LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- A local woman was already in trouble with the law, and she's accused going to court with something that got her in -- even deeper.

Kati Karcher had several outstanding warrants and was in Jefferson District Court Wednesday to turn herself in.

But while being searched, court deputies say they found heroin and a hypodermic needle in her pocket.

"You understand that you've put yourself in a really bad situation by coming to court with anything on your person. You obviously should have known that you had warrants against you," said Judge Stephanie Burke -- from the bench.

That earned Karcher a second trip in front of Burke and a scolding.

From the bench, Burke said, "Your judgment is obviously, seriously impaired by your addiction."

Karcher's judgment is in question because of what she's accused of bringing to her court appearance.

Burke said, "Because if it were not, you wouldn't be coming to court with that on you."

According to court documents, Karcher was aware she would be taken into custody and admitted using the needle to shoot heroin before going to court. How she got it through security is a mystery.

Judge Burke said, "Well, obviously that's a concern to anyone working in this building, but we know things do get through the metal detectors from time to time."

Burke is also a drug court judge and said she has lots of concerns because heroin is not only illegal but deadly.

She explained, "I am aware of 17 fatalities of young people since the beginning of this year."

And there are safety concerns for deputies and metro corrections officers.

"A few weeks ago, there was an incident where several officers were exposed to fentanyl laced spice and a number of them were taken to the hospital due to the exposure," Burke said.

Inmates are being creative -- even using mail to get illegal drugs inside.

"They'll soak postcards and mail in meth and then they'll dry it and mail it in and it's used by the inmate," Burke explained.

That's why Burke doesn't believe just sending Kati Karcher to jail is the answer.

"You're going to need to address it, you need to ask to be put in the enough is enough dorm."

Burke suggested Karcher sign up for Metro Corrections' in-house drug treatment program.

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