Having or selling certain amounts of controlled substances can constitute a third-degree drug crime in Minnesota. Under Minnesota Statutes section 152.023, this is a felony punishable with up to 20 years’ imprisonment plus hefty fines.
Minnesota has strict and wide-ranging laws against drugs. Many people have been charged with serious felonies just because controlled substances were found in their vehicle or property. Some are implicated in crimes after getting involved in drug trade conversations. Protect yourself immediately after getting arrested for a third-degree drug charge. Call our trusted criminal defense attorney in Minneapolis.
What Makes a 3rd-Degree Controlled Substance Charge in Minnesota
3rd-degree Drug Sale Charge
Minnesota’s legal definition of “selling” encompasses more than just exchanging drugs for money. It also includes offering to sell, agreeing to sell, or bartering drugs for other goods or services. Here’s what counts as a third-degree drug sale crime:
- Selling a mixture containing any kind of narcotic
- Selling a mixture containing hallucinogen or phencyclidine that’s packed in at least 10 dosage units
- Selling a mixture containing a Schedule I, II, or III controlled substance to a minor (person under 18 years old)
- Conspiring with a minor to sell a Schedule I, II, or III controlled substance
- Selling a mixture containing marijuana or tetrahydrocannabinols (THC), totaling five kilograms.
3rd-Degree Drug Possession Charge
Two types of drug possession are illegal in Minnesota. One is actual possession, where the drug is found on your person such as in your pocket, and the other is constructive possession. That’s where you have the substance stored somewhere else such as in your house. Here’s what counts as a third-degree drug possession crime:
- Having a mixture containing a narcotic that’s not heroin, totaling 10 grams or more
- Having a mixture containing heroin, totaling three grams or more
- Having a mixture containing any narcotic drug that’s packed in at least 50 dosage units
- Having any amount of a Schedule I or II narcotic drug – or at least five dosage units of LSD – in a school zone, park zone, drug treatment facility, or public housing zone
- Having a mixture containing marijuana or THC, totaling 10 kilograms or more
- Having any amount of amphetamine or methamphetamine in a school zone, park zone, drug treatment facility, or public housing zone.
Sentence/Jail Time for a 3rd-Degree Drug Crime in Minnesota
The maximum sentence for a third-degree drug crime conviction in Minnesota is 20 years in prison, coupled with a $250,000 fine.
Defenses Against a 3rd-Degree Drug Charge in MN
Many individuals charged with a drug crime mistakenly incriminate themselves early on. It’s crucial that you get a lawyer’s protection soon after you’re charged or arrested. A competent attorney can then build a defense strategy that works best in your specific situation. Criminal defense attorney Jeff Dean uses these defenses and more:
- Challenging ownership – Even if drugs were found in your property, the prosecution still needs to prove they were yours.
- Suppression of evidence – Any evidence that the police collected in an unconstitutional manner cannot be used against you.
- Illegal search or seizure – If the police searched your place or seized your property without probable cause, the evidence they got there cannot be admitted in court.
- Faulty identification – You may have been identified in a flawed suspect line-up or by a biased witness.
- Miranda Rights violation – The arresting officers must pronounce your rights to remain silent and to have an attorney. Without this reading of rights, anything you say to them can’t be used in court.
- Entrapment – If we can show that law enforcement agents deceived or pressured you into committing the drug crime, the case against you may be dropped.
You need robust and strategic defense to fight a felony drug charge. Work with Attorney Jeff Dean, who has a track record of getting cases dismissed, having charges lowered, and obtaining Not Guilty verdicts for his clients.
Contact Experienced Drug Defense Attorney Jeff Dean
Jeff Dean has been serving Minnesotans for more than 26 years, defending them even in the most difficult criminal cases. He has even protected the freedom of clients who were found with drugs in their pockets. Don’t hesitate to talk to him about your controlled substance charges. Call Jeff Dean at (612) 305-4360 today.