If you have been charged with possession of a controlled substance, you may not know what to expect. Minnesota law recognizes a variety of classes of controlled substances, and this, combined with other factors related to the circumstances of your arrest, will determine the potential consequences that you may face, if convicted. Because no two possession cases are alike, it is important that you seek legal assistance right away in order to give yourself the best possible chance at reducing the negative implications of your arrest.
Minnesota Controlled Substance Schedules
Each state has its own method of classifying controlled substances. Minnesota divides them into five categories, or schedules, as they are commonly called. Higher schedule number substances are less dangerous, and more useful from a medical perspective. One example of a substance with a high schedule numbers is buprenorphine (a medication used to treat opioid addiction as well as acute and chronic pain), which is classified in Schedule V. Substances with lower schedule numbers have little to no medical usefulness and are associated with higher rates of addiction and abuse. Examples of substances with low schedule numbers include fentanyl and heroin, which are both Schedule I substances, and codeine and morphine, which are both Schedule II substances.
Penalties for Possession in Minnesota
If you have been charged with possession of a controlled substance, the potential penalties that you are facing will depend upon the amount of the substance in addition to its schedule, as well as other information pertaining to you and to the circumstances of your arrest.
Fortunately, the degrees of severity of possession charges in Minnesota are numbered in the same order as the drug schedules, with higher numbers being less severe and lower numbers being more severe. For example, a fifth degree possession offense may result in a fine of up to ten thousand dollars and/or a prison sentence of up to five years. Fourth degree offenses are punishable by a fine of up to one hundred thousand dollars and/or up to fifteen years in prison.
Following along with those principles, third degree possession offenses may result in up to twenty years in prison and/or fines of up to two hundred and fifty thousand dollars. Second degree possession offenses are punishable by fines of up to half a million dollars and/or up to twenty five years in prison. If you are charged with a first degree possession offense, you could be sentenced to up to thirty years in prison and/or fined up to a million dollars. Repeat offenses of any degree carry higher penalties than first offenses of that same degree.
Possession with Intent to Manufacture
There are some substances, like iodine and ephedrine, which are illegal to possess because they are used in the manufacture of methamphetamine. Possession of these methamphetamine precursors is a separate category of criminal offense which is punishable by a fine of up to thirty thousand dollars and/or a sentence of up to fifteen years in prison.
All Possession Charges Are Serious
If you have been charged with any type of possession offense, it is important to speak with an attorney at Gerald Miller, P.A. right away. A conviction could have both immediate and long-term consequences that reach into every corner of your life in ways that you might not even imagine. Contact a skilled and knowledgeable Criminal Defense Attorney at Gerald Miller, P.A. today to discuss your questions and get a free case evaluation.