There are some states that have seen decriminalization of certain drug crimes, but Minnesota is not one of those states. If you are charged with a drug crime, such as drug possession, in the state, then you may be facing some hefty penalties.
As if possession of a controlled substance isn’t serious enough, there are also aggravating factors to consider which can take your case from bad to worse. It’s vital to understand these aggravating factors if you’re facing drug possession charges. This will help you see where your case stands and what types of penalties you can face if convicted.
Here’s what you need to know about possession of a controlled substance in Minnesota and what aggravating factors for this crime can lead to stiffer penalties.
Drug Possession in the First Degree
The most serious drug possession offense someone can face in Minnesota is the crime of drug possession in the first degree. Usually, this is charged when someone has possession of a large number of drugs, such as hallucinogens, cocaine, and methamphetamines.
When you combine this crime with one or more aggravating factors, you may be looking at a significant prison sentence and astronomical fines as consequences.
What Are Some Aggravating Factors in Minnesota?
When it comes to drug crimes like possession in Minnesota, there are a few aggravating factors that can have a big impact on the case. The factors that are often considered aggravating in these cases include:
- Being involved in gang activity involving drug possession
- Committing separate acts of drug possession in a minimum of three counties in the state
- If it is believed you were in a significant position of power in a drug scheme – and there is evidence of it
- You committed the felony in a drug treatment facility, correctional facility, park, or school zone
- You used a firearm in the commission of the crime
- You had a very large amount of the controlled substance in your possession at the time of your arrest
These factors and more can have a very negative impact on your Minnesota drug crimes case.
Minnesota Drug Crime Penalties
If you are found guilty of a serious crime like possession of a controlled substance in Minnesota and have aggravating factors attached to it, then you face serious penalties. The number of aggravating factors in your case can influence this.
For example, two or more aggravating factors present in a case can send a person to prison for as many as 30 years and make them responsible for fines that go up to $1 million. Even cases that involve only one aggravating factor can result in as many as 25 years behind bars and fines of up to $500,000.
It depends on the underlying crime. For example, a first-degree drug crime with aggravating factors will have more significant penalties than a second-degree aggravated drug crime.
Drug crimes are a very serious matter that can derail the direction of your life – not just when you’re in prison, but for years beyond. That’s why it’s vital that you bring in a lawyer on your case as soon as possible.
They can help you to understand your rights and formulate a great defense. That way, you can ensure that you are protected and get a fair opportunity to show why you are not guilty in your specific situation.
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. Keyers 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.