Minnesota Drug Crimes: Planning Can Send You To Jail
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Minnesota Drug Crimes: Planning Can Send You To Jail


Sometimes, planning a crime is just as bad in the eyes of the law as committing it, as one Minnesota woman recently found out.


A Minnesota woman was sentenced to seven years behind bars for conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine in the state. The court states that she planned with others to distribute the drug. She pleaded guilty in the face of the evidence against her.


Drug crimes are taken very seriously in Minnesota, as evidenced by the fact that you can be prosecuted and punished for conspiracy to commit the crimes as much as actually committing them.


Here’s what you need to know about drug crimes in Minnesota, including conspiracy to commit drug crimes, and the penalties that can be faced as a result.


Drug Laws in Minnesota


Under Minnesota law, laws surrounding controlled substances are strictly enforced, from their possession to manufacture to sale. The crimes in the state involving drugs are classified into five distinct categories that vary in severity. They are:


First Degree Drug Crimes


Drug crimes in the first degree are the most serious in the state and can result in some very harsh sentences if a person is found guilty.


First-degree drug crimes are often charged for activities like possessing or selling heroin, methamphetamine, PCP, cocaine, or other hallucinogens. The amount of the drug plays a big role in the level of charge as well. The charge can be aggravated if more than 100 grams or 500 dosage units are involved, plus a firearm is used.


Second Degree Drug Crimes


Drug crimes in the second degree can be charged under circumstances involving nearly every type of controlled substance. It often involves the sale and possession of cocaine, heroin, amphetamines, and hallucinogens.


It is dependent upon the quantity of drugs found during the arrest. Also, selling any Schedule I or II drugs to a minor, in a school zone, in a drug treatment facility, park, or public housing can result in a second-degree charge.


Third Degree Drug Crimes


Drug crimes in the third degree, much like drug crimes in the second degree, can involve any controlled substance, but it also depends on the amount being sold or possessed.

In most cases, third-degree drug charges are leveled against those who possess or sell a variety of hallucinogens and narcotics over a certain quantity, as well as the sale of any Schedule I, II, or II drugs to minors.


Fourth Degree Drug Crimes


Drug crimes are usually charged in the fourth degree when someone sells or possesses Schedule I, II, or II drugs with the exception of marijuana. Fourth-degree drug crimes may also be charged for the possession of at least 10 doses of hallucinogens or PCP.


However, the sale of marijuana can be charged as a fourth-degree drug crime if it occurs in a public housing or school zone, drug treatment center, or park.


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Fifth Degree Drug Crimes


Drug crimes in the fifth degree are commonly reserved for the sale or possession of marijuana. This is the least serious level of charge and usually is prosecuted as a gross misdemeanor.


Conspiracy to Commit Drug Crimes


Conspiracy is a crime that is quite complex. It’s often misunderstood because no actual crime has to occur in order to be charged with this. Instead, only an agreement between two or more parties to commit an unlawful act or crime needs to be in place. All that needs to happen is for those involved in the conspiracy to intend for the crime to occur.


The penalties for conspiracy to commit drug crimes depend on the specific circumstances of the case, like the types of drugs involved as well as the quantity that would have been involved.


Penalties for Drug Crimes


As mentioned, the penalties for drug crimes in Minnesota can be harsh, especially for more serious offenses.


First Degree Drug Crimes


Those convicted of this level of offense face up to 30 years in prison and fines of as much as $1 million. There are mandatory minimum sentences imposed by the court.


Second Degree Drug Crimes


For second-degree offenses, the penalties can be up to 25 years imprisonment as well as $500,000 in fines.


Third Degree Drug Crimes


Third-degree drug crimes can land you in prison for as many as 20 years and require the payment of fines up to $250,000.


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Fourth Degree Drug Crimes


Fourth-degree drug crime convictions can result in as many as 15 years in prison and require the payment of as much as $100,000 in fines.


Fifth Degree Drug Crimes


A conviction can result in up to five years behind bars and fines of as much as $10,000.



About the Author:

Christopher Keyser is an AV-Preeminent rated criminal and DWI defense attorney based in Minneapolis who is known for fighting aggressively for his clients and utilizing innovative tactics to get the most positive results. He has been featured in numerous media outlets due to the breadth and depth of his knowledge and named a Certified Specialist in Criminal Law by the Minnesota Bar Association. Mr. Keyser is Lead Counsel rated, and he has received recognition for his criminal law work from Avvo, Expertise, Super Lawyers, The National Trial Lawyers, and more.

If You Need a Top Minnesota Criminal Lawyer Call 312-338-5007



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