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How to get a Second-Degree Sale of a Controlled Substance Charge Dismissed in MN

Drug offenses are some of the most serious criminal charges available under Minnesota state law. What’s more, police and prosecutors are known for aggressively pursuing convictions in these cases—even when the evidence of guilt is weak. If you have been arrested for second-degree sale of a controlled substance in Minnesota, your case is not guaranteed to end in a conviction.

With the right defense strategy, it could be possible to see the charges against you dismissed.

The attorneys of Gerald Miller have a long track record of success when it comes to fighting drug charges. We focus our practice on defending the accused in Minnesota courts, and we look forward to putting our experience to use in your case. Call a drug crimes attorney from our office today to get started.

Who Can Dismiss the Charges Against Me?

It is important to understand why criminal charges are dismissed as well as who has the power to dismiss these charges. While the police arrested you under suspicion of second-degree sale of a controlled substance, the arresting officers have no say in your ultimate prosecution. The state prosecutor will determine whether to bring charges against you, and they retain the right to dismiss charges in the future.

A prosecutor might have the power to dismiss your case, but that does not mean they will. Prosecutors typically are aggressive in their pursuit of drug charges—particularly charges related to the sale of a controlled substance. In order to get the charges against you dismissed, you will need to make a strong case that the state does not have enough evidence for a conviction.

There is a second option. The judge overseeing your case also has the power to dismiss charges against you. Typically, they will not do so unless your attorney files a motion to dismiss your case. The judge will only agree to dismissal if there are legal grounds that would prevent you from being convicted at trial. This could be anything from a violation of your right to a speedy trial to the exclusion of all of the evidence against you.

The attorneys of Gerald Miller understand what it takes to have charges dismissed. While the process is rarely simple, a dismissal of second-degree sale of a controlled substance charge could be dismissed by the court under the right circumstances. Our firm is ready to aggressively pursue the best possible defense strategy in your case.

Defense Strategies That Could Lead to Dismissal

There is a reason to focus on having your second-degree drug charge dismissed by the prosecutor or the judge. That reason is that jail time for drug felonies in Minnesota can cost you years of your life behind bars. Thankfully, these penalties never come into play if you are able to avoid a conviction.

The attorneys of Gerald Miller understand how important a strong defense strategy is in your case. The right strategy depends on the facts of your case. This means that it is not as simple as selecting an option from a list when deciding how to approach your drug charges. Our firm could carefully evaluate your case to identify the weaknesses in the state’s evidence. Some of the defense strategies we frequently use in these cases include:

Unlawful Search or Seizure

One of the most common reasons a second-degree drug charge is ultimately dismissed is because of an unlawful search or seizure. Even if the police suspect you are guilty of a drug crime, they do not have the right to search or seize your property. This includes your vehicle, your home, or your person. In most cases, the police need your permission or a warrant issued by a judge to search your property.

If the police illegally search your property, it could taint any of the evidence they discover. Your attorney could have the evidence found as a result of an illegal search excluded from your trial. If this includes all of the controlled substances you allegedly possessed, the state might have little choice but to dismiss the charges against you.


When it comes to criminal defense theories, entrapment is one option that is not regularly used. Entrapment occurs when law enforcement coerces or pressures a person to commit a crime that they would not have committed on their own. This abuse of police power could result in the dismissal of the charges against you.

Lack of Intent

All drug crimes are crimes of intent. That means you cannot accidentally or unknowingly commit a second-degree sale of a controlled substance. The state must show that you know what you were selling was a controlled substance. If you can establish you were unaware that there were drugs involved in the alleged sale, it could serve as a defense in your case. For example, selling a suitcase that you did not know held drugs inside it is not grounds for a conviction for second-degree sale of a controlled substance.

Lack of Evidence

In some cases, the best possible defense is to highlight the lack of evidence against you. The state has the burden of proof in your case, and they must show beyond a reasonable doubt that you are guilty of second-degree sale of a controlled substance. If they cannot do so, you must be acquitted. This means you are under no obligation to point to other suspects or prove your innocence through another defense.

Other Favorable Outcomes Outside of Dismissal

If you have already been arrested for second-degree sale of a controlled substance charge, having the charges against you dismissed is a best-case scenario. However, there are other ways to secure a positive outcome in your case—even if the evidence against you is strong. Our firm could review all of the facts in your case and advise you on possible outcomes.

Acquittal at Trial

There are many times when your best option is to go to trial and fight for an acquittal. If the state will not dismiss your charges or make a reasonable settlement offer, an acquittal is the best possible scenario. If you are acquitted, you will not have a conviction on your record and will not face any of the penalties a conviction would bring.

There are no downsides to being acquitted of second-degree sale of a controlled substance. However, taking your case to trial can be risky. If you are found guilty by a jury of your peers, you could face up to the maximum penalty upon conviction. This could result in years in prison and thousands of dollars in fines. In many cases, the penalties that come with a conviction are steeper than what the prosecution offered in their best plea deal.

There are risks associated with trying your case, and only you can decide if those risks are worth it. However, our firm is ready to provide you with the pros and cons of both options.

Pleading Guilt

There are also times when it is in your best interest to enter a plea guilty for a second-degree controlled substance charge. This is usually the case when the evidence against you is likely to lead to a conviction.

A plea bargain could be a positive thing depending on the terms. For example, the state could agree to reduce the charges against you to a lesser offense. This could lead to substantially lower penalties. Your attorney might also be able to negotiate penalties on the lower end of the sentencing range or have secondary charges against you dropped.

Talk to Gerald Miller About the Dismissal of Your Controlled Substance Charge in Minnesota

No one can guarantee that the charges against you will be dropped. However, our firm will work tirelessly to help you secure the best possible outcome in your case. In some situations, that is a dismissal of all charges. In other cases, it is an acquittal at trial.

The attorneys of Gerald Miller will carefully review the allegations against you before determining your best defense option. Our team will aggressively pursue the outcome you deserve while keeping you informed throughout the process. Do not face the prosecution on your own. Reach out to the attorneys of Gerald Miller as soon as possible for a free consultation.

Related Content: How to Get a Possession of Controlled Substance Charge Dismissed in Minnesota?

About the author

Kyle Dreger

Kyle Dreger is a skilled DUI/DWI and Criminal Defense lawyer at Gerald Miller P.A. Kyle has received his law degree from the University of St. Thomas School of Law. He is also a professionally trained basketball player.

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