Like many states and the federal government, Minnesota divides controlled substances into schedules. These categorizations depend on the danger posed by a drug and whether it has approved medical uses. Further, state law designates five degrees of drug crimes depending on the drug schedule, the amount and other factors.
Before facing a drug possession court date, know the potential penalties for a conviction.
Fifth-degree drug crimes
You could receive a fifth-degree conviction for possession of any amount of a drug in schedule I, II, III or IV except cannabis. This category also applies to sales of a Schedule IV substance. Penalties for this crime in Minnesota include fines of up to $10,000 and up to five years in prison.
Fourth-degree drug crimes
This category refers to possession of at least 10 doses of a hallucinogenic drug, intent to sell or actual sale of any amount of a Schedule I, II or III substance, and sale of a Schedule IV or V drug to a person who is underage. Conspiracy to sell drugs is also a fourth-degree offense. These crimes carry fines of up to $100,000 and up to 15 years in prison.
Third-degree drug crimes
This type of charge may apply to:
- Possession of at least 3 grams of heroin
- Possession of at least 10 grams of any other narcotic
- Possession of at least five doses of a Schedule I or II narcotic at a drug treatment center, public housing facility, park or school zone
- Sale of any amount of cocaine, heroin or any other narcotic
Potential penalties include fines of up to $250,000 and up to 20 years in prison.
Second-degree and first-degree drug crimes can carry fines of up to $1 million and prison time of up to 30 years in Minnesota. These offenses involve large amounts of a dangerous substance and/or use of a deadly weapon in drug sales. Subsequent offenses also have increased penalties.