Minnesota drug crime charges fall under five distinct categories. Convictions within these categories range from misdemeanors to felonies and carry various penalties depending on the drugs and circumstances they involve.
The following are highlights of the complex Minnesota laws addressing different drug crime categories.
First-degree drug charges include the possession or sale of specific quantities of hallucinogenic substances like heroin, cocaine and methamphetamine, and other drugs with no medical benefits. Convictions involve the most severe penalties, including mandatory prison sentences of up to 40 years and fines up to $1 million, depending on whether they include weapons charges and prior convictions.
The sale and possession of smaller quantities of the same addictive narcotics leading to first-degree convictions can lead to felony second-degree drug charges. However, the possession or sale of non-narcotic drugs like cocaine may also be a second-degree crime with a minimum three-year prison sentence if it involves weapons.
Third-degree drug felonies involve smaller quantities of narcotics than first and second-degree crimes, and they result in lesser penalties. However, selling non-narcotic drugs to anyone under age 18 often leads to convictions with up to 20-year prison sentences.
Anyone who possesses or sells small quantities of first to third-degree category drugs, including hallucinogenics other than marijuana, or sells marijuana in school zones, faces a fourth-degree drug charge with up to 15 years in prison and a $100,000 fine.
The unauthorized use of controlled substances, including, Xanax and Adderall, using false pretenses to acquire them at a pharmacy, or combining them with other drugs or narcotics for sale are fifth-degree offenses. Convictions come with sentences up to in prison and up to $10,000.
An illegal drug charge requires a thoughtful defense to minimize its long-term impact on your life.