It may seem that possession of marijuana is a minor crime. Some states have even passed laws legalizing the possession of marijuana for recreational use. It is, however, important to note that Minnesota is not one of those states. In fact, if you are caught with more than 1.4 grams (the weight of 2 paper clips) of marijuana in your car, a conviction can be very similar to a first time DWI or DUI. This means potential jail time, fines, probation, and all the other consequences that normally come with being convicted of a DUI.
Since marijuana intoxication can not be easily tested in the field, the law presumes that just driving a vehicle with marijuana inside is dangerous due to the high probability that those in the car have been using the drug. You can lose your license if you are arrested for possession of marijuana in a motor vehicle, which can make it difficult to get to work, take your kids to school activities, and cause other issues within your daily life.
Minnesota Marijuana Possession Law
Under Minnesota law, if you are convicted of possession of Marijuana in a motor vehicle, you will lose your driving privileges, and you would have a misdemeanor on your permanent record. This conviction could not only affect insurance rates but it also could have an effect on future job seeking endeavors. Prospective employers and insurance companies alike will be able to find the conviction with a simple background check. Minn. Stat. 152.027 states:
“A person is guilty of a misdemeanor if the person is the owner of a private motor vehicle, or is the driver of the motor vehicle if the owner is not present, and possesses on the person, or knowingly keeps or allows to be kept within the area of the vehicle normally occupied by the driver or passengers, more than 1.4 grams of marijuana. This area of the vehicle does not include the trunk of the motor vehicle if the vehicle is equipped with a trunk, or another area of the vehicle not normally occupied by the driver or passengers if the vehicle is not equipped with a trunk. A utility or glove compartment is deemed to be within the area occupied by the driver and passengers.”
As the statute states, the trunk of the vehicle is not considered an area that is normally occupied by passengers and therefore the crime of possession in a motor vehicle does not apply; you can, of course, still be charged with possession of the drugs even if they are in the trunk, but this charge may carry a less severe punishment.
Fighting Marijuana Possession Charges in Minnesota
If you’re facing a Marijuana in a Motor Vehicle charge, you can trust the experienced Minnesota lawyers at Sieben Edmunds Miller to advocate for you. We proudly serve the cities of Burnsville, Bloomington, Minneapolis, Woodbury, Eagan, Mendota Heights, St. Paul, Hastings, Hudson, and River Falls in Marijuana in Motor Vehicle cases. We also serve surrounding cities in Dakota County and throughout Minnesota and Wisconsin.