Don’t Get Caught with these Drugs in Minnesota

Drugs with the highest potential for harm and abuse carry the harshest penalties in Minnesota. The federal Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) has established penalties for drug possession based on a drug’s classification under a schedule for controlled substances. Drugs are evaluated and assigned to the schedule based on their medical value and potential for abuse.

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Drug Possession Laws

In Minnesota, drug crimes are one of the highest number of charged offenses, and penalties are harsh. Both federal and state Minnesota prisons are filled with inmates serving sentences for drug-related offenses. Minnesota has five degrees of drug possession depending on the type and amount of drugs found in a person’s possession.

First-Degree

25 grams or more of cocaine, heroin, methamphetamine, or a combination; 100 kilograms or more of marijuana; 500 grams or more of amphetamine, phencyclidine, or hallucinogenic drugs; and over 500 grams of other narcotics can result in penalties of up to 30 years in prison and fines up to $1 million for first-time offenders. Up to 40 years in prison is possible for a second offense.

Second-Degree

6 grams of cocaine, heroin, methamphetamine, or a combination; 10-99 kilograms of marijuana; 50-499 grams of amphetamine, phencyclidine, or hallucinogenic drugs; and 10-499 grams of other narcotics can mean up to 25 years in prison, $500,000 in fines, and up to 40 years in prison for subsequent offenses.

Third-Degree

Under six grams of cocaine, heroin, methamphetamine, or a combination; 10 kilograms of marijuana; 10-50 grams of amphetamine, phencyclidine, or hallucinogenic drugs; and under 10 grams of other narcotics can result in up to 20 years in prison and $250,000 in fines for first-time offenders, and up to 30 years in prison for subsequent offenses.

Fourth-Degree

10 or more dosage units of phencyclidine or other hallucinogens; possession of a controlled substance in Schedule I, II, or III (except marijuana) with intent to sell can mean up to 15 years in prison and fines up to $100,000.

Fifth-Degree

Illegal possession of a controlled substance in Schedule I, II, III or IV, (except under 42.5 grams of marijuana) or procuring or attempting to procure a controlled substance through false identity, fraud, deceit, or posing as a medical caregiver can result in up to 5 years in prison and fines up to $10,000.

Max Keller has won countless jury trial cases involving misdemeanors and felonies, sex crimes, and DWI’s. He is a member of the Minnesota Society for Criminal Justice, which only allows the top 50 criminal defense attorneys in the state as members. Max is a frequent speaker at CLE’s and is often asked for advice by other defense attorneys across Minnesota.

Years of Experience: Approx. 20 years
Minnesota Registration Status: Active
Bar & Court Admissions: State of Minnesota Minnesota State Court Minnesota Federal Court 8th Circuit Federal Court of Appeals State of Maryland

What to Do If You Have Been Charged with a Criminal Offense

Minnesota recently passed a public safety bill that brings sweeping changes to the state’s juvenile justice system. While minors sometimes run afoul of the law, the juvenile justice system seeks to account for the differences between children and adults. Therefore, while the penalties for adults convicted of crimes focus on punishment, those for juveniles are aimed at diversion and restorative practices.
If a county medical examiner’s work is called into question in one case, it can affect all those they were a part of. An independent review is underway of murder cases involving the testimony of the long-time medical examiner in Ramsey County, Minnesota. The review comes in response to a wrongful murder conviction that was recently vacated on the basis that the medical examiner gave flawed medical testimony.
You might ask how plea bargains work if you are considering settling your criminal case by skipping the trial phase. A plea bargain in Minneapolis, MN, happens when a criminal defendant agrees to plead guilty or no contest instead of having the prosecution prove his or her guilt at trial. The prosecution agrees to reduce the charges, recommend less harsh penalties, or drop the charges altogether in exchange for a guilty plea.