Written by attorney Jesse Hall.
Minnesota Drug Crime Laws Generally
In Minnesota, there are five levels of drug crimes. A drug crime in the first degree is the level that is most severe and carries the greatest possible penalties. There are many factors that may decide the severity of a crime involving drugs or narcotics. Such factors may include (1) the particular drug(s) involved in the case (e.g., meth, crack or powder cocaine, mushrooms, acid, ecstasy, marijuana, etc.); (2) the individual and aggregate net weights involved in the case (e.g., multiple baggies of powder cocaine vs. a baggie of mushrooms, a baggie of weed, and a sheet of acid may be treated differently when charged by the prosecution); (3) the location the particular drug is seized and/or present at any given point in time or the location of any particular alleged criminal conduct (e.g., schools, parks, etc.).
Minnesota Drug Crime Laws and Your Driver’s License
In Minnesota, a person may have a driver’s license suspended or revoked for a period of time following a police seizure of controlled substances from the person’s vehicle – this may even include small amounts of marijuana.
Minnesota Forfeiture Law (and the Government Taking Your Property or Money) When a Person is Arrested for a Drug Crime
When a person is arrested for a crime involving illegal drugs or other controlled substances, that person may lose the property and money seized by the police or other governmental agencies. This loss of property or money may or may not be a legal seizure. Additionally, such property or money seized may be permanently kept by the government unless the proper legal actions are filed and petitions are made to challenge this governmental taking.
First Things First: What YOU Need to do if Charged With a Drug Crime
If you have been (or believe you may be) charged with a crime involving any drugs or controlled substances, you should speak to a criminal defense attorney right away. If any law enforcement agency (including the police) wants to speak with you, you should tell them to speak with your lawyer and that you do NOT want to speak with them until you have an opportunity to speak with your lawyer – DO NOT TALK TO THE POLICE. Additionally, it is very important for you to retain an attorney as soon as possible because your attorney will need time to prepare for the specifics of your case and thereby substantially increase your opportunity for a favorable outcome in your case or even for a possible dismissal of all charges.