Drug Crimes FAQ

Drug Crimes FAQ:

Minnesota law has a multitude of statutes related to drugs. What you’re charged with depends on the alleged substance and its classification or “Schedule,” amount, and intent. All drug offenses are felonies. If you’re arrested, police are required to follow many procedures. There are protections afforded to you under the Minnesota and United States constitutions.

What are the degrees of drug offenses?

First Degree

First-degree drug offenses in Minnesota include:

  • The sale of at least ten grams of cocaine, heroin, or methamphetamines.
  • The sale of at least 50 grams of any mixture that contains narcotics other than cocaine, heroin, or methamphetamines.
  • The sale of at least 25 grams of a combination of cocaine, heroin, or methamphetamines.

The maximum sentence is 30 years and a fine of up to $1 million.

Second Degree

The sale of at least three grams of cocaine, heroin, or methamphetamines is a second-degree drug offense with a maximum sentence of 25 years in prison and a fine of up to $500,000. A second-degree felony charge can also be applied to the sale of a least six grams of any mixture containing narcotics other than cocaine, heroin, or methamphetamines.

Third Degree

Selling a mixture of a narcotic or a mixture amounting to at least five kilograms of marijuana is a third-degree drug offense. You can also be charged with a third-degree drug offense for possessing at least three grams of cocaine, heroin, or methamphetamine. The maximum sentence is 20 years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000.

Fourth Degree

A fourth-degree drug offense is the sale of any drugs or mixtures of drugs defined in Schedules I through V to a minor. Possession with intent to sell (to adults or minors) is also a fourth-degree felony. The sentence for either of these crimes is up to 15 years in custody and a fine of up to $100,000.

Fifth Degree

Selling marijuana, a Schedule IV drug, or any mixture that contains either is a fifth-degree felony. Possession of a Schedule I, II, III, or IV drug is also a fifth-degree felony. A small amount of marijuana would be an exception in both cases if payment wasn’t made for the sale. The maximum sentence is five years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000.

Do felony charges apply to marijuana?

Possession of more than 42.5 grams of plant-form marijuana or the equivalent is a felony under Minnesota law. Possession of more than .25 grams of wax is also a felony. The sale of any form of marijuana is a felony, except for a small amount with no compensation (gift).

What if you have prior convictions?

If you have prior drug-related convictions, the new offense’s minimum and maximum prison sentence will be increased.

First Degree

Prior convictions mandate a minimum sentence of four years and a maximum of 40 years.

Second Degree

Prior convictions mandate a minimum sentence of three years and a maximum of 40 years.

Third Degree

Prior convictions mandate a minimum sentence of two years and a maximum of 30 years.

Fourth Degree

Prior convictions mandate a minimum sentence of one year and a maximum of 30 years.