Fourth Degree Drug Crimes in Minnesota
Minnesota has five different severity degrees of drug crimes with first degree the most serious and fifth degree the least. Anyone convicted of a Minnesota drug crime faces significant criminal punishment. A fourth-degree controlled substance charge in Minnesota is a felony that carries stiff criminal penalties including incarceration and fines. You could also be required to attend court-ordered rehabilitation, probation, or community service, and you may even have any cash and/or possessions used or obtained during the commission of the crime seized and forfeited.
Regardless of the level, penalties for all Minnesota drug charges are steep. Because of the complexity in Minnesota drug laws, an experienced and knowledgeable Minnesota drug crime attorney can help you navigate these complicated waters and obtain the best possible outcome.
Fourth-degree drug sales in Minnesota
From a legal perspective, the definition of “sell” encompasses more than the common definition. Pursuant to Minnesota law, to “sell” a controlled substance means:
- “To sell, give away, barter, deliver, exchange, distribute or dispose of to another, or to manufacture; or
- To offer or agree to perform an act listed in clause (1); or
- To possess with intent to perform an act listed in clause (1).”
There are several situations in which you could face a fourth-degree sale of controlled substance charge in Minnesota. These include:
- The unlawful sale of one or more mixtures which contain a Schedule I, II, or III controlled substance, except marijuana and its main ingredient Tetrahydrocannabinols (THC)
- The unlawful sale of a Schedule IV or V substance to a person under 18 years of age
- Conspiracy to employ a person under 18 years of age to unlawfully sell a Schedule IV or V substance
- The unlawful sale of any amount of marijuana and/or THC in a school, park, or public housing zone, or in a drug treatment facility
As fourth-degree sale of a controlled substance is a felony, if you are convicted, you could face up to 15 years in prison and/or a fine of up to $100,000 in addition to the aforementioned court-ordered sanctions.
What is Fourth-Degree Possession of Drugs in Minnesota?
First, it is important to understand what possession under the law actually means. You can have actual possession of the drugs which means you have physical control of the drugs. It does not matter whether they belong to you or not. You can also have constructive possession of the substance which means you have actual control of the drugs without having physical control.
To be convicted of fourth-degree drug possession, the prosecutor must prove that you consciously possessed the drugs in question—either physically or constructively—and had actual knowledge or belief that the item was, in fact, an illegal drug or otherwise prohibited substance. It is not necessary that you know what the substance is, just that it is illegal.
You could face fourth-degree possession charges in Minnesota if you unlawfully possess ten (10) doses of hallucinogen or any amount of a Schedule I, II, or III controlled substance—except marijuana or tetrahydrocannabinols (THC) with the intent to sell.
Penalties for a Minnesota fourth-degree drug conviction include as many as 15 years in prison and/or a fine of up to $100,000.