Regardless of whether you were growing marijuana plants or operating a narcotics lab, producing illegal drugs in Minnesota exposes you to long prison terms and substantial fines. Given the life-altering nature of a conviction on these charges, you should seriously consider retaining legal counsel. Fortunately, an experienced Minnesota drug manufacturing lawyer is ready to examine the circumstances of your case and help you build a defense.
Illicit Drugs Defined
Minnesota restricts access to chemicals and compounds that pose a substantial risk to human health and are highly addictive, referred to as controlled dangerous substances (CDS). Minnesota Statutes Annotated § 152.02 categorizes CDS into five schedules, with Schedule I identifying the most dangerous drugs. Examples of commonly known Schedule I substances include marijuana, heroin, and cocaine.
Certain prescription medications are also on these schedules, such as codeine, morphine, and other narcotics. While people may possess and utilize these substances under a doctor’s order, they are illegal without a valid prescription.
Manufacturing Controlled Substances is a Felony
Growing, cultivating, or harvesting plants used in creating illegal drugs or mixtures of harmful substances may qualify as drug-related crimes. The purpose for growing or producing the drugs does not matter. Whether it is for personal use or financial gain, manufacturing CDS is generally a felony. Some exceptions apply to minimal amounts of illicit drugs as outlined by state law.
Minnesota law does not discuss the illegality of manufacturing drugs in a standalone statutory section. Instead, the law incorporates it into the definition of selling drugs in Minn. Stat. Ann. § 152.01, Subd. 15a. Individuals suspected of unlawful drug manufacturing may encounter first- through fifth-degree charges. The law explains the most severe violations, first-degree illegal drug manufacturing, and outlines the remaining levels in descending order, ending with fifth-degree offenses.
These felony charges carry penalties that deprive those convicted of their freedom, negatively impact their financial standing and their reputation. The experience and knowledge of a drug manufacturing lawyer in Minnesota may aid defendants in avoiding the most devastating consequences.
Penalties Associated with CDS Manufacturing
The law assigns strict punishments for felony drug convictions that depend on the level of the offense. Starting with the lowest level violation, the maximum penalties for first-time offenders with no aggravating factors are as follows:
- Fifth degree – $10,000 in fines and five years in prison
- Fourth degree – $100,000 in fines and 15 years in prison
- Third degree – $250,000 in fines and 20 years in prison
- Second degree – $500,000 in fines and 25 years in prison
- First degree – $1,000,000 in fines and 30 years in prison
Subsequent violations are likely to push sentences to the upper end of the range, and in some cases, the law extends the number of years allowed. If a person is facing drug manufacturing charges of any level, they should seek the advice of a Minnesota attorney immediately.
Talk to a Minnesota Drug Manufacturing Attorney before Taking Your Next Step
No one charged with drug manufacturing should face these charges alone. A skilled Minnesota drug manufacturing lawyer could represent you at all stages of the criminal process, during the investigation, negotiating with prosecutors, and presenting at trial, if necessary. Call for an initial consultation today to get started on the path to preserving your rights and future.