What are the Penalties for Fentanyl Trafficking in Kentucky?

Penalties for Fentanyl Trafficking in Kentucky

Our Bowling Green and Owensboro criminal defense lawyer, John Caudill, knows that every state in the nation, including the Commonwealth of Kentucky, is cracking down on all drug crimes related to fentanyl.

According to the General Assembly of the Commonwealth of Kentucky, drug trafficking can include distribution, possession, and manufacturing charges. In Kentucky, a person is guilty of trafficking in a controlled substance in the first degree when they knowingly and unlawfully trafficked in ANY quantity of fentanyl, carfentanil, or fentanyl derivatives.

In addition, last year, Kentucky House Bill 215 (HB 215) significantly increased the minimum sentence to be served for anyone convicted of fentanyl trafficking anywhere in the state. HB 215 also requires fentanyl traffickers to serve at least 85% of their prison sentence — up from the previous requirement of 50% before the Bill was drafted and signed into law.

Our Warren County criminal defense lawyer has 30 years of experience representing individuals charged at the state and federal levels for drug trafficking in Kentucky. If you are facing these charges for fentanyl trafficking, you must understand that the prosecutor or U.S. Attorney will seek the maximum sentence in your case.

To follow are the state penalties and federal sentencing guidelines they will use to assess the time those who are convicted should spend behind bars.

What are the Penalties for Fentanyl Trafficking Convictions in Kentucky?

Fentanyl Trafficking

A person is guilty of importing carfentanil, fentanyl, or fentanyl derivatives when they knowingly and unlawfully transport any quantity of carfentanil, fentanyl, or fentanyl derivatives into the Commonwealth by any means with the intent to sell or distribute the drug in any of its forms.

Importing carfentanil, fentanyl, or fentanyl derivatives is a:

  • Class C felony for a first offense, punishable by five to ten years in prison.
  • Class B felony for a second or subsequent offense, punishable by ten to 20 years in prison.

In addition, the defendant shall not be:

  • Eligible for pretrial diversion.
  • Released on probation, shock probation, conditional discharge, or parole until they have served at least 85% of the sentence imposed.

As the only former Federal Prosecutor in Western and South-Central Kentucky, over the past 30 years, John has prosecuted and defended hundreds of people and companies during complex state and federal criminal cases requiring a precise legal strategy — from preparation to trial — to pursue and secure real results for our clients.

If you have been charged with fentanyl trafficking in Kentucky, the prosecution is going to do all it can to make an example of your case by seeking the maximum sentence available, so they can add to the state’s conviction rate and prove to the public their office is tough on drug crimes.

This means you will need a lawyer with the knowledge, skills, and resources to pursue the best outcome for your unique circumstances. Our Owensboro and Bowling Green criminal defense attorney has extensive trial experience in federal and Kentucky state courts and can assess your case today, so you understand how we can help protect your future. Contact us now to learn more.

What are the Federal Sentencing Guidelines for Fentanyl Convictions?

According to the United States Sentencing Commission, the average guideline minimum sentencing guideline for federal fentanyl charges was 84 months in fiscal year 2021.

The Drug Enforcement Administration provides separate guidelines that include Fentanyl (Schedule II) 40–399 grams mixture 400 grams or more mixture:

First Offense

  • Not less than five years and not more than 40 years of incarceration.
  • If death or serious injury, not less than 20 or more than life.
  • Significant fines and fees.

Second Offense

  • Not less than ten years and not more than life of incarceration.
  • If death or serious injury, life imprisonment.
  • Significant fines and fees.

For Fentanyl Analogue (Schedule I) 10–99 grams mixture 100 grams or mixture:

First Offense

  • Not less than ten years, and not more than life.
  • If death or serious injury, not less than 20 or more than life.
  • Significant fines and fees.

Second Offense

  • Not less than 20 years, and not more than life.
  • If death or serious injury, life imprisonment.
  • Significant fines and fees.

Two or more prior offenses will result in life imprisonment.

Contact Our Dedicated Criminal Defense Lawyer in Bowling Green, Kentucky Today

John Caudill Attorney at Law offers aggressive defense strategies and trusted legal representation to individuals throughout the Bowling Green area and surrounding communities, including Owensboro, Franklin, Scottsville, Hartford, and Morgantown.

If you have been arrested and charged with a fentanyl crime in Kentucky, contact our trusted criminal defense attorney in Warren County today by calling (270)925-0447 or contacting us online.

We are here to fight for your rights and your freedom. Let’s get started.

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