1st Degree Drug Crimes
In Minnesota drug crimes, are divided into five different degrees and the degree will primarily depend on the amount, and whether the drug was being manufactured or offered for sale. 1st degree controlled substance crimes are always charged as 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.
You may be charged with a felony 1st degree drug crime for the sale of:
- One or more mixtures of 17 grams or more containing cocaine or methamphetamine
- One or more mixtures of 10 grams or more containing cocaine or methamphetamine and you have in your possession a firearm
- One or more mixtures of 10 grams or more containing heroin
- One or more mixtures of 50 grams or more containing a narcotic drug other than cocaine, heroin, or methamphetamine
- One or more mixtures of 25 kilograms or more containing marijuana or Tetrahydrocannabinols.
You may be charged with a felony 1st degree drug crime for the possession of:
- One or more mixtures of a total weight of 50 grams or more containing cocaine or methamphetamine
- One or more mixtures of a total weight of 25 grams or more containing cocaine or methamphetamine and you have in your possession a firearm
- One or more mixtures of a total weight of 25 grams or more containing heroin
- One or more mixtures of a total weight of 500 grams or more containing a narcotic drug other than cocaine, heroin, or methamphetamine
- One or more mixtures of a total weight of 50 grams or more containing amphetamine, phencyclidine, or hallucinogen or, if the controlled substance is packaged in dosage units, equaling 500 or more dosage units
- One or more mixtures of a total weight of 50 kilograms or more containing marijuana or Tetrahydrocannabinols, or possesses 500 or more marijuana plants
The potential penalties for felony 1st degree drug crimes are imprisonment of not more than 30 years and/or up to a fine of $1,000,000. In addition to this prison time, any property that may have been used to commit the crime may be forfeited. You may lose your car, cash, or any other property associated with the crime.
Long term consequences can be just as harsh. You will find it much more difficult to find employment, housing options may be greatly limited, and it will be nearly impossible to attain any form of financial aid if you would attempt to move on with your life. If you are convicted of felony 1st degree drug charges you will lose any legal right to possess a firearm and voting privileges.
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:
Charge: 1st Degree 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.
Charge: Total of 12 files, 9 of which contained felony counts, including 1st Degree Drug Crime – Sales
Resolution: Client avoided designation as a Career Felony Offender, and thereby avoided a prison term of at least twenty years; he will serve only 2-6 months additional incarceration over the term he was already serving for a prior Kidnapping conviction (in that matter, the client avoided a possible Attempted First Degree Homicide prosecution, and received less than 20% of the time he would normally have had to serve). Multiple complex negotiations were required, and artful work with a particularly talented and well-regarded prosecutor. The client will be home to give his children back a father in less than 18 months, armed with a new lease on life.
North Star Criminal Defense – Proven Success in Fighting Drug Charges
The Minnesota drug crime lawyers at North Star Criminal Defense have over 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.