What Is the Penalty for a 1st, 2nd or 3rd-Degree Felony Possession of a Controlled Substance?


     By Law Office of Carolyn Agin Schmidt

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The author discusses what the penalty is for a 1st, 2nd, or 3rd degree felony possession of a controlled substance.

The penalty for possession of a controlled substance often depends on the particular type of controlled substance and how much of the substance was found in your possession.

A first-time conviction of possession of a controlled substance in the first degree carries a penalty of up to 30 years imprisonment and/or a fine of up to $1,000,000.

According to Minnesota Statute 152.021, Subdivision 2, "A person is guilty of a controlled substance crime in the first degree if the person unlawfully possesses:

* One or more mixtures of a total weight of 25 grams or more of cocaine, heroin, and/or methamphetamine;
* One or more mixtures of a total weight of 500 grams or more containing a narcotic drug other than cocaine, heroin, and/or methamphetamine;
* One or more mixtures of a total weight of 500 grams or more containing amphetamine, phencyclidine, or hallucinogen or, if the controlled substance is packaged in dosage units, equaling 500 or more dosage units; or
* One or more mixtures of a total weight of 100 kilograms or more containing marijuana or Tetrahydrocannabinols."

If you were found with lesser amounts of the above drugs in your possession, you may be charged with an offense in the second or third degree, which may carry penalties of up to 20 or 25 years in prison and/or fines of up to $250,000 or $500,000.

In addition, unlawful possession of a) any amount of a schedule I or II narcotic drug, b) five or more doses of LSD, or c) one or more mixtures containing methamphetamine or amphetamine in a school zone, park zone, public housing zone, or drug treatment facility is also considered a crime in the third degree.

Subsequent controlled substance convictions often mean the imposition of mandatory sentences, which (depending on the degree) can mean a minimum of four years in prison.

First, second or third degree felony possession charges carry the potential for severe, life-changing consequences.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Carolyn Agin Schmidt
Carolyn Agin Schmidt has over 20 years experience effectively and vigorously defending criminal cases. Combining this experience with a compassion for the client and a passion for justice, she has earned a reputation for being one of the best criminal defense attorneys in the state.

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Disclaimer: While every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of this publication, it is not intended to provide legal advice as individual situations will differ and should be discussed with an expert and/or lawyer. For specific technical or legal advice on the information provided and related topics, please contact the author.