Minnesota’s Drug Possession and Sale Crime Offense Levels
When law enforcement charges an individual with a drug crime, they assign a degree of the crime based on the type(s) and amount of drugs involved. The punishment varies widely depending on the precise offense level.
Here are the different levels of drug crime offenses in Minnesota:
This includes the sale of any amount of marijuana or schedule IV drug. If you are charged with fifth degree possession, you will have had a small amount of schedule I, II, III, or IV drugs. This may be the least serious offense level, but it still comes with the potential of either one year in jail and/or a $3,000 fine, or up to five years in jail and/or a $10,000 fine, if convicted.
A fourth degree sale or possession charge generally involves a schedule I, II, or III drug. You can also be charged with a fourth degree crime instead of a fifth degree one if you have allegedly sold marijuana with aggravating factors; for example, if you sold it in a school zone. You might be looking at up to 15 years in prison with this type of charge (quite a jump for the maximum five years that come with a fifth degree drug charge).
Third degree possession is the least severe charge you can get if certain quantities of illegal drugs are involved. This is saying a lot since in that case, the minimum offense level still comes with a possibility of up to 20 years of jail time. This offense level may also involve aggravating factors such as selling a schedule I or II drug or marijuana to someone under the age of 18.
This offense level gets into the sale or possession of moderate to large quantities of narcotics. As with previous levels, a second degree drug charge may also be used when there are aggravating factors to a lesser crime. This charge should be taken very seriously – it comes with a mandatory minimum of three years of incarceration if you have been convicted of a previous drug felony.
This is the most serious drug offense. It involves large quantities of drugs such as cocaine, methamphetamine, and opioids. You also may be charged with this crime if you are in possession of a very large quantity of marijuana – between 25 and 50 kilograms depending on the charge. If you’ve been convicted of a felony drug charge before, you are facing a minimum of four years imprisonment when convicted of this offense. And the Minnesota sentencing guidelines establish a presumptive sentence of 65 months in prison for a first degree possession crime.
Drug Crime Attorneys Who Know Minnesota’s Laws
If you don’t want to stress about the potential jail time, hefty fines, and social stigma that come with a drug crime conviction, contact the attorneys of Sieben Edmunds Miller. We know how to defend you against these charges; we’ve done it countless times for individuals just like you. We have extensive experience in criminal defense cases, which allows us to find both the commonalities and differences in each individual case. If you want a skilled and tenacious attorney who will treat you like an individual, give us a call at (651) 994-6744.