A drug charge is not a simple matter. Even a minor drug-related offense can carry disproportionately heavy consequences in the state of Minnesota. Depending on the nature of the drug charge, you may face federal charges as well.
This is why it’s in your best interest to read up on the drug laws in your state to remain compliant, as well as how to protect your rights if you have already been charged with a drug crime.
As with most laws, those related to drug offenses vary from state to state. In Minnesota, the sale and possession of controlled substances carry stiff penalties. Review these charges to stay informed:
- First-degree sale: 17+ grams of cocaine, methamphetamine; 10+ grams of heroin; 50+ grams of other narcotic drugs; and 25 kilos of marijuana.
- First-degree possession: 50+ grams of cocaine, methamphetamine, 25+ grams of heroin, 50 kilos of marijuana, or 500+ marijuana plants.
- Second-degree sale: 10+ grams of any narcotic drug other than heroin; 3+ grams of heroin; 10 grams or 50+ doses of amphetamine, PCP, or hallucinogen; 10+ kilos of marijuana.
- Second-degree possession: 25+ grams of cocaine, methamphetamine; 6+ grams of heroin; 50+ grams of other narcotic drugs; 100+ doses of a hallucinogen; 25+ kilos of marijuana or 100+ marijuana plants.
- Third-degree sale: Any amount of a narcotic drug; 10+ doses of a hallucinogen; 5+ kilos of marijuana.
- Third-degree possession: 10+ grams of cocaine or methamphetamine; 3+ grams of heroin, 10+ grams of other narcotic drugs, 10+ kilos of marijuana.
- Fourth-degree sale: Any Schedule I, II, or III drug (except marijuana), or the sale of marijuana in a school zone.
- Fourth-degree possession: 10 doses of a hallucinogen.
- Fifth-degree sale: Any amount of marijuana except small amounts for no remuneration.
- Fifth-degree possession: Any amount of Schedule I, II, III, or IV drugs except 42.5 grams or less of marijuana.
The potential penalties for these charges vary anywhere from less than one year in jail and up to a $10,000 fine, all the way to 30 years in prison and up to a $1 million fine.
If you have been charged with a drug crime, hope is not lost. There are several strategies an experienced defense attorney can take to protect your rights, including the following:
- Prove that the police stop was unlawful. In order for a police officer to pull you over, he or she must have reasonable suspicion to do so. If it can be proven that the police officer did not have reasonable suspicion of criminal activity before pulling you over, evidence may be suppressed and the charges may be dismissed.
- Prove that the drugs did not belong to you. Oftentimes, it can be determined that drugs were found in your “constructive possession,” which means that something was your possession due to circumstances (such as a friend leaving drugs in your car) rather than you actually owning it.
- Prove that the substance was not a drug. Your defense attorney can challenge lab reports verifying the substance as a controlled substance. This will require the prosecutor to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that it is indeed an illegal substance. Oftentimes, an overworked prosecutor will not want to go through the trouble to do so, and may drop your charges.
If you have been charged with a drug crime in Minnesota, do not wait any longer in retaining an experienced defense attorney to protect your rights. At Caplan & Tamburino, our lawyer is a board-certified specialist by the State Bar Board of Legal Specialization, an achievement only 3% of attorneys can claim.
We’re here to build a case crafted to your unique situation, and we won’t rest until your rights are protected in the eyes of the law.
Contact Caplan & Tamburino Law Firm, P.A. at (612) 444-5020 to schedule a free, no-obligation case evaluation.