What is a Controlled Substance Crime?


A controlled substance is a drug whose manufacture, possession, or use is regulated by the government. Controlled substances can include prescription drugs and illicitly used drugs.

Our Minneapolis defense attorneys discuss what constitutes a controlled substance crime and the penalties you may face if convicted.

Controlled Substance Crimes Explained

The state of Minnesota enforces strict laws regulating the possession and sale of controlled substances. The state divides controlled substance crimes into five categories, ranging from first-degree to fifth-degree. Of these, first-degree controlled substance crimes have the harshest penalties.

Drugs deemed controlled substances in the state of Minnesota are overwhelming in number. The most commonly known substances include the following:

  • Cocaine
  • Methamphetamine
  • Heroin
  • PCP and hallucinogens, such as LSD
  • Marijuana
  • Various narcotics, including prescription medications

The penalties for each classification of controlled substance crime are as follows vary from case to case. Some general guidance as to penalties include:

  • First-degree sale and/or possession: Up to 30 years in prison, up to $1 million in fines, or both
  • Second-degree sale and/or possession: Up to 25 years in prison and up to $500,000 in fines
  • Third-degree sale and/or possession: Up to 20 years in prison and up to $250,000 in fines
  • Fourth-degree sale and/or possession: Up to 15 years in prison and up to $100,000 in fines
  • Fifth-degree sale and/or possession: Up to five years in prison and up to $10,000 in fines

Facing a Drug Charge? Contact Us Today

If you have been charged with a drug crime, it’s vital that you hire experienced, aggressive representation as soon as possible.

At Caplan & Tamburino, our award-winning attorneys have a proven track record in successfully defending clients against all types of drug charges.

Contact us today at (612) 444-5020 to schedule a free consultation.

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