Minnesota drug possession laws, like other others across the country, ensure steep penalties if a person is convicted of drug-related charges. Fortunately, even if a person is accused of such crime, a conviction is never guaranteed. In fact, accused parties have the right to create and present a criminal defense in hopes of avoiding a conviction and the related consequences.
If you have recently been charged with drug possession, you may want to gain more information on the exact allegations you face and how those charges could affect your case. State laws have varying degrees of these allegations, and each could have different effects on your situation.
Degrees of drug possession
In Minnesota, there are five degrees of drug possession charges, with first degree being the most severe and fifth degree being the least severe. The possible consequences of these allegations, from least to most serious, include the following:
- Fifth degree drug possession could result in up to five years in prison and up to $10,000 in fines.
- Fourth degree drug possession could lead to a maximum of 15 years in prison and a maximum fine of $100,000.
- Third degree drug possession may result in up to 20 years in prison and up to $250,000 in fines.
- Second degree drug possession could see up to 25 years in prison and maximum fines of $500,000
- First degree drug possession could have a prison sentence of up to 30 years and fines of up to $1 million.
Whether a person faces a first degree or fifth degree charge can depend on the substances involved and the amount of the substance. It is also worth noting that while a fifth degree charge could result from possession of any amount of a Schedule I, II, III or IV substance, if a person possesses less than 42.5 grams of marijuana, the charge would be considered a misdemeanor.
Dealing with your allegations
Knowing what is on the line may help you determine the severity of the charges. Additionally, understanding the exact charge you face may play an important role in how you choose to move forward with your criminal defense. Gaining more information on the allegations as well as your available defense options may help you feel more confident as your case proceeds and as you work to maintain your innocence.