People arrested or accused of possessing cocaine might ask, “how much coke is a felony?” Possessing controlled substances like cocaine is a felony in Minneapolis, MN. If found with 0 to 3 grams of coke, the crime will be treated as a fifth-degree felony, attracting penalties like $10,000 fines and up to 5 years in jail. For over 25 grams of coke, you may end up paying a $1 million fine and serve up to 30 years in prison. Both state and federal laws consider possession as an offense in which a person willingly and knowingly possesses illegal drugs.
Is Cocaine a Felony in Minnesota?
In Minnesota, a felony is any crime carrying a potential sentence of more than a year in prison. Some felonies also carry the possibility of a fine, probation, or other penalties. The specific penalties for a felony depend on the nature of the offense.
Possessing even a small amount of cocaine is a felony. The base charge for this offense is a fifth-degree felony. Felony charges for cocaine possession can increase depending on the amount of the drug found in your possession.
Since cocaine is classified under Schedule I drugs, like methamphetamine and heroin, possessing it can attract serious felony charges. There won’t be an option for the offense to be treated as a misdemeanor regardless of the amount. The prosecution team will not lower the charges to anything less than a fifth-degree felony.
When designating cocaine possession, charges usually start from zero to 3 grams. You can be charged with this offense after the police do a legal search on you or your car and find the drug.
How a Lawyer Can Help Determine if a Drug Crime Is a Felony
A drug crime lawyer can look at the facts of the case and the type of drug involved to determine if your drug crime is a felony. The lawyer will also consider the amount of the drug involved.
Your criminal history can also affect the consequences of the crime. You are likelier to face felony drug possession charges if you have a prior drug conviction. The unique circumstances of the offense will also impact the nature of the charges you will face. All these factors will help your lawyer build a solid defense against any charges leveled against you.
How Much Coke Is a Felony?
Drug crimes in Minnesota vary with the drug in question and its quantity. They are also based on whether the crime involves selling or possessing. The sale or possession of cocaine is considered a felony with varying degrees.
First-degree controlled substance offenses are the most serious drug crimes in Minnesota. They include both possession and sale crimes, as well as the manufacture of methamphetamine.
Sale crimes in the first degree apply when the sale involves a minimum threshold of controlled substances, including 17 grams of cocaine. Possessing 50 grams of cocaine while using or brandishing a firearm can also attract first-degree possession of a controlled substance charges.
Second-degree sale crimes apply when the sale involves 17 grams of cocaine. The charges are also brought to offenders who sell controlled substances using a firearm.
When the possession involves a firearm or three aggravating factors, it qualifies as a second-degree possession crime. The minimum threshold for second-degree possession crimes of cocaine is 25 grams.
Selling any amount of cocaine can attract third-degree sales charges. What’s more, possessing any amount of cocaine with the intent to sell can attract fourth-degree possession charges to the offender. Fifth-degree possession crimes arise when individuals possess any amount of a Schedule 1 to 4 drug.
Definition of Cocaine Possession
In Minnesota, possession of cocaine is defined as having actual or constructive control over cocaine. Actual possession means that you have the cocaine on you or in your immediate control. Constructive possession means that you have the cocaine in a place where you have access to it, even if it is not on you.
Several factors can be used to determine whether someone has constructive possession of cocaine. These factors include the proximity of the cocaine to the person and the person’s knowledge of the cocaine.
Constructive possession applies to situations where the cocaine is in a place where a person has easy access to it, knows that the cocaine is there and can control it, or intends to possess the drug.
The mere presence of cocaine in a person’s possession does not necessarily mean that he or she is guilty of possession. The prosecution must prove that the person had actual or constructive control over the cocaine and that he or she knew that the cocaine was there.
Who Determines the Minimum Thresholds for Cocaine Possession?
The Minnesota legislature determines the minimum thresholds for cocaine possession in Minnesota by passing laws that set the penalties for drug offenses. It sets these thresholds based on the potential harm of cocaine, the prevalence of cocaine use in Minnesota, and the need to deter drug trafficking. The impact of the thresholds on law enforcement and the criminal justice system is also considered.
The minimum thresholds for cocaine possession are just one factor considered when someone gets charged with a drug offense. The actual penalties that someone faces will also depend on the person’s criminal history.
What Are the Penalties for Cocaine Possession in Minnesota?
Cocaine is a controlled substance with a relatively high addiction potential. As a felony, possessing illegal drugs, such as cocaine, can have serious consequences.
Possessing zero to three grams of coke is a fifth-degree felony, carrying a fine of up to $10,000. The offense may also attract a jail time of up to 5 years. Having over 25 grams of cocaine or more counts of cocaine possession could lead someone to have to pay a maximum fine of $1 million, serve up to 30 years in jail, or both.
If found selling cocaine, you may have to pay a fine of $250,000, serve a jail term of 20 years, or both. Possessing such an amount of coke qualifies as a first-degree felony. You may also have to pay a $200 fine for selling less than 42 grams of coke, as courts treat it as a misdemeanor without remuneration.
If charged for having traces of cocaine on you or in your car, the offense will be considered a fifth-degree felony. Since fifth-degree felonies come with a unique set of penalties, it is up to the judge to choose how severe they will be.
The penalties for possessing cocaine can be severe depending on aggravating factors, such as using weapons, using minors to transport the drugs, and past offenses. You may be eligible for alternative sentencing if the offense was nonviolent.
Before the penalties take effect, the court has to find you guilty of possessing cocaine. The prosecution team must prove you are guilty by submitting relevant evidence. It may give test results confirming that the substance in your possession was indeed cocaine. So, work with a criminal defense attorney with a record of successfully handling cases like yours. A lawyer will present evidence and arguments necessary to disprove the prosecution’s case.
Other Consequences of Cocaine Possession in Minneapolis, MN
A judge could place you on probation after convicting you of cocaine possession or sale. Probation might involve drug testing and community service. You could also lose your driver’s license for some time.
The government could seize your car, your house, or any other property used in the commission of the offense. A cocaine possession or sale conviction can also damage your reputation. This could make it hard to get a job, find housing, or get loans.
What Are the Laws Regarding Selling Cocaine?
Under Minnesota controlled substance laws, drug crimes fall into five categories, namely Schedule I, II, III, IV, and V. These categories are based on the addictive potential of the substance. Schedule I includes addictive drugs like heroin, cocaine, ecstasy, LSD, and methamphetamine.
Substances such as opium, morphine, and methadone fall under Schedule II. Minnesota laws usually prohibit drug possession, distribution, sale, and use, regardless of drug category.
The laws on the possession and sale of cocaine exist for many reasons. These reasons include protecting public health, deterring crime, and raising revenue for the government.
Making it illegal to sell cocaine allows the government to protect the public from the harmful effects of this drug. It also helps deter crime and make communities safer.
The specifics of prosecuting and convicting drug offenses in Minneapolis, MN, typically depend on the applicable law. Knowing what to expect when facing drug charges can be hard if you have little or no knowledge about your legal issue. So, it is wise to have a drug crime lawyer on your side to help weigh your legal options and represent you when charged for allegedly committing a drug offense. The lawyer can also push for a sentence reduction if a conviction is inevitable in your case.