Drugs are certainly a hot topic in the U.S. today. Regardless of your stance, for the most part it only really matters what the U.S. government has to say about them. If you’ve been arrested for a drug-related reason, you could be facing serious penalties within the state of Minnesota.
So what constitutes a drug crime in Minnesota? Typically, the possession, sale or manufacturing of an illegal drug (also called a controlled substance) can land you in legal hot water. And depending on the criminal history of the accused, the penalties and punishments vary widely. There’s quite a lot to understand regarding drug charges, so it’s a good idea to get yourself as informed as possible before making any legal moves.
If you’ve been arrested for anything relating to drugs, you need to act right away. Glean all you can about the legalities and specifics of your situation so you have the best chance of standing up against the courts. You may feel helpless, but there are probably many factors you haven’t thought about that could help your case considerably. Were you improperly stopped or seized? Was the search valid? Think hard about the circumstances that surrounded your arrest, and write them down! The more information you have to fall back on, the better chance you’ll have at moving forward.
Laws regarding drug crimes in Minnesota are somewhat complicated. There are a lot of factors that are taken into consideration when deciding a sentence once someone is convicted, and the penalties can be quite severe. Generally, a sentence is based on the type of drug, amount of the drug in possession, and even on the location of where the drug was kept (having drugs near schools and children is a bad idea, folks).
In Minnesota the minimum penalty for conviction of a drug crime can be 0-5 years of imprisonment and a $10,000 fine. Yes, the minimum can be jail time and thousands of dollars. The courts don’t mess around with drug crimes, and because of this you need to be on your toes as well.
Here’s a short list of punishments for different levels of drug crimes in Minnesota:
First degree drug charges are the most severe, and can land you up to 30 years of imprisonment and up to $1 million in fines. If a defendant has a prior drug felony the minimum lock-up time is four years.
A second degree drug crime will net imprisonment for 0-25 years, and up to $500,000 in fines.
Third degree convictions can result in imprisonment for no more than 20 years and up to $250,000 in fines. The minimum imprisonment time for prior convictions is two years.
The maximum amount of imprisonment time for a fourth degree drug charge is 15 years, and a fine of no more than $100,000.
A fifth degree conviction is the least serious, but can still net up to five years of imprisonment and up to $10,000 in fines. Possession or sale of any amount of marijuana greater than 42.5 grams is charged under the fifth degree.
Is your crime considered a misdemeanor or a felony? What can happen if you’re convicted? What if you’ve been wrongly accused? Regardless of your situation, in any case the best course of action to take is going to be learning everything about your case before you go to court so you can stand the best chance of defending yourself.
At Flakne Law we take pride in building a solid relationship with each of our clients so we can work together to achieve the best possible outcome. Our seasoned criminal defense attorneys will handle your drug case with professionalism and a personal touch. We’ll take the time to get to know you, and together we can work toward a common goal.