentence imposed. 

b. This subparagraph shall not apply to a person who has been determined by a court to have had a substance use disorder relating to a controlled substance at the time of the offense. “Substance use disorder” shall have the same meaning as in the current edition of the American Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders.           

(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, fentanyl, carfentanil, or fentanyl derivatives.

218A.1413 Trafficking in controlled substance in second degree -- Penalties. (1) A person is guilty of trafficking in a controlled substance in the second degree when: (a) He or she knowingly and unlawfully traffics in: 1. Ten (10) or more dosage units of a controlled substance classified in Schedules I and II that is not a narcotic drug; or specified in KRS 218A.1412, and which is not a synthetic drug, salvia, or marijuana; or 2. Twenty (20) or more dosage units of a controlled substance classified in Schedule III; (b) He or she knowingly and unlawfully prescribes, distributes, supplies, or sells an anabolic steroid for: 1. Enhancing human performance in an exercise, sport, or game; or 2. Hormonal manipulation intended to increase muscle mass, strength, or weight in the human species without a medical necessity; or (c) He or she knowingly and unlawfully traffics in any quantity of a controlled substance specified in paragraph (a) of this subsection in an amount less than the amounts specified in that paragraph. (2) (a) Except as provided in paragraph (b) of this subsection, any person who violates the provisions of subsection (1) of this section shall be guilty of a Class D felony for the first offense and a Class C felony for a second or subsequent offense. (b) Any person who violates the provisions of subsection (1)(c) of this section shall be guilty of: 1. A Class D felony for the first offense, except that KRS Chapter 532 to the contrary notwithstanding, the maximum sentence to be imposed shall be no greater than three (3) years; and 2. A Class D felony for a second offense or subsequent offense.

218A.1414 Trafficking in controlled substance in third degree -- Penalties. (1)  A person is guilty of trafficking in a controlled substance in the third degree when he or she knowingly and unlawfully traffics in:(a) Twenty (20) or more dosage units of a controlled substance classified in Schedules IV or V; or (b) Any quantity of a controlled substance specified in paragraph (a) of this subsection in an amount less than the amount specified in that paragraph.

(2) (a)  Any person who violates the provisions of subsection (1)(a) of this section shall be guilty of:1.  A Class A misdemeanor for a first offense involving one hundred twenty (120) or fewer dosage units; 2.  A Class D felony for a first offense involving more than one hundred twenty (120) dosage units; and 3.  A Class D felony for a second or subsequent offense.

(b)  Any person who violates the provisions of subsection (1)(b) of this section shall be guilty of:1.  A Class A misdemeanor for the first offense, subject to the imposition of presumptive probation; and 2.  A Class D felony for a second or subsequent offense, except that KRS Chapter 532 to the contrary notwithstanding, the maximum sentence to be imposed shall be no greater than three (3) years.