HOW MUCH TROUBLE AM I IN FOR A COCAINE POSSESSION CASE?
Answering this question depends on many different factors. A person charged with possession of cocaine can be looking at a varying range of possible punishments. To answer this question accurately a lawyer will need to have the answers to many different questions. Below are a few questions a lawyer may need the answers to with regards to determining how much trouble you are in.
What is your criminal history?
How much cocaine did you possess?
What jurisdiction or court are you in?
What judge and prosecutor are assigned to your case?
Were you distributing Cocaine?
If you were distributing cocaine, where were you distributing?
If you were distributing cocaine, where you using a telephone?
If you were distributing cocaine, who were you distributing to?
The answers to the above questions can have a dramatic impact on how much trouble you may be in. On this page we are going to look at just a few of the factors that come into play when you get a cocaine possession case to illustrate how cocaine possession cases work in Kansas.
What Is Your Criminal History?
Obviously, a person with little to no criminal history is going to be in a better position than a person with significant criminal history in almost any case. Cocaien Possession cases are no different. Every single cocaine possession charge in Kansas is a felony. There is no such thing as a “misdemeanor cocaine possession.” Even a person with zero criminal history will be looking at a felony charge if caught with cocaine in their possession. Having a felony on your record is no small matter it can impact your right to vote, right to own a firearm, make it difficult to find a job or a place to live. Aside from those ramifications receiving a felony conviction can put you in prison.Kansas ranks drug possession crimes, including possession of cocaine, into five different levels. Each of those different levels of crimes have a significant impact on what happens to the person accused of the drug crime. The levels are ranked in severity, level one being the most severe and level five being the least severe. A person convicted of possession of a minor amount of cocaine is looking at a level five drug felony. Depending on the offender’s criminal history, a level five drug felony is punishable by probation all the way up to 42 months in prison. For any possession with intent to distribute charge the offender’s criminal history also has an even more dramatic impact on the amount of punishment that the offender is facing.When you are looking at a cocaine possession charge the range of punishment seems very broad. Your criminal history dictates where you fall on the spectrum between a probation sentence and 42 months in prison. To briefly sum up how criminal history plays a part in marijuana possession look at this chart.
0-1 Misdemeanor (Score I)
10-12 Months (Presumptive Probation)
2+ Misdemeanors (Score H)
12-14 Months (Presumptive Probation)
1 Non-Person Felony (Score G)
14-16 Months (Presumptive Probation)
2 Non-Person Felonies (Score F)
16-18 Months (Presumptive Probation)
3+ Non-Person Felonies (Score E)
18-22 Months (Presumptive Probation)
1 Person Felony (Score D)
23-26 Months (Presumptive Prison)
1 Person Felony + 1 Non Person Felony (Score D)
28-32 Months (Presumptive Prison)
2 Person Felonies (Score B)
32-36 Months (Presumptive Prison)
3+ Person Felonies (Score A)
37-42 Months (Presumptive Prison)
How Much Cocaine Did You Possess?
One of the other major factors an attorney must know to determine how much trouble a person is in when they are charged with cocaine possession is; how much marijuana did the person get caught with? To a certain extent, the more cocaine you are caught with the more trouble you are going to be in. In Kansas, it is very common to elevate the crime of possession of cocaine to possession of cocaine with intent to distribute, depending on the amount of cocaine you are caught with. All charges of possession with intent to distribute are going to be felony charges, however they will be more severe than the standard level five. Possession with intent charges are broken down like this. Remember the prosecution still must prove that you actually had the intent to distribute cocaine.
Amount of Cocaine in a Person’s Possession
Less than 3.5 grams
14-51 Months (Presumptive Prison)
Between 3.5 grams and 100 grams
46-83 Months (Presumptive Prison)
Between 100 grams and 1 kilogram
92-144 Months (Presumptive Prison)
More than 1 kilogram
138-204 Months (Presumptive Prison)
What Jurisdiction Or Court Are You In?
The jurisdiction or court you are in can have a dramatic impact on what happens to you when you are facing a cocaine charge. Although the possession charge will place you into a grid box for sentencing purposes, that doesn’t mean that if you are convicted you will 100% be sentenced according to the sentencing grid. Judges are given a large amount of discretion when it comes to dispositional and durational departures. Kansas as a whole is very tough on drug crimes, however, some jurisdictions are more willing to “take it easier” on an offender and grant a dispositional or durational departure to a lower sentence than proscribed by the drug grid.
What judge and prosecutor are assigned to your case?
Remember when you are faced with a drug case there are vastly different opinions as to the severity of drug possession cases. A prosecutor or judge will almost certainly have a “tendency” or preconceived idea of how “bad” they think drug use is. Prosecutors and judges are not robots that process cases without interjecting their own beliefs. Some prosecutors and judges will naturally be easier on crimes that they do not perceive as very severe others will see things in the opposite fashion. Sometimes the difference between going to jail or being placed on probation is dictated by who is prosecuting or hearing the case. An experienced criminal defense lawyer can give you insight on the actors in your case and may be able to help guide you to a favorable outcome based on their experience with the judge or the prosecutor handling your matter. Some prosecutor and judges, although few and far between in Kansas, see drug possession a victimless crime and may be willing to recommend treatment or probation as opposed to a stiff prison sentence.If you find yourself facing a cocaine possession case in Johnson county you need to speak with a lawyer that has experience in that jurisdiction. For more information on Cocaine Possession cases contact our office for a free consultation.