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Overland Park Criminal Defense Blog

Leveling up not a benefit when it comes to cocaine distribution

Though many Kansas residents hope to see their lives move in a positive direction, unexpected difficulties can arise. You could have experienced a sudden turn of events that led you down a challenging path, and at the end of that path, you may have found yourself facing serious criminal charges for cocaine distribution. Because of the serious nature of such allegations, you likely worry that your life will take a negative turn.

Even when faced with criminal charges, you do not have to immediately accept that you will face detrimental consequences. You have the right to defend against any allegations brought against you. In order to more fully assess your circumstances, you may want to better understand Kansas laws relating to cocaine.

Marijuana still a no go in Kansas

You may be following news throughout the nation regarding changes in many states' marijuana laws. Some states have legalized the recreational use of the drug while others have implemented very strict regulations that limit its use to medicinal purposes only. Even then, some states place further limitations on that particular use, such as those where using marijuana medically limits it to those with seizure disorders. If you're a Kansas resident, you may have already noticed that in this state marijuana remains illegal in all circumstances.

In fact, state law classifies marijuana as a Schedule I narcotic. If you are familiar at all with legal drug classifications, you may know that this is the same category the federal government and many states typically uses for heavy narcotics, such as cocaine and heroin. If police find that you possess even a small amount of marijuana, you could be in for a heap of legal trouble.

How you can fight back against federal drug charges

Criminal charges of any kind can have a serious impact on your life here in Kansas, but they are particularly serious if they are felony charges. If convicted, you could be facing penalties that include time in prison and expensive financial penalties. If charged with federal drug charges of any kind, a conviction is not your only option.

Some of the most common federal drug charges are those relating to the cultivation and manufacturing of drugs. Manufacturing includes any involvement in the process of producing drugs, including selling the materials, providing the equipment and helping with the actual production of the drugs.

Probation violations puts your freedom on the line

After your conviction, you may have felt happy to receive probation as your sentence. Instead of going to jail, you remained free to continue working, spending time with your family and living your life. Of course, there were restrictions, and the judge likely explained them at your hearing. In fact, you may have heard about those restrictions numerous times from your probation officer or others.

A judge who imposes terms of probation intends to offer you a fair deal. You live by these rules, and you stay out of jail. This may have been a great relief to you, especially if you have loved ones who depend on you. Nevertheless, you now face accusations of having violated the terms of your probation.

Search and seize defense options to try to avoid conviction

Let's say you borrow a jacket from a friend and are wearing it when a Kansas police officer pulls you over in a traffic stop. No big deal, right? Well, that depends. What if the police officer says he or she noticed your vehicle drifting from side-to-side in your lane and asks you to step outside your car for a few moments? Still no big deal, right?

The uneventful issue of using your friend's jacket might turn into something far more serious if the police officer who pulled you over searches your pockets and pulls out a baggie of contents that appear to be illegal drugs of some sort. Suddenly, driving to the store (or wherever you were traveling at the time) leads to facing serious charges in court, all because you were wearing your friend's coat.

Don't sell yourself short when it comes to federal drug charges

Make no mistake, there's a difference between facing state drug charges and federal drug charges. Federal courts have their own rules and laws. In addition, Congress created mandatory minimum sentences for a variety of drug crimes.

For example, if federal authorities accuse you of possessing 28 grams of crack cocaine with the intent to sell it, and if convicted, the mandatory sentencing guidelines require that you receive a sentence of no less than five years in a federal prison regardless of the circumstances. This normally happens even if your role in the crime does not warrant this harsh of a sentence.

Senate bill could reform the juvenile justice system in Kansas

The juvenile justice system is one that many people wish didn't need to exist. The problem with the system, according to one expert, is that too much money is funneled into punishing juveniles and not enough money is spent on trying to keep them out of the juvenile justice system to begin with. In Kansas, that could change if Senate Bill 367 is passed.

The bill would provide funding for solutions that are community based. That would mean that juveniles could have the help they need to stay out of trouble before they are incarcerated. This could help to stop juveniles from becoming adults who are involved in the criminal justice system.

Explore defense strategies for sex-related charges

In our last post, we discussed how the circumstances of the crime can impact what criminal charges you face for sex-related actions. While it is true that the charge you face can be anything from sexual assault to rape, it's equally true that any sex charge is a serious matter. All sex-related charges can impact your life in ways that don't have anything to do with your criminal case.

We know that you don't want the charge to dictate what you can do in your life. You likely want the charges go away, or at least not have to deal with very severe punishments if you are found guilty. We will work with you to determine what happened at the time of the alleged criminal sexual conduct. We need to start with your version of events.

Sex crimes in Kansas vary based on circumstances

All sex crimes in Kansas vary based on the circumstances that were present when the criminal act allegedly occurred. In Kansas, you can be charged with rape, criminal sodomy, sexual battery and other crimes in connection with an alleged criminal sexual act.

Rape occurs when a person has sexual intercourse with a person who doesn't consent to that intimate act. You can face rape charges in Kansas if the victim is overcome by fear or if you force the victim to have sex with you. Rape charges are also possible if the person isn't able to fight back, such as if they have no physical means with which to fight or if they are unconscious. You can even face a rape charge if you have sex with someone who is drunk, high or has a mental condition that makes them incapable of giving you consent. Other scenarios might also count as rape, so if you are facing rape charges, make sure your lawyer takes a good look at the evidence in the case to figure out what points should be disputed.

What is expungement and how is it handled in Kansas?

Your criminal record is something that can haunt you for the rest of your life.There are certain instances in which you can petition to have your record expunged. If you are interested in having a criminal record expunged, you will have to petition the court with jurisdiction over the case.

What does expungement do?

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