Third 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. Regardless of the degree, if you are convicted of a controlled substance offense in Minnesota, you will face serious penalties that can include incarceration, fines, court-ordered rehabilitation, probation, community service, and seizure and forfeiture of cash or property used during or obtained as a result of the offense.
A third-degree controlled substance crime in Minnesota is a felony. However, regardless of the degree and given the hefty punishments that may result, consulting with a qualified and experienced Minnesota controlled substance crime lawyer can help you get the best possible outcome for your case.
Third-Degree Drug Sales in Minnesota
Pursuant to Minnesota law, to “sell” a controlled substance includes selling, giving away, bartering, exchanging, delivering, distributing, disposing, manufacturing, or possessing with the intent to sell any illicit drug or substance. Further, offering or agreeing to perform one of the aforementioned acts also meets the legal definition of “sell” in Minnesota.
You are guilty of a controlled substance crime in the third-degree if you unlawfully sell:
- Any amount of a narcotic drug
- Ten (10) packaged dosage units of one of more mixtures containing hallucinogen or PCP
- One or more mixtures that contain a Schedule I, II, or III drug, except for Schedule I and II narcotics
- One or more mixtures of marijuana or Tetrahydrocannabinols (THC) with a total weight of five (5) kilograms
- Employing a person under 18 years of age to sell any Schedule I or II drug or marijuana
As third-degree sale of a controlled substance is a felony, if you are convicted, you could face up to 20 years in prison and/or a fine of up to $250,000 along with the possibility of other sanctions such as those above.
Third-Degree Possession of a Controlled Substance in Minnesota
Pursuant to Minnesota drug law, you can have actual or constructive possession of the substance. Actual possession is when you have physical control of the drugs regardless of if the drugs belong to you or not. Constructive possession means you have actual possession of the drugs but not physical control.
For a successful third-degree possession of a controlled substance conviction, the prosecutor must prove that on one or more occasions within a 90-day period, you unlawfully possessed:
- One or more mixtures with a total weight of three (3) grams or more that contain heroin, cocaine, or methamphetamine
- One or more mixtures with a total weight of ten (10) grams or more of a narcotic other than heroin, cocaine, or methamphetamine
- One or more mixtures containing a narcotic that is packaged in dosage units and equals 50 or more dosage units
- Any amount of a Schedule I or II narcotic drug or five (5) or more dosage units of LSD or methamphetamine in a school, park, or public housing zone, or a drug treatment facility
- One or more mixtures with a total weight of ten (10) kilograms or more of marijuana or THC
To be convicted of third-degree drug possession, the prosecutor must prove not only that you consciously had either physical or constructive possession of the drugs in question, but also that you had actual knowledge or belief that the drugs were illegal or otherwise prohibited. It is not necessary that you know what the substance is, just that it is illegal.
Penalties for a Minnesota third-degree drug conviction include as many as 20 years in prison and/or a fine of up to $250,000.