The first question that comes to most people’s minds when they’re charged with a crime is, “What can happen to me if I’m found guilty?” It’s a natural first thought. If there’s a chance we’re going to be punished for something, we want to know what that punishment will be.
Kentucky, like other states, has guidelines in place that set both minimum and maximum penalties for most criminal convictions. The actual sentence imposed upon any individual will depend upon the circumstances of their particular case, but it will usually fall within the range of the current state guidelines. Judges are free, however, to impose sentences beyond the suggested maximum or below the suggested minimum if they feel that there are especially important circumstances that warrant doing so.
Kentucky recognizes two classes of crimes, misdemeanors and felonies. They are divided into two different classes of misdemeanors and five different classes of felonies. Each class of crime has its own sentencing guidelines. The different classes of crimes and the possible penalties for convictions are described in various sections of Kentucky Revised Statutes (KRS) Chapter 532 and Chapter 534.
Kentucky Sentencing Guidelines For Misdemeanor Crimes
There are two classes of misdemeanors recognized under Kentucky law. Class B misdemeanors, which carry the least severe penalties, and Class A misdemeanors. Possible jail times are set forth in KRS § 532.090 and possible fines are listed in KRS § 532.040.
Kentucky Class B Misdemeanor Penalties
A conviction for a Class B misdemeanor can result in a fine of up to $250, imprisonment for up to 90 days, or both.
Kentucky Class A Misdemeanor Penalties
A conviction for the more serious Class A misdemeanor can be punished by a fine of up to $500, imprisonment for up to 12 months, or both.
The prosecution of misdemeanor crimes is also subject to a statute of limitations, KRS § 500.050. This statute states that prosecution must take place within one year from the time when the crime was committed.
Kentucky Sentencing Guidelines For Felony Crimes
There are four specific classes of felonies plus capital offenses, which are the fifth type of felony, recognized under Kentucky law. Similar to misdemeanors, felonies are ranked from the least severe, Class D, to the most severe, Class A, with capital offenses being a step above Class A.
Possible physical penalties for being convicted of a felony in Kentucky are:
- Class D – Imprisonment from one to five years
- Class C – Imprisonment from five to ten years
- Class B – Imprisonment from 10 to 20 years
- Class A – Imprisonment from 20 to 50 years, or life
- Capital Offense – One of:
- Imprisonment for 20 to 50 years
- Imprisonment for 25 years to life
- Imprisonment for like with no possibility of parole
Aside from imprisonment, a felony conviction can also involve a fine from $1,000 to $10,000 or double the amount of any financial gain the defendant may have gotten from committing the crime, whichever is greater.
Persistent Felony Offenders
KRS § 532.080 also sets specifically harsher penalties for anyone convicted of a felony that has prior felony convictions on their record. They are referred to as “persistent felony offenders” and can face substantially longer prison terms as compared to someone convicted of the same crime that does not have any prior felony convictions.
It’s worth noting, too, that KRS § 500.050, which sets the one-year limitation on the prosecution of misdemeanor crimes, also explicitly states that there is no time limit restriction when it comes to the prosecution of felony crimes in Kentucky.
Speak With A Kentucky Criminal Defense Lawyer
At Baldani Law Group, our team has over 100 years of combined experience. We have the knowledge, the drive, and the dedication to get the best possible results for your Kentucky criminal case.
If you’ve been accused of any misdemeanor or felony criminal offense in the state of Kentucky, speaking with a competent criminal defense attorney and getting to work on planning your defense as quickly as possible is critical for achieving good results.
Contact us online anytime or call (866) 906-2629 to schedule a free consultation. We’ll be happy to go over the details of your case and discuss exactly what we can do to help you.