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Drug Penalties

Drug Crime Penalties Can Be Severe at Both State and Federal Levels

Minneapolis lawyer's aggressive approaches minimize your risk

Jeff T. Ohara, Attorney at Law, PC in Minneapolis has the necessary skills to defend you against a wide range of drug crimes. For more than 20 years, our firm has advocated for our clients' rights from accusation through trial to appeal, if necessary. We know what is at stake for our clients and take an aggressive approach in both our case preparation and courtroom arguments.

Depending on the type of drug and amount involved, and whether this is a first or repeated offense, penalties for drug charges vary. In general, the following may apply:

  • Lengthy prison terms
  • Hefty fines
  • Forfeiture of assets
  • Search and seizure of property
  • Deportation of non-U.S. citizens

Drug possession penalties by Minnesota law

Minnesota classifies controlled substances on five schedules, and narcotics drug possession carries the heaviest penalties in terms of prison time and fines:

  • Less than 25 grams to 49 grams in possession — A felony, punishable by imprisonment up to four years, a fine up to $25,000 or both
  • 50 grams to 449 grams — A felony, punishable by imprisonment up to 20 years, a fine up to $250,000 or both
  • 450 grams to 999 grams — A felony, punishable by imprisonment up to 30 years, a fine up to $500,000 or both
  • 1,000 or more grams — A felony, punishable by imprisonment up to life, a fine up to $1,000,000 or both

Possession of marijuana is a misdemeanor, punishable by imprisonment up to one year, a fine up to $2,000 or both.

Drug possession and trafficking penalties by federal law

Federal law regulates five classes of drugs:

  • Depressants — Including barbital, pentobarbital, phencyclidine (PCP)
  • Narcotics/opiates — Including codeine, morphine, methadone, heroin, oxycodone
  • Stimulants — Including cocaine, amphetamine, methamphetamine, ecstasy (MDMA)
  • Hallucinogens and psychedelic substances — including marijuana, lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD)
  • Anabolic steroids

Federal laws can lead to much longer prison terms and exorbitant fines. For example, if you are found in possession of 500 to 4,999 grams of cocaine, you could be subject to 5 to 40 years in prison plus up to a $2,000,000 fine for a first offense. A second offense could result in a life sentence and a fine up to $4 million.

Drug trafficking offenses, which include unlawful distribution, can bring about even harsher penalties than drug possession, especially if the trafficking resulted in death or serious bodily injury. For example, if you are found trafficking 500 to 4,999 grams of cocaine, you could be subject to 5 to 40 years in prison and a fine up to $5 million for a first-time offense. If death or serious injury resulted, the prison term could be between 20 years and life.

The laws are highly complex. Only an experienced drug crimes attorney who knows both state and federal drug laws is in a position to help you fight for your rights and your freedom.

Minimize your risks and maintain your freedom. Contact us now to schedule your initial free consultation

Jeff T. Ohara, Attorney at Law, PC in Minneapolis stands ready around the clock to take emergency calls. If you have been arrested or believe you are under investigation, call us now at (612) 605-6020 or contact us online.