What is considered a drug offense?

Man lighting a marijuana blunt.

Understanding Current Drug Law

Just as many opponents of legalizing marijuana feared, current laws and drug charges are confusing, even if they have nothing to do with marijuana. As they say, give somebody an inch and they’ll take a foot. While some states have legalized marijuana in some quantities and specified uses, drug charges and penalties that follow haven’t changed. If anything, many states have toughened those laws and penalties more.

Is a drug charge a felony or misdemeanor? 

Several states today do not criminalize it, so drugs and the penalties aren’t as severe anymore. However, in Kansas a possession of drug charge is still a felony, meaning anyone caught with drugs could face stiff penalties. 

What drugs lead to felony charges?

 In Kansas, the drug charges vary by amount. Their penalties are as follows: 

  • Marijuana: 24 grams and under with intention to distribute is a Level 4 felony punishable with up to a $300,000 fine and 51 months maximum jail time. Between 25 to 449 grams is a level 3 felony, punished with up to a $300,000 fine and 83 months maximum in prison. Any higher quantity of marijuana will be drug charges of Level 1 and level 2 felony with higher fines and long jail sentences.
  • Cocaine, Heroin, and Methamphetamine: Possession is a Level 5 felony drug charge with $100,00 maximum fine and 42 months to 3 years prison time with drug treatment to follow. Intent to distribute any smaller amounts of cocaine, heroin, or methamphetamine leads to Level 3 felony drug charges with a $300,000 maximum fine and 83 month maximum jail sentence. Larger quantities are Level 2 felony drug charges with a $500,00 maximum fine and up to 144 months jail time with drug offender registration required. 
  • Other Controlled Substances: There are five “schedules” for controlled substance drug charges in Kansas. The most dangerous drug charges are a Schedule I and the least dangerous are a Schedule V. A valid prescription within the state of Kansas is required to possess controlled substance drugs. 

What is the sentence for possession of drugs?

Controlled substance drug charges possession without a valid prescription within the state of Kansas are categorized as follows: 

  • Schedule I: Drug charges under this category are possession of cocaine, ecstasy, heroin, LSD, marijuana, methamphetamine, methaqualone, and peyote among others and are faced with the highest fines and penalties.
  • Schedule II: Drugs charged under this category are considered to have some medical value though they can be highly addictive. Drugs included in this category are codeine, Demerol, fentanyl, methadone, morphine, opium, and OxyContin. Possession without valid prescription of these drugs faces level 4 felony drug charges with a $100,000 fine and jail time. The amount of possession and previous convictions will determine the fine amount and jail time.
  • Schedule III: Considered moderately addictive, the drug charges in this category include possession without valid prescription for buprenorphine, Ketamine, Tylenol with Codeine, and Vicodin. Also in this category are non-narcotics such as anabolic steroids. The penalties for these drug charges range between a Class A misdemeanor to Level 4 felony based on the amount in possession, previous convictions and if intent to deliver is established. 
  • Schedule IV: Drug charges in this category include Ativan, carisoprodol, Klonopin, Tramadol, Valium, and Xanax. The penalty for possession of these drugs will range between a Class A misdemeanor with a $2,500 fine maximum with 12 months jail time to a Level 4 felony that carries a maximum of $100,000 fine, and jail time of 51 months.
  • Schedule V: The drugs in this category still require a valid prescription but are considered to be the least addictive for controlled substances. As such, drug charges will have lower fines and fewer penalties. The drugs included in this category are ezogabine, Lyrica, Phenergan with Codeine, Robitussin AC, and others. This is punished as a misdemeanor with a $2,500 maximum fine and 1 year maximum jail sentence. 

What is the mandatory minimum sentence for drugs?

Fines and sentencing will be determined by several factors like the defendant’s previous criminal history and convictions, the situation and surrounding circumstances of the arrest, other infractions of the law at the time of the arrest, and more. The following are baselines of sentences for drug charges: 

  • Marijuana Possession: Class B misdemeanor punishment include 6 months maximum imprisonment and a $1,000 maximum fine for a first time offense. 
  • Sale or Distribution: A Level 4 Felony for under 25 grams, punishment ranging between 14 month probation up to 51 months imprisonment and a $300,000 maximum fine.
  • Cultivation: Between 4 plants and under 50 plants is a Level 3 Felony punished with 46 months to 83 months imprisonment, and a maximum fine of $300,000.
Scattered prescription drugs.

What is the most commonly used drug?

In Kansas, the most commonly used drug is marijuana. More than fifty percent of those admitted into drug treatment cite marijuana as their primary drug. Cocaine use on the other hand has decreased since 2006. 

Wrapping It UpIn Kansas, anyone facing drug charges without possession should seek and obtain legal counsel. An experienced criminal attorney with drug charges will have the expertise of navigating the legal course that could get the charges reduced or dropped altogether. While law enforcement is known to, can, and will arrest a person on drug charges without physical evidence, an experienced attorney will know the best way to beat the charges. To learn more or receive help with drug charges reach out to Air Capital Bail Bonds at 316-755-5142.