Minnesota law and authorities take drug crimes very seriously. Many drug crimes are charged as felonies, and a conviction can have both immediate and lasting effects on your life. In recent years, Minnesota law revamped its drug laws to institute a separate sentencing grid for drug offenses, rather than using the standard felony sentencing guidelines. However, the potential penalties for felony drug offenses remain serious, and you should immediately contact a St. Paul Criminal Defense Lawyer if you are arrested on suspicion of any type of drug crime.
First, major drug crimes generally involve either the possession of drugs or the sale of drugs, which also includes possession with the intent to sell drugs. The following are overviews of the felony drug crimes and possible penalties in Minnesota, from least severe to most severe. However, remember that even the least severe felony is still a felony, and a conviction should be avoided whenever you can.
5th-degree crimes can result in up to five years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000. These include the following:
These offenses can mean up to 15 years in prison and a fine of up to $100,000, and they include:
3rd-degree drug offenses can result in up to 20 years in prison with fines up to $250,000. These include:
A conviction for this level of felony drug offense comes with a potential sentence of up to 25 years in prison and a $500,000 fine. If you have a previous felony drug conviction, there is a mandatory minimum prison sentence of three years. These crimes include:
1st-degree drug crimes are the most serious without the presence of aggravating factors. These convictions can mean up to 30 years in prison and a $1 million fine. If you have a previous felony drug conviction, there is a mandatory minimum prison sentence of four years. 1st-degree felony drug offenses include:
There are also circumstances under which you can face aggravated drug charges, which come with enhanced penalties. One example of an aggravated offense is the manufacture of any amount of methamphetamine. Other aggravating factors may include multiple sales within a 90-day period or the presence of a firearm during a drug sale.
Any felony drug conviction can result in years behind bars and costly fines, as well as many lasting collateral consequences. The good news is that the right criminal defense lawyer in St. Paul can help defend against your charges and minimize or eliminate the penalties you face. We can present various legal defenses and fight against aggravating factors when needed.
For information about how the St Paul Criminal Defense Lawyers at Capitol City Law Group can help you fight your serious drug charges, call 651-212-4073 or contact us online to schedule your free case evaluation right away.