Methamphetamine (Meth) crimes in Minnesota
Drugs and felony charges: sadly not a recipe for a happy, upbeat blog post. If you’ve been charged with a methamphetamine-related crime, though, you need to understand some basic information about Minnesota laws.
Crimes involving methamphetamine in Minnesota usually involve possession, manufacture, possession of drug ingredients, called precursors, with intent to manufacture, and sale. If it’s possession, manufacture, or sale that you’re charged with, the prosecutor will have to prove that the substance found was actually methamphetamine and not some other drug.
Sale and possession crimes
Minnesota’s penalties for methamphetamine crimes are harsh, much harsher than the penalties for possession, sale, etc. of similar amounts of drugs like marijuana. Methamphetamine sale and possession crimes are divided into degrees depending on the weight of the substance involved. For example, sale of 10 grams or more or possession of 25 grams or more is a first-degree crime that can get you 30 years in a jail, a $1 million fine, or both. The dividing lines for the degrees are:
|First degree||10 grams or more||25 grams or more|
|Second degree||3 to 10 grams||6 to 25 grams|
|Third degree||Any amount||3 to 6 grams|
|Fourth degree||—||Any amount|
Likely sentences for sale and possession crimes include:
- First-degree crimes: for a first-time offender, the recommended sentence is 86 months in prison.
- Second-degree crimes: for a first-time offender, the recommended sentence is 48 months prison.
- Third-degree crimes: for a first-time offender, the recommended sentence is a stayed 21-month sentence (that will usually mean probation).
- Fourth-degree crimes: for a first-time offender, the recommended sentence is a stayed 12-month sentence, but often up to a year in county jai.
However, all of these sentences will be increased if you have prior controlled substance convictions. For example, with a prior drug crime conviction, the maximum sentence on a first-degree methamphetamine crime is 40 years.
You can be convicted of a manufacturing crime regardless of whether or not you intended to sell the drugs. In contrast to sale and possession crimes, the penalties for manufacturing are not linked the weight of the drugs found. The maximum penalty for a manufacturing crime is 30 years in jail, a $1 million fine, or both. Further, if you are convicted of manufacturing the sentence can include restitution to pay for the cleanup of contaminated property.
Possession of precursors crimes
The penalties for a possession of precursors crime are less severe than for the other methamphetamine crimes. It’s still a felony, though, and carries a sentence of up to 10 years along with a maximum of a $20,000 fine.