Sale of a Controlled Substance
Drug crimes are serious allegations in Minnesota, and they carry stiff penalties that threaten the freedoms and futures of convicted individuals. This is especially true when charges involve the alleged sale of controlled substances, which are classified among the highest level drug offenses by Minnesota state law, and which can be subject to penalty enhancements when aggravating circumstances are involved.
At Caplan & Tamburino Law Firm, P.A., our Minneapolis drug crime lawyers have built a reputation for fighting on behalf of clients charged with various state and federal crimes across the Twin Cities and state of Minnesota, including serious drug crimes involving sales, trafficking, and distribution. Due to the potential for life-altering penalties in these cases, we leverage decades of collective experience and the insight of attorneys designated as MSBA Board Certified Criminal Law Specialists (a distinction held by just 3% of lawyers statewide) to fight for the most positive results possible, including case dismissals and reduced charges and penalties.
Discuss a drug crime case and your defense personally with an attorney from Caplan & Tamburino Law Firm, P.A. Call (612) 444-5020 for a FREE consultation.
Minnesota Drug Crime Laws: Sales & Sentencing
In 2016, Minnesota made sweeping legislative changes to reform the state’s criminal drug laws. While those reform efforts were designed to better address drug addiction and minor offenders, they still impose severe repercussions for individuals accused of more serious drug-related charges. When determining which charges to file, and potential sentences, prosecutors and courts use a classification system that separates drug crimes into five degrees – with fifth-degree charges being the least severe and first-degree charges being the most serious.
Under Minnesota state law, sale of controlled substances is typically a felony offense, as they are a minimum third-degree charge. However, the severity of a change and potential penalties are dependent on the unique facts involved, including which controlled substance was involved and how much. For example:
First-Degree Sale – There are minimum quantity thresholds for charges involving the sale of controlled substances. For first-degree sale crimes, Minnesota Statutes § 15.021 establishes the following minimum thresholds:
- Cocaine / Methamphetamine – 17 grams
- Heroin – 10 grams
- Amphetamine, PCP, Hallucinogens – 200 dosage units / 50 grams
- Marijuana / THC – 25 kg (55 pounds)
- Other controlled substance narcotics – 50 grams
- Cocaine / Methamphetamine – 10 grams
- Heroin – 3 grams
- Amphetamine, PCP, Hallucinogens – 50 dosage units / 10 grams
- Marijuana / THC – 10 kg (22 pounds)
- Other controlled substance narcotics – 10 grams
- Sales to minors or in parks, schools, public housing, or drug treatment facilities
- Cocaine / Methamphetamine – any amount
- Heroin – any amount
- Amphetamine, PCP, Hallucinogens – 10 dosage units
- Marijuana / THC – 5 kg (11 pounds)
- Other controlled substance narcotics – any amount
Sentencing is based on a drug offender sentencing grid that takes into account the degree of the underlying charge and a defendant’s criminal history score. Previous criminal and drug crime convictions can increase presumptive prison sentences, as can a number of aggravating factors, including:
- Violent crime convictions within 10 years
- Gang-related crimes
- Separate acts of sale or possession in 3 or more counties
- Transfer of controlled substances across state or international borders
- Sale to minors or vulnerable adults
- And more
Although each case is unique and penalties dependent on the unique facts involved, all felony level charges for sale of controlled substances impose substantial penalties, including terms of imprisonment that can reach up to 30 years. If drug crime cases are handled as federal crimes, defendants face substantial penalties and terms of imprisonment as well, and should prioritize working with attorneys who have experience in federal courts.
Protect Your Rights: Request a FREE Consultation Today
If you or someone you love has been charged with sale of a controlled substance, at either the state or federal level, you must understand that severe penalties are on the line. To protect your rights and explore all available options for a positive resolution, do not hesitate to reach out for the support and representation our experienced defense attorneys at Caplan & Tamburino Law Firm, P.A. can provide.
Request a free and confidential consultation today when you contact us.
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