KEYSER LAW BLOG


Which Drugs Have the Harshest Possession Penalties in Minnesota?
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Which Drugs Have the Harshest Possession Penalties in Minnesota?

 

Drug crimes are some of the most commonly charged offenses in our state. In fact, the majority of inmates in both state and federal Minnesota prisons are serving sentences for drug-related offenses.

 

Our state penalizes drug possession by the type and amount of controlled substance(s) the defendant is alleged to be in possession of. In general, drugs with the highest potential for abuse and adverse effects (for example, heroin) are most harshly penalized.

 

Although drug crimes are common offenses, drug crime charges are extremely serious, and should not be taken lightly. Minnesota is known for harsh drug possession penalties, and a criminal record has life-changing consequences.

 

Minnesota has five degrees of drug possession depending on the type and amount of substance in question. Possession on the grounds of a school, drug treatment facility, or other protected location is subject to enhanced penalties.

 

First-Degree Possession

 

Possession of the following substances and amounts constitutes First-degree possession:

 

  • 25 grams or more of heroin, cocaine, methamphetamine, or a combination thereof
  • Over 500 grams of a narcotic other than the above
  • 500 grams or units or more of amphetamine, phencyclidine, or hallucinogenic drugs
  • 100 kilograms or more of marijuana or the equivalent in THC concentrate

 

First-degree possession is punishable by up to 30 years in prison and a fine of up to $1 million for first-time offenders. A second violation is punishable by up to 40 years of imprisonment.

 

Second-Degree Possession

 

Possession of the following substances and amounts constitutes Second-degree possession:

 

  • Six grams of heroin, cocaine, methamphetamine, or a combination thereof
  • 10-499 grams of a narcotic other than the above
  • 50-499 grams or units of amphetamine, phencyclidine, or hallucinogenic drugs
  • 10-99 kilograms of marijuana or the equivalent in THC concentrate

 

Second-degree possession carries a penalty of up to 25 years in prison and $500,000 in fines. Subsequent offenses are subject to up to 40 years of imprisonment.

 

Third-Degree Possession

 

Possession of the following substances and amounts constitutes Third-degree possession:

 

  • Under six grams of heroin, cocaine, methamphetamine, or a combination thereof
  • Under 10 grams of a narcotic other than the above
  • 10-50 grams or units of amphetamine, phencyclidine, or hallucinogenic drugs
  • 10 kilograms of marijuana or the equivalent in THC concentrate

 

Third-degree possession is punishable by up to 20 years in prison and $250,000 in fines for a first-time offense. Subsequent offenses are subject to up to 30 years in prison in addition to fines.

 

Fourth-Degree Possession

 

The following offenses constitute Fourth-degree possession:

 

  • Possession of 10 or more dosage units of phencyclicdine or other hallucinogens
  • Possession of a controlled substance classified in Schedule I, II, or III (except marijuana or THC) with the intent to sell it

 

Fourth-degree possession is punishable by up to 15 years in prison and a fine of up to $100,000.

 

Fifth-Degree Possession

 

The following offenses are considered Fifth-degree possession:

 

  • Unlawful possession of a controlled substance classified in Schedule I, II, III, or IV, except for under 42.5 grams of marijuana
  • Procuring or attempting to procure a controlled substance through fraud, deceit, false identity, or posing as a medical caregiver

 

Fifth degree possession is punishable by up to five years in prison and fines of up to $10,000.

 

Facing Minnesota Drug Possession Charges?

 

Minnesota Drug Lawyer

 

Drug possession is a serious crime. Conviction could result in lengthy prison sentences and hefty fines, and a criminal record that will come back to haunt you.

 

If you are facing drug crime charges, you should contact an experienced Minnesota drug lawyer as soon as possible. A good attorney will leverage his or her expertise and experience to fight tirelessly until reaching the best possible outcome for your case.

 

 

 

About the Author:

 

Christopher Keyser is a Minneapolis-based criminal and DWI defense attorney 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 recognized as a Minnesota Super Lawyers Rising Star (2014–2015), a Top 100 Trial Lawyer (2013–2015), and a Top 40 Under 40 Attorney (2013–2015).

 


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