In 2020, there were 141,158 criminal arrests in Kentucky. All criminal charges are serious, and getting charged with a crime can impact your life in a variety of ways. Financially, a criminal charge can involve significant fines and make it more difficult to find future employment. It can also affect your freedom and your relationship with family and friends. That is why it is so important to have a criminal defense attorney represent your best interests throughout every stage of your case.

Don’t settle for a court-appointed lawyer or take your chances alone. Let a skilled, seasoned, and aggressive Kentucky defense lawyer guide you through the criminal justice system and seek the best possible outcome for your case.

At the Law Offices of John Schmidt & Associates PLLC, we offer representation in a broad scope of criminal defense. No matter what type of charges you are facing, we will work diligently to have your charges reduced or eliminated. Our team serves clients in Shepherdsville, Louisville, Elizabethtown, Jeffersontown, Mount Washington, and Radcliff, Kentucky.

Criminal Charges in Kentucky 

The seriousness of a charge depends on whether it is a felony, misdemeanor, or infraction.  


Felonies are the most serious kinds of crimes. Crimes are often considered felonies when punishable by more than one year in prison. Examples include murder, rape, burglary, and the sale or trafficking of illegal substances.

There are four classes of Felonies in Kentucky: Class A, Class B, Class C, and Class D.

Class A Felony

Class A offenses are the most serious, such as murder, rape of a child under the age of 12 years, and other heinous crimes. These convictions result in 20-50 years in prison.

Class B Felony

Class B felonies include first-degree manslaughter, rape, and sodomy, and can result in 10 to 20 years in prison.

Class C Felony

Crimes such as unauthorized and unlawful access to a computer, unauthorized use of a credit card involving $10,000 or more, second-degree assault, second-degree manslaughter, and trafficking in a controlled substance. A Class C felony conviction can result in five to ten years in prison.

Class D Felony

Crimes such as a convicted felon possessing a firearm, unauthorized use of a credit card involving between $500 and $1,000, first-degree stalking, possession of a controlled substance, and first-degree wanton endangerment are classified as Class D felonies. Class D felony convictions can result in one to five years in prison.


Misdemeanors are crimes considered to be less serious and are usually punishable by up to a year in jail. Some common misdemeanors include drunk driving, shoplifting, and other minor offenses. In some instances, the first offense is a misdemeanor and a repeat offense becomes a felony.

There are three classes of misdemeanors in Kentucky: Class A, Class B, and Mini-Class B.

Class A Misdemeanors 

Class A misdemeanors are punishable by up to 12 months in jail and up to $500 in fines. Class A misdemeanors include shoplifting under $500, theft, criminal possession, knowingly selling or transferring a firearm to a convicted felon, violation of a protective order, and sexual misconduct.

Class B Misdemeanors

Class B misdemeanors are punishable by up to 90 days in jail and fines of up to $250. Class B misdemeanors include a first-time DUI, driving with a suspended or revoked license due to a DUI, prostitution, public intoxication, and resisting arrest.

Mini-Class B Misdemeanors

A sub-category of Class B misdemeanors includes crimes punishable by up to 45 days in jail. Possession of marijuana is one of the most common mini-Class B misdemeanors.


Infractions are less serious offenses, such as traffic violations, typically resulting in a monetary fine. Individuals generally do not require a jury trial or the need for an attorney. Repeat offenders may face stiffer penalties, even for simple infractions.

Kentucky Appeals Process

Whether new evidence has come to light, errors made in the original trial, or sentencing led to an unfair result, a person convicted of a crime may appeal the conviction. Filing an appeal may be the only way to fight for your future. The process of an appeal is complicated and requires someone with legal expertise to navigate federal and state appellate courts. Hiring an experienced defense attorney is of paramount importance. A mistake in the appeals process could potentially result in your case receiving no meaningful review.


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