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Minnesota Drug Crime Attorneys
Prosecution of drug crimes has become a high priority at both the state and federal level. Charges must be met with a focused defense strategy. The consequences of a drug crime charge can include fines, jail time, and a permanent mark against your personal and professional reputation. Regardless of the type of drug or charge, you will require an experienced Minnesota drug crime lawyer to develop your defense. North Star Criminal Defense understands the serious nature of a drug charge, and we will give you the aggressive representation that you need to protect your liberty and future.
Types of Drug Charges
Most drug charges will involve state laws, and in Minnesota major drug crimes are divided into different degrees, all of which are typically felonies. The charges are for sale and/or possession of drugs, and require the best criminal defense possible to avoid or mitigate penalties and jail time. There are five major degrees of drug crimes in Minnesota, and the degree will primarily depend on the amount, and whether the drug was being manufactured or offered for sale. Marijuana possession is not prosecuted as harshly as other drugs.
The specific drugs may include crack, cocaine, methamphetamine, heroin and marijuana. The penalties are as follows:
- 1st Degree: imprisonment up to 30 years (40 years for second offense) and fines up to $1 million (example: sale of 50 grams of heroin or cocaine)
- 2nd Degree: imprisonment up to 25 years (40 years for second offense) and fines up to $500,000 (example: possession of 6 grams of cocaine)
- 3rd Degree: imprisonment up to 20 years (30 years for second offense) and fines up to $250,000 (example: sale of 5 kilos of marijuana)
- 4th Degree: imprisonment up to 15 years (30 years for second offense) and fines up to $100,000 (example: possession of 10 doses of hallucinogen)
- 5th degree: imprisonment up to 5 years (6 months mandatory if second offense) and fines up to $10,000 (example: possession of any drugs, in any amount, except 1.5 ounce or less of marijuana.)
- Marijuana crimes: petty marijuana possession crimes are treated much more gently than other drugs. You most likely won't face any jail time but will have to pay a small fine.
This listing illustrates the increasing severity of drug laws and related penalties, and the fact is that if you have been charged you may be facing jail time if convicted.
In addition, certain collateral consequences exist and can be just as penal. For instance, if you were arrested in a car, that car and any money on you is subject to forfeiture. And the only way to get the car or money returned is to bring a separate forfeiture challenge under specific legal bases challenging the forfeiture. North Star Criminal Defense walks you through this option as part of its personalized legal strategy for each client.
Methods of Defense Against Drug Charges
North Star Criminal Defense will prepare a defense on your behalf that has the goal of having the charges dismissed or at least reduced to mitigate the penalties. Whether you are a first time offender or have previous drug convictions, we will use the following methods in your defense:
- Analyzing the chain of evidence of the drugs and other items involved in the crime
- Assessing whether the arrest, investigation and acts by law enforcement complied with due process and other Constitutional protections.
- Whether you were directly involved in the possession or sale of the drugs, or simply present in the vicinity with no intent or plan to participate
- Demonstrating your personal and professional credibility to argue for dismissal or reduction of charges
To see just how successful our approach is, here are some representative case results:
Charges: Federal drug trafficking charges
Resolution: After more than two years of negotiations, motion practice, court appearances, and arguments, an Assistant United States Attorney for a neighboring State moved to dismiss an indictment that called for many years of federal incarceration pursuant to the Federal Sentencing Guidelines. Among other amazing effects from this decision, the client got his passport back by next-day air, returned to his business without interruption, attends plays with his kids, moves on with life, and is the biggest fan North Star Criminal Defense has ever had. It doesn't matter where you face challenges, or for what--North Star has the connectivity and the creativeness and the sheer stamina to put your situation to rights. No fight is too big, or too small, no government is too powerful, no opponent too imposing.
Charges: Felony Drug Charges
Resolution: Stay of imposition, Misdemeanor 4th Degree Drug Sale. The client was facing three separate counts of drug sale and possession offenses that ranged from 5th degree possession to 2nd degree sale. Due a prior drug conviction, the client was facing a three-year mandatory prison commitment. Based upon the client's extensive rehabilitative efforts and negotiations by North Star, the client will receive a misdemeanor conviction upon completion of three-years probation, which includes a year in jail - not prison - where the client has work-release privileges so he can keep his life on track. While the year in jail is tough to swallow, the client avoids the lengthy prison term, can keep progressing with his rehabilitation efforts, and will only have a misdemeanor conviction on his record. In a county that is notably tough when it comes to drug sentencing, this was a great result.
Charges: 1st Degree Felony Drug Crime
Resolution: A guideline sentence projected into the 180-month range will be concluded in less than a year in state prison, for this fortunate young man. A client with an extensive criminal history, for a variety of complex offenses, was able to negotiate (after ample proof of treatment-readiness and a commitment to sobriety) a Challenge-Incarceration-Program-eligible (call for an explanation of this program for clients with a long history of convictions) sentence of less than forty months. God willing and the trains on time, that client will be back in his family's arms in less than eight months; this, notwithstanding facing a true term of more than ten years for the (amply proven) alleged misconduct. No client is a lost cause, no case is too difficult, no circumstances are too damning for the lawyers at North Star Criminal Defense.
Charges: Felony drug charges
Resolution: Stay of adjudication. In yet another extra-state matter handled by North Star, a client facing a life-altering conviction for drug distribution will avoid any serious implications for a two-year term of stayed adjudication, and the judge himself crafted a creative exit if that term is completed successfully--the matter will be returned to court, dismissed formally and expunged, notwithstanding far stricter rules on that remedy in Wisconsin. The client was visually amazed, and physically triumphant, at the outcome, and has been given a new lease on life--quite literally.
North Star Criminal Defense - Proven Success in Fighting Drug Charges
The Minnesota drug crime lawyers at North Star Criminal Defense have nearly 30 combined years of successfully defending drug charges of all degrees and throughout multiple jurisdictions, including federal courts in multiple states. We know the law, the defenses, and the strategy necessary in order to obtain resolutions that avoid convictions and jail time. We have helped countless clients overcome these debilitating charges and get back on their feet. If you have been accused of any type of drug crime, you need to contact us right away.