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  1. The degrees of drug crimes in Minnesota and the sentencing limits for each degree as set by Minnesota legislature in 1989 and amended in 1990 are indicated below. The “guidelines” listed for each degree refer to the lengths of time that a person convicted of an offense at that degree would serve in prison. These guidelines are set by the Minnesota Sentencing Guidelines Commission. The actual length of sentence is determined by the defendant’s criminal history. For instance, a person convicted of a second degree drug offense who has no prior convictions will get a shorter sentence than another person also convicted of a second degree drug offense who happens to have a prior record. In addition, pursuant to 1989 legislation, a judge may increase a sentence if the drug offense took place in a school zone or a park zone. If the guidelines call for probation, the defendant can be sentenced to serve up to 12 months in the local jail or workhouse.

 

  1. First Degree
    1. Sale: 10 grams crack, 50 grams cocaine/heroin/methamphetamine, 200 doses hallucinogen, 50 kilos marijuana.
    2. Possession: 25 grams crack, 500 grams cocaine/heroin/methamphetamine, 500 does hallucinogen, 100 kilos marijuana.
    3. Penalty: 0-30 yrs, 4 yr mandatory minimum if prior drug felony; up to $1 million fine.
    4. Guidelines: 86 to 146 months.

 

  1. Second Degree
    1. Sale: 3 grams crack, 10 grams cocaine/heroin/methamphetamine, 50 doses hallucinogen, 25 kilos marijuana, or sale of any Schedule I or II narcotic drug either to a person under 18 or in a school zone or park zone.
    2. Possession: 6 grams crack, 50 grams cocaine/heroin/methamphetamine, 100 does hallucinogen, 50 kilos marijuana.
    3. Penalty: 0-25 yrs, 3 yr minimum if prior drug felony; up to $500,000 fine.
    4. Guidelines: 48 to 98 months.

 

  1. Third Degree
    1. Sale: Crack/cocaine/heroin, 10 doses hallucinogen, 5 kilos marijuana, or sale of any Schedule I, II, or III drug (except a Schedule I or II narcotic drug or marijuana) to a person under 18 or employment of person under 18 to sell same.
    2. Possession: 3 grams crack, 10 grams cocaine/heroin/methamphetamine, 10 kilos marijuana, and any amount of a Schedule I or II narcotic drug in a school zone or park zone.
    3. Penalty: 0-20 yrs, 2 yr mandatory minimum if prior drug felony; up to $250,000 fine.
    4. Guidelines: For possession of crack and cocaine, 48-98 months; for all other third degree offenses, probation to 54 months.

 

  1. Fourth Degree
    1. Sale: Any Schedule I, II, or III drug (except marijuana), or sale of marijuana or any Schedule IV or V drug to person under 18.
    2. Possession: 10 doses hallucinogen.
    3. Penalty: 0-15 yrs, 1 yr mandatory minimum if prior drug felony; up to $100,000 fine.
    4. Guidelines: Probation to 32 months.

 

  1. Fifth Degree
    1. Sale: Marijuana, or any Schedule IV drug.
    2. Possession: All Schedule I, II, III, or IV drugs except 1.5 ounces (42.4 grams) or less of marijuana.
    3. Penalty: 0-5 yrs, 6 month mandatory minimum if prior drug felony; up to $10,000 fine.
    4. Guidelines: Probation

 

  1. Possession of 1.5 ounces (42.5 grams) or less of marijuana is a petty misdemeanor punishable by a fine of up to $200 and required attendance at an approved drug education program. Failure to comply with those sanctions or a second conviction within two years constitutes a misdemeanor. Possession of more than 1.4 grams of marijuana in an automobile continues to be a misdemeanor under Minnesota law.

 

  1. In addition to charging offenders with possession and sale crimes, Minnesota prosecutors can charge drug offenders with, depending on the circumstances: (1) failure to purchase drug tax stamps from the State Commissioner of Revenue; (2) money laundering, if the person conducted a financial transaction with money that he knew was the proceeds of a felony drug crime; and (3) racketeering, under which a dealer can be fined up to three times his gross profits.

Last modified: January 25, 2018