Kansas Cocaine Charges: What to Do if You’re Arrested on Possession or Distribution

Cocaine charges in Kansas carry the possibility of serious prison time and hefty fines. If you’ve been arrested on cocaine charges, it’s likely you’re feeling you’re likely feeling anxious and worried. Depending on the level of charges, a cocaine arrest in Kansas could result in up to 17 years in prison and a $500,000 fine.

But the state has also created opportunities for some offenders to avoid prison time altogether and get the treatment they need.

Remember that you have the right to defend yourself against the charges. Immediately contacting a skilled criminal defense attorney is the most important thing you can do. An attorney will support you through the legal process and help create a strong defense against the police and prosecutors.

Cocaine possession charges

In Kansas, a cocaine possession charge, which is sometimes referred to as simple possession, is a level 5 felony with a potential sentence of 10 to 42 months in prison and a fine up to $100,000.

If you’re convicted of a simple possession of cocaine charge in Kansas, you could avoid prison time altogether. Senate Bill 123 enables nonviolent offenders without drug manufacturing or distribution convictions to get substance abuse treatment rather than a prison sentence. State lawmakers passed the law in an effort to reduce the number of people entering the state’s prisons and provide opportunities for rehabilitation.

Possession with intent to distribute cocaine

People arrested on a charge of possession with intent to distribute cocaine in Kansas face lengthier prison sentences and higher fines. However, it’s possible that you could get probation, depending on the amount of drugs and your criminal history. 

Cocaine possession with intent to distribute charges range from a level 4 felony up to a level 1 felony. The punishment increases if the crime happens within 1,000 feet of a school. 

Level 4 felony

Defendants arrested in possession of 1 gram or less of cocaine and accused of intending to sell the drug are charged with a level 4 felony in Kansas. They could be sentenced anywhere from 14 months to 51 months in prison. Additionally, they could be ordered to pay up to $300,000 in fines. 

However, someone charged with a level 4 felony possession of cocaine charge could also get probation rather than prison if their criminal history is limited. 

Level 3 felony

If you’re caught with 1 to 3.5 grams of cocaine in Kansas, prosecutors will likely charge you with a level 3 felony. This carries the possibility of 46 to 83 months in prison and a $300,000 fine. Under the state’s sentencing guidelines, the presumptive sentence is imprisonment. 

Level 2 felony

A person in possession of 3.5 to 100 grams of cocaine will be charged with a level 2 felony in Kansas. They face a sentence of 92 to 144 months in prison and a $500,000 fine. 

Level 1 felony

A level 1 felony is the most serious cocaine charge in Kansas and defendants face 138 to 204 months in prison, depending on their criminal history. Plus, they could also be ordered to pay a fine up to $500,000.

Defenses against Kansas cocaine charges

Contacting an experienced criminal defense attorney is the first step in effectively defending yourself against cocaine charges. You likely have several ways to fight the charges, and a defense attorney will help you develop a legal strategy. 

Every case is different, but some common defenses against cocaine charges include:

  • Improper search: If the authorities searched without probable cause, this could be an effective defense. Thus, the charges could either be lowered or eliminated.
  • Drugs belong to someone else: Prosecutors must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the cocaine was in your possession. Sometimes, defendants can successfully argue the drugs belonged to someone else or weren’t in their possession. 
  • Miranda rights violations: Law enforcement must read your Miranda rights in some circumstances. If the police failed to do so, an attorney could use this as a defense to secure a more favorable outcome.
  • Failing to maintain chain of custody: The police must follow protocol in handling evidence in a criminal investigation. If a defense attorney notices mistakes, this could be an effective defense against cocaine charges. 

Contact a criminal defense attorney immediately if you’ve been arrested on cocaine charges in Wichita, Kansas, or the surrounding area. Jeremy D. Koop has years of experience as a prosecutor and a criminal defense attorney, providing clients with expertise on both sides of the courtroom. He will navigate you through the complicated legal system, protect your rights, and fight the charges against you.

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