Minnesota has five degrees of drug crimes based on Minnesota Statutes 152. The degree of the offense is determined by drug type and drug quantity. Each charge is a felony. Each drug type is assigned a schedule number from one to five. What charges an individual may face and their possible sentence can vary based on a number of factors. A first-degree drug offense carries a higher minimum and maximum sentence than a fifth-degree substance crime.
First-degree drug crimes
Individuals may face first-degree substance charges in Minnesota if they are arrested for selling ten grams or more of cocaine, heroin, or meth within a 90-day timeframe. Selling fifty grams or more of a narcotic that is not cocaine, heroin, or meth can also result in a first-degree drug charge. Possessing 25 grams or more of cocaine, heroin, or meth can result in a first-degree drug charge. A person possessing at least 500 grams of a narcotic other than the previously mentioned three can face the same degree of charge. Those found guilty can face up to 40 years in prison (if they have a prior conviction) and/or fines up to $1,000,000.
Second-degree drug crimes
Prison sentences for people convicted of second-degree drug crimes can also be up to 40 years if they have a prior second-degree drug conviction. A drug attorney can advise individuals on their rights and possible legal options. Anyone arrested selling three grams or more of heroin, cocaine, or meth may face a second-degree drug charge in Minnesota.
Third-degree drug crimes
Individuals arrested for selling 5 kilograms of a narcotic or 5 kilograms of marijuana within 90 days can be charged with a controlled substance crime in the third degree. Individuals who have a prior third-degree drug crime conviction may face up to 30 years in prison and fines as high as $250,000.
Fourth-degree drug crimes
Those with a prior fourth-degree drug crime conviction face the possibility of 30 years in prison. Fourth degree controlled substance crimes include possession of a Schedule I, II, or III drug with the intent to sell. Fourth-degree drug crimes also cover the selling of any Scheduled drugs to a minor.
Fifth-degree drug crimes
Individuals arrested for selling more than small amounts of marijuana or Schedule IV drugs may be charged with a fifth-degree controlled substance crime. Possession of Schedule I, II, III, or IV drugs can result in up to 5 years in prison.