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.


  1. Last month, my fiance was pulled over for speeding, in my car, while in Hennepin county. The officer asked if he could search the car, and Joshua cooperated and thought, “no problem”. Until he found traces of marijuana in the middle counsel of the car. Josh told the officer it wasn’t his car and he had no idea it was there, which was 100% true. He then pleaded with the officer telling him he can’t have anything on his record, he works with children and it would be devastating. The officer then wrote him a citation, saying he was pretty much doing Josh a favor since the speeding ticket was a much steeper fine. He proceded to mention that if he just paid the fine and took care of it before that 30 day window was up, his record would be fine.

    The fine was paid in the beginning of May before the 30 days was up. The other day Josh received in the mail, from the Minnesota Department of Motor Vehicles, a letter saying his license has been revoked for 30 days due to a conviction of selling/possessing a controlled substance while operating a motor vehicle.

    Since receiving that, I have been torn apart. Of course I realize the poor lapse of judgment in having the traces of marijuana in my car and feel more than horrible. It is something that is no longer in our lives and I don’t know what to do from here. I have never received a speeding ticket, let alone something criminal.

    He found some paperwork online to fill out withdrawing his plea of guilty, which is what happened when we paid the fine, obviously, but it won’t get handled for 30-40 days and we would have to appear in front of a judge saying he is pleading not guilty, and I would have to plead guilty.

    We just got engaged 3 weeks ago and instead of being excited trying to plan our future together, I am busy trying to worry about and straighten out our past. On top of all that, I am worried Josh could lose his job if they find out or that we could lose our lease on our apartment. Please offer any advice you can. I am so lost and feel horrible.



  2. hey so my boyfriend got in alot of trouble recently with the police pertaining to marijuana and they for some reason take all my hard earned tip money from me out of my own wallet for just being there when he gets in trouble….. i petitioned the court for my money back and got all my bank statements and a print out from my work stating my tips and wages the past couple months is there any advice or articles i should read to defend myself in getting my money back …..? any response would be great the first time they took $1600 from me and didn’t charge me with any crime at all or arrest me but they took all the cash from my wallet and jewelry box because they were charging my boyfriend…. and they second time there wasn’t even 60 dollars worth of marijuana in the room and again same thing arrested my boyfriend didn’t charge me at all but took $900 dollars from what am i supposed to say to the courts in my defense? please help me i feel like i am getting railroaded for just being in the same room as someone who committed a crime …..

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