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Fifth degree drug crimes: What are they and what are the consequences

Posted by Eric Olson | Mar 10, 2015 | 0 Comments

Fifth degree drug crimes are the least severe of all the classes of drug crimes in the state of Minnesota. However, it is important to remember that even a fifth degree drug charge is still a felony level charge. Today we're going to look at what makes up a fifth degree drug crime and what it takes for a suspect to be charged with this crime. Let's begin:

Sales crimes

Sales crimes predominantly target individuals involved in the sale of marijuana. However, there are some other circumstances involved as well. Under Minnesota State Law, a person is guilty of a controlled substance crime in the fifth degree if:

A person is guilty of a controlled substance crime in the fifth degree and if convicted may be sentenced to imprisonment for not more than five years or to payment of a fine of not more than $10,000, or both if:

the person unlawfully sells one or more mixtures containing marijuana or tetrahydrocannabinols, except a small amount of marijuana for no remuneration; or
the person unlawfully sells one or more mixtures containing a controlled substance classified in Schedule IV.
Except as provided in paragraph (c), if a person is guilty of a controlled substance crime in the fifth degree and the conviction is a subsequent controlled substance conviction, the person convicted shall be committed to the commissioner of corrections or to a local correctional authority for not less than six months nor more than ten years and, in addition, may be sentenced to payment of a fine of not more than $20,000 if:

the person unlawfully sells one or more mixtures containing marijuana or tetrahydrocannabinols, except a small amount of marijuana for no remuneration; or
the person unlawfully sells one or more mixtures containing a controlled substance classified in Schedule IV.
Prior to the time of sentencing, the prosecutor may file a motion to have the person sentenced without regard to the mandatory minimum sentence established by paragraph (b). The motion must be accompanied by a statement on the record of the reasons for it. When presented with the motion, or on its own motion, the court may sentence the person without regard to the mandatory minimum sentence if the court finds, on the record, substantial and compelling reasons to do so.

Possession crimes

Fifth degree drug charges may be leveled against individuals suspected of possessing Schedule I, II, III, IV or V controlled substances as well as individuals attempting to acquire controlled substances through fraud or deceit. Under Minnesota State Law, a person is guilty if:

(a) A person is guilty of controlled substance crime in the fifth degree and if convicted may be sentenced to imprisonment for not more than five years or to payment of a fine of not more than $10,000, or both if:
the person unlawfully possesses one or more mixtures containing a controlled substance classified in Schedule I, II, III, or IV, except a small amount of marijuana; or
the person procures, attempts to procure, possesses, or has control over a controlled substance by any of the following means:
(i) fraud, deceit, misrepresentation, or subterfuge;
(ii) using a false name or giving false credit; or
(iii) falsely assuming the title of, or falsely representing any person to be, a manufacturer, wholesaler, pharmacist, physician, doctor of osteopathy licensed to practice medicine, dentist, podiatrist, veterinarian, or other authorized person for the purpose of obtaining a controlled substance.
(b) Except as provided in paragraph (c), if a person is guilty of a controlled substance crime in the fifth degree and the conviction is a subsequent controlled substance conviction, the person convicted shall be committed to the commissioner of corrections or to a local correctional authority for not less than six months nor more than ten years and, in addition, may be sentenced to payment of a fine of not more than $20,000 if:
the person unlawfully possesses one or more mixtures containing a controlled substance classified in Schedule I, II, III, or IV, except a small amount of marijuana; or
the person procures, attempts to procure, possesses, or has control over a controlled substance by any of the following means:
(i) fraud, deceit, misrepresentation, or subterfuge;
(ii) using a false name or giving false credit; or
(iii) falsely assuming the title of, or falsely representing any person to be, a manufacturer, wholesaler, pharmacist, physician, doctor of osteopathy licensed to practice medicine, dentist, podiatrist, veterinarian, or other authorized person for the purpose of obtaining a controlled substance.
(c) Prior to the time of sentencing, the prosecutor may file a motion to have the person sentenced without regard to the mandatory minimum sentence established by paragraph (b). The motion must be accompanied by a statement on the record of the reasons for it. When presented with the motion, or on its own motion, the court may sentence the person without regard to the mandatory minimum sentence if the court finds, on the record, substantial and compelling reasons to do so.
If you are facing fifth degree drug charges, you need experienced legal counsel. Contact Attorney Eric J. Olson for vigorous defense and unrivaled results.

About the Author

Eric Olson

Eric J. Olson has dedicated his career exclusively to criminal law, with a focus onDWI defense. For the past 16 years, Mr. Olson has developed a reputation in the legal community as an aggressive, compassionate advocate for his clients.

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