Kentucky Cocaine Laws

Kentucky law criminalizes the possession and sale or distribution (trafficking) of cocaine. Despite this, cocaine use and trafficking is commonplace in Kentucky and across the country. Interestingly, Kentucky Senator Mitch McConnell had some cocaine-related difficulties when the Colombian Coast Guard found 90 lbs. of cocaine onboard his wife’s family’s cargo ship, the Ping May.

Previously, there was an inequality in sentencing for crack cocaine and powder cocaine, at least at the federal level. However, Kentucky law doesn’t differentiate between crack and powder cocaine.

The following table outlines the main cocaine laws in Kentucky.

Code Sections Kentucky Revised Statutes Sections
218A.070 – Schedule II Controlled Substances
218A.1415 – Possession of a Controlled Substance in the First Degree
218A.1412 – Trafficking in a Controlled Substance in the First Degree
Possession What’s Prohibited?
Knowingly and unlawfully possession any Schedule I or II narcotics, including cocaine (although technically coke isn’t a narcotic).

What’s the Penalty?
Coke or crack possession is a Class D felony with a maximum incarceration of 3 years.

First or second time offenders may be eligible for deferred prosecution. In this case, the defendant participates in a program, with probation and requirements such as attending AA/NA meetings and no committing other crimes, and if successfully completed the drug charge is dismissed.
Sale or Trafficking What’s Prohibited?
Knowingly and unlawfully trafficking (manufacturing, distributing, selling, or possession with the intent to do any of those things) coke.

What’s the Penalty?
Trafficking at least 4 grams of cocaine in one transaction or multiple transactions over a 90 day period is a Class C felony. Class C felonies carry a penalty of 5 to 10 years in prison and a fine of $1,000 to $10,000 or double what was gained from the crime. A second or subsequent offense is increased to a Class B felony punished by 10-20 years incarceration and a $1,000 to $10,000 fine.

Trafficking less than 4 grams of coke is a Class D felony, but is increased to a Class C for a second or subsequent offense. A Class D felony can be punished by 1-5 years imprisonment and a $1,000 to $10,000 fine.

Selling to a minor under 18 when you’re 18 years old or older is a Class C felony for the first offense and a Class B felony for any subsequent offenses (even if less than 4 grams).

Defending yourself against a drug charge is a risky decision. It’s best to come to court with an experienced Kentucky criminal defense lawyer who knows the laws well and can advocate strongly for you.

Note: State laws change frequently. It’s important to verify any laws you’re researching by conducting your own legal research or contacting a knowledgeable attorney.

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