Numerous states and the District of Columbia have legalized possession of recreational marijuana in recent years. Many others have decriminalized the possession of smaller amounts of marijuana, allowing for fines instead of any risk of jail time. With all the changes in state laws, it can be difficult to know what exactly is lawful or unlawful in Minnesota.
While many people – and government agencies – are relaxing their views on marijuana use and possession, it is important to realize that in most cases, possessing any amount of marijuana is still against Minnesota law. It is also illegal to privately sell any amount of marijuana. In fact, marijuana is still categorized as a Schedule I substance under state controlled substance statutes.
Marijuana laws can be complex and before you know it, you may be facing serious drug charges and possibly harsh penalties. The Minnesota laws involving marijuana crimes can be complicated, and you should always contact an experienced criminal defense attorney as soon as possible if police officers arrest you on suspicion of drug possession.
You can be accused of possessing marijuana whether you had any amount on your person, in your car, or in any location in which you may access or control the marijuana (known as constructive possession). The type of charge and penalties you can face will mostly depend on the amount of marijuana the prosecution alleges you possessed.
In Minnesota, possessing less than 42.5 grams of marijuana is a petty misdemeanor, which means you will not face any jail time. However, anything over 42.5 grams becomes a serious felony charge will the possibility of a long prison sentence. The maximum penalties escalate quickly the more drugs are in question, as follows:
The standards are stricter for possession of marijuana in your vehicle. If you are accused of possessing 1.4 grams or more anywhere except in your vehicle’s truck, you can face the following:
This is one law of which many people in St. Paul are unaware. You may not realize that once you drive with even a small amount of marijuana in the car, you are risking a criminal record and jail time. Anytime you are accused of possessing marijuana in any amount, contact a skilled St. Paul criminal defense lawyer as soon as you can.
The penalties for marijuana sales are even more serious under state law. You do not even have to get caught in the act of selling drugs – if you possess larger amounts of marijuana or have paraphernalia typically used to divide and sell drugs, the prosecutor can allege that you possessed the marijuana with the intent to sell it. The following penalties may apply:
The penalties can be more severe if you are convicted of selling marijuana in a school zone or to a minor.
In addition to penalties such as jail time and fines, a drug conviction on your record can have many lasting consequences. It can disqualify you from federal financial aid, make it difficult to rent housing or find a job, and much more. Fortunately, there are many ways to seek a dismissal of marijuana charges, including identifying 4th Amendment violations, challenging constructive possession allegations, or seeking alternative sentencing that does not result in a conviction. You need the right criminal defense attorney who knows how to fight against marijuana convictions whenever possible in St. Paul.
At Capitol City Law Group, we regularly defend against a wide variety of drug-related charges, including marijuana possession and sales. We work for the best possible outcome for every client, including a dismissal of charges when possible. The sooner you call, the sooner we can start protecting your rights. Contact us online or call 651-419-3615 to set up your free case evaluation and learn how we can help.