How Is Drug Possession Defined Under Minnesota Law?
Minnesota law defines drug possession as having a controlled substance in one’s possession. Possession is defined as either on your person, this is physical possession, or constructive possession, meaning the substance is in a place you have control over.
What Are The Penalties For Possession Of Drugs In Minnesota?
The possession of drugs in Minnesota can lead to anything from a petty misdemeanor to a gross misdemeanor offense to a significant felony carrying up to 40 years in prison.
What Are The Long-Term Effects Of Having A Drug Possession Conviction On Your Record?
Drug possession and sale convictions are considered enhanceable offenses, which means that mandatory minimum sentences are imposed, and the more drug convictions someone has on their record, the harsher the penalties become for future convictions.
What Are The Most Common Types Of Drug Possession Cases In Minneapolis?
The most common types of drug possession cases that I see are possession of marijuana, methamphetamine and heroin.
Does The Type And Quantity Of Drugs Impact The Charges That Are Made?
The type and quantity of drug absolutely impacts the charges that will be brought. In general, the greater the quantity of drug someone is found to be in possession of, the more serious a charge they will face. A person can have a small amount of heroin and receive a more severe charge than if they had a greater amount of methamphetamine.
Are There Any Diversion Programs Available For First-Time Drug Offenders In Minnesota?
Many counties have diversion programs available for first-time offenders who have no felonies on their record. As long as a person successfully completes probation and the requirements of diversion, the conviction will never end up on their record. If someone has a history of multiple drug offenses or a high-level drug offense, they might have the option of participating in a drug court program. These programs are intensive, involve weekly meetings with a prosecutor, judge, and probation officer, and ultimately aim to help people obtain treatment for a drug problem and get back on their feet.
Can A Possession Charge Be Enhanced Or Aggravated If A Person Is In The Vicinity Of A School Area Or Other Specific Buildings?
If someone is found to be in possession of drugs while they are in the vicinity of a school zone, then the charge will be enhanced and considered more serious.
Are Drug Charges Often Stacked With Additional Charges?
Prosecutors tend to stack drug charges by charging possession of controlled substances, sale of controlled substances, and possession of paraphernalia. The purpose of this is to not only ensure that if the case were to go to trial, they would have a better opportunity to get a conviction on at least one of the charges, but also to use it to their advantage in a plea bargain situation. For example, in exchange for a plea of guilty on one charge, prosecutors will often dismiss the others.
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