According to data gathered by the Kansas Bureau of Investigation, the state logs more than 14,000 adult arrests for drug crimes every year. If you have been charged with or are being investigated for crimes involving the possession, sale, delivery, or manufacture of drugs, the prosecution will be aggressive. You stand to lose a lot with a drug crime conviction, including your freedom.
This is not the time to represent yourself. Guilty or not, you need an experienced and aggressive criminal defense attorney to fight back.
I began my law career as an assistant prosecuting attorney in Wyandotte County. I opened Richman Law Office LLC to use that experience to defend clients against charges I used to prosecute. If you have been arrested in Kansas City — in Kansas or Missouri — put my experience to work for you.
Federal law prohibits anyone from knowingly or intentionally manufacturing, distributing, dispensing, or possessing with intent to manufacture, distribute, or dispense a controlled substance or counterfeit substance. Those substances are defined under the federal Controlled Substances Act.
Whether you are charged under state laws in Kansas or Missouri law or federal law may depend upon whether you crossed state or international borders to distribute controlled substances. In Kansas City, crossing the state line is a common occurrence.
Determination of federal charges may also depend on whether you committed the crime on federal property, whether an informant provided information to a federal law enforcement officer, or the amount of drugs.
There are four key drug charges in Kansas. You are not allowed to do any of these drug-related activities under the law:
Manufacturing covers any step of drug production, including possessing ingredients and chemicals with an intent to manufacture drugs. This charge also includes the cultivation of plant-based drugs such as marijuana and peyote. The manufacture of drugs produced in a lab, such as methamphetamines, fentanyl, LSD, and ecstasy, usually carries more severe penalties.
Delivery, also called “distribution,” is the transfer of drugs from you to someone else either when money changes hands (if there is an intent to sell) or even if you just gave the drugs to someone else.
Selling is what you can be charged with if the amount of drugs you possess exceeds the particular drug’s threshold for personal use.
Possession is knowingly having in your possession, using, or having near you any illegal drugs. State law also specifies amounts considered for possession charges which correspond with personal use.
Kansas regulates the control and possession of controlled dangerous substances (CDSs) such as marijuana, cocaine, and heroin, but the state also regulates the compounds used to manufacture controlled substances.
Controlled substances are classified into five “schedules” — Schedule I through Schedule V — based upon the probability for abuse, dependence, and their medical value.
Schedule I substances have a high potential for abuse and no accepted medical use in treatment or lack accepted safety for use in treatment under medical supervision.
Schedule V substances have a low potential for abuse relative to Schedule IV substances, are currently accepted for medical use in treatment in the U.S., and have limited physical and psychological dependence liability relative to Schedule IV substances.
Some examples for each Schedule include:
Schedule I: Heroin, ecstasy, LSD, and marijuana
Schedule II: Opium, codeine, methamphetamine, fentanyl, oxycodone, hydrocodone, and morphine
Schedule III: Ketamine, anabolic steroids, testosterone, and drug combinations with hydrocodone
Schedule IV: Xanax, Darvocet, Valium, Ambien, and Ativan
Schedule V: Lyrica, Motofen, and cough medicines with less than 200 milligrams of codeine
Penalties vary based on the crime, the controlled substances involved, and the criminal history of the person charged. Judges use the Kansas Sentencing Guidelines when levying penalties, and prior convictions weigh heavily in punishment.
Possession of anabolic steroids is a misdemeanor punishable by a fine of $2,500, up to one year in jail, or both. If you have a prior conviction, the crime becomes a Level 4 felony, punishable by a fine of up to $100,000, prison time, or both.
Possession of precursors — substances used to manufacture controlled substances — is a Level 2 felony. Penalties include a fine of up to $300,000, prison time, or both.
The sentencing grid used by Kansas judges accounts for multiple factors, including whether you possessed controlled substances or you manufactured and sold them. The lower the schedule level, the more severe the punishment. If you have a prior drug conviction, the sentence gets markedly more serious.
You need a criminal defense attorney who knows how to mount the best defense possible. Changing one factor on the sentencing grid could save you thousands of dollars and years in prison. The sentencing grid may be “one-size-fits-all,” but the circumstances of your case are not.
At Richman Law Office LLC, I use my experience as a former prosecutor of drug crimes to develop defenses for clients charged in Kansas City — in Kansas and Missouri. I know what it takes to successfully prosecute drug crimes, and I know what it takes to defend my clients against them. Contact me at my office for a consultation.