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What is the Penalty for Marijuana?

Marijuana possession in Kentucky is governed by KRS 218A.  Pursuant to 218A.1422, possession of marijuana is a class B misdemeanor.  Generally a class B misdemeanor is subject to up to 90 days incarceration, however this section limits jail to 45 days.  Remember, this is for a small amount of marijuana.  If possession exceeds 8 ounces, then it is presumed to be trafficking which is a class D Felony.  Trafficking of less than 8 ounces is presumed to be a class A misdemeanor, unless within 1,000 feet of a school, playground or daycare. There are separate charges for possession of paraphernalia. If the amount exceeds 5 pounds, then trafficking is a class C felony, punishable by 5-10 years in prison.  Any defendant should be made aware that any trafficking charge carries the possibility of forfeiture of money, vehicles or property associated with the transaction.  The law varies greatly and the presumptions can be rebutted regarding trafficking versus possession.  As an aside, marijuana is very rarely charged as a federal offense unless the amount is extraordinary. An attorney can assist in a number of ways to minimize or even help to avoid convictions for possession.  The first question is whether the search and arrest were legitimate and proper under the law.  Also, if a first offense the defendant may be eligible for diversion or may enroll and complete a marijuana education class which can allow for the conviction to be voided and ultimately expunged. If you have been charged in Northern Kentucky, contact a criminal defense lawyer to represent you and apprise you of your rights.  In Boone, Campbell or Kenton counties, contact Michael Bouldin at [email protected] or call 859-581-6453.

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