Of all drug charges in Minnesota, marijuana possession is considered the least serious. Numerous marijuana possession cases are tried in Minnesota courtrooms every single day. But despite their prevalence and the relative lack of stigma associated with marijuana possession charges, they can still carry quite serious consequences.
It seems as if marijuana legalization is a hot topic throughout the nation. More and more people approve of making pot available for the people and at least for those who need it for medical reasons. But, this growing acceptance hasn’t changed the current legal atmosphere. Marijuana possession is still against the law.
Fortunately, Minnesota marijuana possession charges are treated quite as seriously as in some states. As a matter of fact, if you are caught with less than 42.5 grams, you will only face a petty misdemeanor charge with no jail time. And although this is relatively lenient, it’s still a criminal conviction on your record. Avoiding a criminal record is something you should explore with a defense attorney, since any background check will show your criminal drug possession conviction.
Minnesota Marijuana Possession Laws – Penalties
The potential penalty you face for a marijuana possession charge in Minnesota depends wholly on how much of the substance you were found with. The chart below outlines the amount and potential sentence you could face if convicted.
|100 kilograms +||1st Degree Drug Crime/felony||30 years in prison and $1 million in fines|
|50 kilograms +||2nd Degree Drug Crime/felony||25 years in prison and $500,000 in fines|
|10 kilograms +||3rd Degree Drug Crime/ felony||20 years in prison and $250,000 in fines|
|42.5 grams-10 kilograms||5th Degree Drug Crime/felony||5 years in prison and $10,000 in fines|
|Less than 42.5 grams||Petty Misdemeanor||$200 fine, drug education|
Ref: Minnesota Statutes §152
Marijuana Possession Defense Strategies
When you are initially charged with an offense like this it’s easy to feel helpless and stressed. But there are options.
If this is your first offense, you could be eligible for what’s called conditional discharge. This means you serve a period of probation prior to trial. If the probation is completed successfully, including random drug testing and meetings with a supervising officer, the charges can be dropped.
How a Defense Lawyer can Help
From the moment you are arrested until the case is disposed of in court, a criminal defense attorney is your advocate in the criminal courts. They will help you understand all of the proceedings and explain your options to you. It’s their job to ensure your rights are protected and to challenge the evidence and merits of the case on your behalf.
If you are charged with Minnesota marijuana possession, contact us to speak with a local defense lawyer today.