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  1. Defendants being held pretrial shall receive $100 bail credit for every day spent in jail unless the court finds them to present a flight risk and danger to others.  Convictions for certain sex offenses and violent offenses will also disqualify a defendant from receiving this credit.   Courts regularly use this exception to deny defendants pretrial bond credit under the new law. 

  1. Some drug possession charges can no longer be used as the charging felony in a prosecution for persistent felony offender status.  Prior convictions can still be used qualify a defendant as a persistent felony offender. 

  1. Penalty for Possession of Marijuana is reduced from 12 months as a Class A misdemeanor to a maximum of 45 days as a Class B misdemeanor.  KRS 218A.1422

  1. Trafficking in a Controlled Substance within 1,000 Yards of a School changed to Trafficking in a Controlled Substance within 1,000 Feet of a School.  KRS 218A.1411

  1. Multiple convictions for misdemeanor possession of a controlled substance can no longer be enhanced to felony possession.  KRS 218A.1404

  1. Trafficking in a Controlled Substance 1st Degree, a Class C felony, is defined as trafficking in 4 grams of cocaine, 2 grams of heroin or meth, or 10 dosage units of Schedule I or II narcotic.  Trafficking in lesser quantities reduces the offense to a Class D felony.  KRS 218A.1412.

  1. Deferred prosecution is now available for some 1st and 2nd offenses of felony Possession of a Controlled Substance, 1st Degree.  Unfortunately, some jurisdictions refuse to follow this law

  1. HB 463 created presumptive probation for certain felony Possession of Controlled Substance offenses. 

  1. If eligible for presumptive probation, the court shall release the defendant either on an OR bond or an unsecured bond, unless the court finds that he is a flight risk, or a danger to himself or others. 


New Kentucky Drug Laws HB 463

Most of the provisions of KY House Bill 463 went into effect on June 8, 2011, marking a historic reform to Kentucky’s criminal code and drug laws.  The new laws are aimed at reducing jail and prison populations in favor of community-based rehabilitation.  The new law includes significant changes to pretrial procedures and bond requirements.  There are also important changes to the penalties for certain felony and misdemeanor drug offenses.  Keep reading to learn some highlights of the new bill.  Contact a criminal defense attorney to discuss how the new law can affect your case.


    There are many other newly enacted changes to Kentucky’s criminal laws that are not listed here.  Each case is different.    Contact a Kentucky criminal defense attorney to discuss how the law could affect your case. 

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  1. Police officers are required to issue citations for most misdemeanors except:

     Assault        Sex Offenses        Firearm Offenses    DUI

     Physical arrests are permitted for any crime if the defendant is a danger to himself or others or refuses to follow the officer’s reasonable instructions. 

  1. Conditions of bond and pretrial release are now intended to focus more on whether a defendant will return to court.  An “O.R.,“ or unsecured, bond is required when the defendant is found to be a low flight risk, is likely to appear for trial, and  is not likely to be a danger to others.