Tuesday, September 25, 2012
Free in Kentucky: Heroin Possession in Kentucky: Penalties, etc.: Heroin is back. I’m not sure why, but it’s back. In a big way. I wish I could give you some statistics regarding how many more cases...
Heroin is back.
I’m not sure why, but it’s back. In a big way. I wish I could give you some statistics regarding how many more cases of heroin possession have made their way through Kentucky courthouses than, say, five years ago – but I don’t have that information. All I can tell you is that five years ago I saw very few heroin cases, and over the past 12 months, heroin possession has become a lot more prevalent.
Heroin is a Schedule I narcotic, pursuant to KRS 218A.050(2), which defines all Opium derivatives as such. Schedule I is the classification for the most dangerous drugs, those which are considered to have a high potential for abuse and are generally without medicinal value. This criteria for classification is enumerated in KRS 218A.040 (and, if I can recall correctly, it is borrowed from the language in federal statutes for drug classification).
Possession of a Schedule I narcotic, like heroin, is a pretty serious deal in Kentucky. The name of the crime is Possession of a Controlled Substance in the First Degree (known in the legal community as POCS 1– pronounced “pocks first”). It is a class D felony, carrying a penalty of 1-3 years.
Typically, a class D felony carries a penalty of 1-5 years, but fortunately for everyone who likes a hit of laudanum when the headaches start, house bill 463 (HB 463) came through Kentucky like a tornado of common sense and eased some of the penalties for non-violent, victimless drug possession.
Guess what else is a Schedule I narcotic.
Ok, seriously, we’re not going to play this game if you’re not going to guess.
It’s marijuana. Marijuana is a schedule I narcotic in Kentucky (and in many other places). “But Greg!?” you ask, “Didn’t you say that the criteria for schedule I narcotics includes 1) the high potential for abuse and 2) a lack of medicinal value?” That’s a phenomenal question and I’m glad you asked it. The answer is yes, and it appears that Kentucky legislators are completely ignoring the AMA, and countless doctors that have unequivocally stated that marijuana does have medicinal value. Further, the fact that marijuana is not physically addictive seems to be ignored, regarding the “high potential for abuse” issue.
That does NOT mean that possession of marijuana counts as POCS 1. There is a more specific statute governing marijuana possession, and whenever a general statute and a more specific statute conflict, you are supposed to rely on the more specific statute. For more on marijuana, see my post “How Much Marijuana is Too Much Marijuana?”
We got a little off track today, because today’s post was supposed to be about heroin. Sorry about that. I just wanted to show you that your government thinks heroin and marijuana should be classified in the same category. Which is asinine.
Long story short – heroin is back and possession of heroin can get you in a lot of trouble.
If you have been charged with Possession of a Controlled Substance in the First Degree, you should have a lawyer that knows the law and fights for your rights. Don’t get a lawyer who “dabbles” in drug possession law. Get an experienced Louisville drug possession lawyer. Call 502.618.4949 for a free consultation. Ask for Greg Simms.
Simms & Reed, PLLC. Individual Attention. Extraordinary Results.
Thursday, September 6, 2012
Free in Kentucky: Louisville Detective Shoots Unarmed Man in Street: Not all police officers are bad. I promise. Most are upstanding servants of the community, actually. I see a lot of cops and I cross ex...
Not all police officers are bad. I promise. Most are upstanding servants of the community, actually. I see a lot of cops and I cross examine the best and the worst of them.
Then I sue the worst of them for false arrest and police brutality.
Speaking of which, a Louisville Metro Police Detective shot an unarmed man Tuesday night right in the middle of the damn street. Everybody take a guess now as to whether the Detective has been arrested for Attempted Murder. Also guess whether the Louisville Metro Police Department is taking any responsibility. Let’s see how you do…
Per WLKY: “A veteran police officer is on administrative leave (which happens after every officer shooting, justified or not) after shooting an unarmed man in the street. WLKY has learned the officer has been disciplined by the department before.
The shooting happened near 24th and Chestnut streets late Tuesday night.
A neighbor heard the single shot fired and ran outside.
"I looked again and I saw this guy standing there with a gun on him," said a neighbor. The man with the gun was Detective Chauncey Carthan, who has worked for LMPD since 2001.
Police say Carthan was off duty when he got into an argument with another man and it quickly escalated.
‘At some point, both the officer as well as the individual exited their vehicles, at which time the officer did identify himself. However, the subject, or rather the individual, did not comply with the officer, leaving him to draw his weapon and discharge it one time,’ said LMPD spokewoman Alicia Smiley.
Other officers arrived on the scene, surrounded Carthan and surrendered his weapon. The man he shot was taken to the hospital and is expected to survive.”
Apparently there are no charges yet against Carthan. So if you guessed “No.” to the first question posed, congratulations!
Let’s see if LMPD is taking any responsibility…
LMPD seems to know something is wrong with this situation because they seem to be distancing themselves from Detective Carthan. Specifically, they made it a point to say that he was “off duty.” I would guess they’re doing this to set themselves up for a defense in any law suit that will follow (and if the gunshot victim calls me, that law suit will happen very quickly). What they want everyone to know is: Detective Carthan shot that guy outside the scope of his employment.
But that might not work very well. Because LMPD wants the best of both worlds here. Instead of just distancing themselves from Carthan, they also made the statement that the “subject, or rather the individual, did not comply with the officer” which I laughed out loud at. First, the spokeswoman for LMPD accidentally called the gunshot victim a “subject” which is akin to “person we suspected of committing some sort of crime.” and then she stated that the gunshot victim did not “comply” with the Detective. That means that the Detective would have been acting as a police officer and giving some sort of official instruction that the gunshot victim would have to follow – but didn’t follow.
I'm not saying the gunshot victim didn't do anything wrong, but we certainly don't have any evidence of any wrongdoing at this time. And he was UNARMED. So whatever he may be accused of doing, it probably didn't justify a gun shot.
If this off duty Detective really did shoot an unarmed man in the street, there needs to be an investigation into the possible CRIMINAL CONDUCT of the Detective. Make no mistake about it, blog reader – if you or I had shot an unarmed man in the street, we would be in handcuffs right now. By not taking responsibility and not arresting Carthan, LMPD may only be increasing the damages in the subsequent law suit.
As I hear more on this story, I will keep you updated.
If you or someone you know has been shot by the police in the street, and you were unarmed, you should call a lawyer immediately. It isn’t easy to find a Louisville police brutality lawyer. A lot of attorneys will not take these kind of cases because they are difficult, and require a lot of work. You deserve to have a lawyer on your side who cares about your case. You deserve a lawyer who isn’t afraid of the work that needs to be put into your case. Call 502.618.4949 and ask for Greg Simms.
Simms & Reed, PLLC.
Individual Attention. Extraordinary Results.