Facing drug possession charges in Minnesota can be a life changing experience. You don’t have to be caught with a kilo of cocaine to be facing a lengthy prison sentence. And you don’t have to be handed a lengthy prison sentence to forever regret the actions that led to your criminal charges in the first place. When you’re up against potential jail time, fines, and a permanent criminal record you want someone in your corner who is willing to fight for your good name.

A criminal defense lawyer would tell you, you don’t have to have drugs in your hand to be charged with possession. Merely having them under your control is enough. What this means is that if you can reach the drugs or if they are on your property you might face charges. They could be in your glove box or even under the passenger seat of your car. If the police walk up and find you standing with a baggie of drugs on the curb next to you, you could be charged. Sometimes, at trial, the mere definition of possession and whether or not the drugs were actually under your control becomes the crux of the case, determining your eventual guilt or innocence.

Minnesota Drug Possession Laws

Under Minnesota law, there are classifications of drug possession based on the type of drug and the amount you are accused of possessing. Below you will find definitions and charts to explain just what charge you could be facing.

For additional details on marijuana charges, see out Minnesota marijuana laws page.

First Degree Drug Possession

Drug possession in the first degree is the most serious of drug possession charges under Minnesota law. If you are found guilty of this felony offense you could face up to 30 years in prison and fines of $1 million.

Drug Qualifying Amount
Marijuana 100 kilograms or more
Amphetamines or Hallucinogens 500 grams or 500 doses or more
“Other” narcotics 500 grams or more
Cocaine, Heroin, or Methamphetamines 25 grams or more

Second Degree Drug Possession


Another serious felony charge, possession in the second degree can carry up to 25 years in prison and $500,000 in fines.

Drug Qualifying Amount
Marijuana 50 kilograms or more
Amphetamines or Hallucinogens 50 grams or 100 doses or more
“Other” narcotics 50 grams or more
Cocaine, Heroin, or Methamphetamines 6 grams or more

Third Degree Possession

Third degree drug possession is another felony charge and carries up to 20 years in prison and fines reaching $250,000.

Drug Qualifying Amount
Marijuana 10 kilograms or more
Hallucinogens 5 or more doses
Narcotics in Pill Form 50 or more doses
“Other” narcotics 10 grams or more
Cocaine, Heroin, or Methamphetamine 3 grams or more


Fourth Degree Possession

A fourth degree possession charge only applies to possession of hallucinogens like LSD. If you are found in possession of 10 or more dosages of such a drug, you could be charged with this felony and face up to 15 years in prison and $100,000 in fines.

Fifth Degree Possession

Finally, if you are caught in possession of drugs and it doesn’t fit the criteria of the classifications above, you will be charged with felony fifth degree drug possession. Though it’s considered the least serious of drug possession charges, it still carries a potential  5 year prison sentence and $10,000 in fines.

Ref: Minnesota Statutes §152

When you are arrested and charged with a Minnesota drug possession offense, it isn’t the end of the road, there are always defense options. Contact us to speak with a local defense attorney who can help you determine how to best defend your rights and protect your freedom.