Penalties for Underage Possession in Minnesota

Children and teenagers who participate in criminal activity can face serious penalties that impact the rest of their lives. Underage possession of a controlled substance requires a drug attorney that handles juvenile criminal defense cases.

Juvenile Crimes in Minnesota

A juvenile is defined by Minnesota law as a person between 10 and 17 years old. When a juvenile commits a crime, the laws and consequences differ than laws and consequences for adult criminals. Depending on the circumstances, juvenile crimes can range from misdemeanors to felonies. Penalties for misdemeanors often include detention in a youth facility and counseling, but in serious cases, a juvenile can be charged and punished as an adult.

When children and teenagers commit crimes, they are often unaware of the consequences of their actions. If charged with a crime in Minnesota, juveniles are not entitled to a jury trial or bail release. Extended Juvenile Jurisdiction (EJJ) is a Minnesota program that focuses on helping juveniles who commit serious crimes to return to a law-abiding lifestyle. According to law, Minnesota courts can impose a dual sentence with juvenile and adult sanctions to a juvenile offender. To be placed on EJJ, a juvenile offender must be at least 14-years-old. Under Minnesota law, convicted offenders must remain under EJJ supervision until they reach 21 years of age.

Underage Possession of Drugs and Alcohol


In Minnesota, when a person is caught in possession of a controlled substance, and the police suspect intent to sell, it’s charged as a possession with an intent violation. Possession with intent to sell, deliver or distribute drugs is a fourth-degree drug offense that requires a drug attorney for the proper criminal defense. Penalties include a potential prison sentence of up to 15 years and fines up to $100,000. Minnesota law imposes stiff penalties on meth-related criminal possession charges, but there is no jail time for first-time offenders caught with a small amount of marijuana (42.5 grams or less) intended for personal use.


In Minnesota, the legal age to consume alcohol is 21, and minors caught with alcohol face serious consequences. The following are considered gross misdemeanors, punishable by fines of up to $3,000, in addition to civil penalties and criminal charges:

  • Purchasing or attempting to purchase alcohol under age 21
  • Providing the use of a fake ID to a minor to purchase alcohol
  • Serving or giving alcohol to a minor, except within the household by a parent or guardian under supervision

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

Confidential informants may provide integral information to help build criminal investigations, but how reliable is that information when they are receiving payment for their services? To protect them, state law requires the identity of informants be kept confidential. For those facing criminal charges, however, this creates challenges in questioning the accuracy and validity of the information given at trial.
Stay calm and compose after getting accused of a crime but not charged in Minneapolis, MN. Do not discuss the facts of your case with anyone, including your relatives and family members. Hire a criminal defense attorney with a demonstrated record of winning cases like yours. Your attorney will discuss your rights, guide you on how to cooperate with law enforcement within the legal boundaries, and build a solid defense strategy to fight the charges you could face in the future.
Expungement and sealing of records in Minnesota affect how your criminal history appears to government agencies and the public. The main difference between the two legal actions is that expungement permanently removes past arrests, criminal charges, or convictions from private and public databases, while sealing hides the criminal record from the public. Courts, government entities, and law enforcement agencies can access sealed criminal records.