All states have criminal statutes that dictate whether a crime is classified as a felony or a misdemeanor and what punishments apply. In addition to the basic categories of felony and misdemeanor, Kentucky categorizes felonies based on various categories of severity. Class C felonies in Kentucky include such crimes as trafficking in stolen identities, promoting prostitution and persistently failing to provide or pay child support.
Kentucky categorizes felonies based on the severity of the associated prison term. According to Kentucky Revised Statute § 532.060, Kentucky felonies range from Class D to Class A, with Class A being the most serious crimes. In Kentucky, felony punishments include prison sentences ranging from one year to life and fines of $1,000 to $10,000.
According to Kentucky Revised Statute § 532.020, Class C felonies are any crimes for which the potential punishment is incarceration of at least five years but no more than 10 years in a state jail or prison.
However, Kentucky Revised Statute § 532.080 imposes added punishments for repeat felony offenders. If an offender who is at least 21 years of age commits a felony after a previous felony conviction, the law requires the offender to be sentenced according to the next highest degree felony than that committed. For example, if a previously convicted felon is convicted of a class C felony in Kentucky, the court must impose a sentence as if the defendant had committed a class B felony. Class B felonies impose a punishment of at least 10 years, but no more than 20 years in jail.
Kentucky Revised Statute § 534.030 sets out the fines applicable to felonies. Except where specific fines are authorized by statute, anyone convicted of a felony in the state of Kentucky must pay a fine of no less than $1,000 and no more than $10,000.
When a court sentences a defendant, it must determine the appropriate amount of fines based on a number of factors. The court can consider such factors as the defendant's ability to pay a fine, the hardship imposed by the fine on the defendant's family or other dependents, the impact the fine has on the defendant's ability to pay restitution to a victim and what gain the defendant derived from commission of the crime.