Minnesota, like numerous other states, criminalizes not just the possession of illegal narcotics such as heroin, cocaine, and other banned substances, but also punishes people who sell the chemicals necessary to make them. Here are the five essential things about Drug crime you need to know if you live in the state.
Illegal drugs in Minnesota
The first thing we need to discuss is what kind of drugs are truly against the law to possess, sell, and produce in the state of Minnesota. Controlled substances are “chemicals or pharmaceuticals whose use, manufacturing, and possession are regulated by the government.” This classification is given because these drugs have a high potential for misuse or dependence.
Here are some types of drugs that are illegal to sell or use:
- Narcotics (opiates or prescription medications)
- Consuming Marijuana without medical approval
Minnesota’s Drug Problem
Illegal narcotics are a genuine concern in Minnesota and according to a 2012 SAMHSA study, the Minneapolis-St. Paul-Bloomington metro region has a higher rate of illegal drug use than the national average.
Penalties for Drug crimes in Minnesota
In Minnesota, penalties for illegal drug possession range from a misdemeanor for possession of a little amount of marijuana to a 40-year felony for aggravated first-degree offense. These penalties are determined based on whether a crime is categorized as first, second, third, fourth or fifth degree with the first-degree drug crime being the most serious, bearing the most severe penalties.
- First-degree – For first-degree crime, offenders must face 30 to 40 years in prison and a $1,000,000 fine.
- Second-degree – Offenders have to serve 25 to 40 years in prison and a $500,000 fine.
- Third degree – If anyone is found guilty in this category, they may have to serve 90-days to 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.
- Fourth-degree – Drug offenders in this category may have to serve 15 years in prison and a $100,000 fine.
- Fifth-degree – Offenders in this category need to face up to 5 years in prison and a $10,000 fine.
Additional Effects of a Drug Crime Conviction
You are mistaken if you think that a Minnesota drug felony conviction will only result in jail time and penalties. You may face other punishments, like:
- Deportation for non-citizens
- Loss of voting rights
- Inability to qualify for student loans
- Loss of firearm possession
- Problems finding housing
- Loss of professional licensure
- Problems finding work
Defense against Drug Crimes in Minnesota
If you or a loved one has been charged with a drug crime or felony in Minnesota, you need the assistance of an experienced attorney with a track record of acquittals and dismiss to help you. While each case is different, some defenses are utilized more frequently than others in drug criminal prosecutions.
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