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Controlled Substance and Felony Drug Crimes in Minnesota

At Toepfer at Law, we understand that many Minnesotans are unaware of the State’s drug laws, as well as the penalties for violating them. If you’ve been accused of a serious drug crime, we may be able to help. Call us at (320) 497-4416 to set up a case evaluation.

Minnesota takes drug crimes seriously. Like several other states, Minnesota not only criminalizes controlled substances like cocaine and heroin, but also the chemical compounds used to manufacture them.

People who are caught with illicit drugs may be charged with drug possession, distribution or manufacturing. Their exact charges will often depend on the classification of drugs involved and the amount recovered by law enforcement. Both the federal and state government categorize controlled substances according to their potential for abuse.

If you’ve been accused of a serious drug crime in Minnesota, you’re likely facing felony charges. An experienced criminal defense attorney can go over your case and design a defense that works with the details of your situation. Keep reading to learn more about controlled substance and felony drug crimes in Minnesota.

Don’t let a drug crime conviction ruin your life! The compassionate attorneys at Toepfer at Law are here for you. Contact us online to schedule a consultation today.


What Are Controlled Substances in Minnesota?

A controlled substance is any drug, substance or immediate precursor that is defined by the Uniform Controlled Substances Act and heavily regulated by the government. It is illegal for anyone to manufacture, possess, distribute, transport or have control over substances listed in this act, except in ways that are expressly allowed.

Each substance in the Controlled Substances Act is classified into a schedule outlined by the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA), based on its potential for abuse and addiction. The following types of drugs are examples of controlled substances:

  • Opiates, including fentanyl and opium derivatives and heroin
  • Hallucinogenic substances, including LSD
  • Some anti-anxiety medications
  • Systemic depressants
  • Stimulants
  • Narcotics
  • Substances produced by extraction from a vegetable origin or a combination of extraction and chemical synthesis
  • Anabolic steroids
  • Anticonvulsants

Except for possession of 42.5 grams or less of marijuana, which is considered a petty misdemeanor, all drug crimes in Minnesota are felonies. However, the level of felony you face depends on the type of drug in your possession and the amount you had at the time of your arrest.

Minnesota Drug Schedules

The State of Minnesota divides controlled substances into five schedules, each of which have different regulatory requirements and carry different penalties. Schedule five drugs are considered the least dangerous, and schedule one drugs are considered the most dangerous (meaning they have a high potential for addiction). As a result, the harshest drug penalties are reserved for schedule one drugs.

First-Degree Drug Crimes

First-degree controlled substance crimes are the most serious drug crimes under Minnesota law and can include possession, sale crimes and the manufacture of methamphetamine. To be prosecuted as controlled substance crimes in the first degree, sale crimes and possession crimes must involve minimum thresholds established by Minnesota law. Manufacturing any amount of methamphetamine is a first-degree drug crime. The maximum penalty for a first-degree drug crime is up to 30 years in prison and $1 million in fines.

Second-Degree Drug Crimes

The same rules apply to second-degree drug crimes. They primarily differ from first-degree drug crimes in the amount they consider to be the minimum threshold. For example, the minimum threshold for a first-degree possession crime of heroin is 25 grams; the minimum threshold for a second-degree possession crime of heroin is only three grams. The maximum penalty for second-degree drug crimes is up to 25 years in prison and a $500,000 fine. Like first-degree penalties, second-degree penalties can be lengthier if the accused has previous drug crime convictions or if there are aggravating factors.

Third- and Fourth-Degree Drug Crimes

Third- and fourth-degree drug crimes continue to lower the minimum threshold for conviction. They also include the possession or sale of Schedule I, II and III drugs, as well as the sale of Schedule IV or V drugs to a minor. The maximum penalties for third- and fourth-degree drug crimes are 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine and 15 years in prison and a $100,000 fine, respectively.

Fifth-Degree Drug Crimes

Fifth-degree drug crimes include the sale of any amount of marijuana or any amount of a schedule IV drug. Fifth-degree possession includes any amount of a Schedule I, II, III or IV drug, except 42.5 grams or less of marijuana, as well as an attempt to acquire any of them through fraud or misrepresentation. The maximum penalty is five years in prison and a $10,000 fine.

Toepfer at Law: Top Drug Crime Lawyers in Minnesota

If you’ve been charged with a drug crime in Minnesota, there’s a good chance it qualifies as a felony. And without help from a top drug crime lawyer, a conviction could wreak havoc on your life, ruin future job prospects and cost you your reputation.

The drug crime lawyers at Toepfer at Law don’t want that to happen. If you or a loved one have been accused of a serious drug crime, don’t make the mistake of navigating the legal system on your own. Reach out to us online to schedule a consultation or give us a call at (320) 497-4416.

Contact Us

Toepfer at Law

11 Seventh Ave N Suite 203
St. Cloud, Minnesota 56303

Phone (320) 497-4416 Fax (320) 295-7813
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