Illicit Drug Sales in Minnesota
The use of illicit drugs has been rapidly growing in the state of Minnesota over the past decade. In one year alone, illicit drug overdoses were up almost 28% in the Minneapolis area (from '19 to '20). This is an alarming number that must be monitored in the next few years. All illicit drugs come from somewhere, and it is crucial to pinpoint where and when illicit drugs are being sold in order to get a better understanding of not only where and when specific drugs are being sold, but also by who.
The sale of illicit drugs in Minnesota is based on a first through fifth degree set of guidelines, with the first-degree being the highest offense and the fifth-degree being the least offense possible. Drug crime charges in Minnesota are based on the type of drug and quantity involved, as well as whether the offense involves possession or sale. In this post, we'll dive deeper into where each drug falls in each schedule classification along with the sale of illicit drugs from each degree along with penalties and guidelines.
- Schedule 1: No medical use, considered to be most dangerous, high abuse rates (Heroin, LSD, Meth, Ecstasy, Marijuana)
- Schedule 2: Accepted for prescription use, yet high potential for abuse (Cocaine, Adderall, Vicodin, Oxycodone, Fentanyl )
- Schedule 3: Moderate to low levels of drug abuse (Ketamine, Anabolic Steroids, Testosterone)
- Schedule 4: Low potential for abuse or dependence (Xanax, Ambien, Valium)
- Schedule 5: Little to no potential for abuse (Cough Syrup, Lyrica, Lomotil)
First-Degree Sale Crimes (Minimum Thresholds)
- Cocaine/Meth - 17 grams
- Heroin - 10 grams
- Hallucinogens/PCP/Amphetamine - 50 grams
- THC - 25 kilograms
- Other narcotics - 50 grams
Penalties include: up to 30 years in prison, fines up to $1 million, or both. Depending on a defendant's criminal background, if they have a prior drug felony, they must serve a minimum of 4 years in prison. Convictions that involve a large amount of drugs (500+ doses) are subject to serve a minimum of 65 months in prison. Other factors can lead to aggravation of prison time or fines.
Second-Degree Sale Crimes (Minimum Thresholds)
- Cocaine/Meth - 17 grams (or 3 grams, with use of firearm and other aggravations)
- Heroin - 3 grams
- Hallucinogens/PCP/Amphetamine - 50 doses
- THC - 10 kilograms
- Other narcotics - 10 grams
- Sale of Schedule I/II narcotics to a minor, or in a park/school zone/public housing/drug treatment facility
Penalties include: up to 25 years in prison, fines up to $500,000. Those with previous drug crime convictions and other aggravations are subject to more penalties, including a minimum of 3 years in prison for repeat drug crime offenders.
Third-Degree Sale Crimes
- Cocaine/Meth - any amount
- Heroin - any amount
- Hallucinogens/PCP/Amphetamine - 10 doses
- THC - 5 kilograms
- Other narcotics - any amount
- Sale of Schedule I/II/III drugs (except Schedule I or II narcotics) to a minor, or employing a minor to sell
Penalties include: up to 20 years in prison, fines up to $250,000.
Fourth-Degree Sale Crimes
- Any amount of Schedule I/II/III drug
- Sale of Schedule IV/V drug to a minor
- Any amount of marijuana in a school zone, park, public housing, or drug treatment center
Penalties include: up to 15 years in prison, fines up to $100,000.
Fifth-Degree Sale Crimes
- Any amount of marijuana, except small amounts for no remuneration
- Any amount of Schedule IV drug
Penalties include: up to 5 years in prison, fines up to $10,000.
Contact a Defense Attorney for Legal Help
Minnesota drug sale crimes are heavily dependent on a case-by-case scenario, depending on circumstances and situations. If you or a loved one find yourself in the middle of a drug sale crime, the best course of action to take is to reach out to an attorney at BK Law Group who can help overcome the hurdles and roadblocks in the respective situation. With the complexity of each individual case, it is important to find an attorney who can evaluate the strength of the case and the viable options to alleviate potential issues and charges.