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

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

As we said in our previous blog, charges for a first degree drug crimee carry some of the most severe consequences possible for a drug-related offense. If you are convicted of a first degree drug crime, you could face severe fines and prison sentences. So how can a person be charged with a first degree drug crime? Let's take a look:

Sales crimes

First degree drug crimes are charged against individuals who sell in large quantities. Under Minnesota State Law, a person is guilty of a controlled substance crime in the first degree if:

On one or more occasions within a 90-day period the person unlawfully sells one or more mixtures of a total weight of 10 grams or more containing cocaine, heroin or methamphetamine;
On one or more occasions within a 90-day period the person unlawfully sells one or more mixtures of a total weight of 50 grams or more containing a narcotic drug other than cocaine, heroin or methamphetamine;
On one or more occasions within a 90-day period the person unlawfully sells 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 200 or more dosage units; or
On one or more occasions within a 90-day period the person unlawfully sells one or more mixtures of a total weight of 50 kilograms or more containing marijuana or Tetrahydrocannabinols, or one or more mixtures of a total weight of 25 kilograms or more containing marijuana or Tetrahydrocannabinols in a school zone, a park zone, a public housing zone or a drug treatment facility.
Possession crimes

As is the case with sales crimes, first degree drug possession crimes require an individual to unlawfully possess large quantities of a given illegal substance. Under Minnesota State Law, a person is guilty if:

The person unlawfully possesses one or more mixtures of a total weight of 25 grams or more containing cocaine, heroin or methamphetamine;
The person unlawfully possesses one or more mixtures of a total weight of 500 grams or more containing a narcotic drug other than cocaine, heroin or methamphetamine;
The person unlawfully possesses one or more mixtures of a total weight of 500 grams or more containing amphetamine, phencyclidine or hallucinogen or, if the controlled substance is packaged in dosage units, equaling 500 or more dosage units; or
The person unlawfully possesses one or more mixtures of a total weight of 100 kilograms or more containing marijuana or Tetrahydrocannabinols.
It is also important to note that a person is guilty of a first degree drug crime for manufacturing any amount of methamphetamine.

Consequences if convicted

Individuals charged with first degree drug crimes face serious consequences as part of a felony conviction. If you are convicted of a first degree drug crime, you could face the following penalties.

1. a) A person convicted under subdivisions 1 to 2a, paragraph (a), may be sentenced to imprisonment for not more than 30 years or to payment of a fine of not more than $1,000,000, or both.

2. (b) If the conviction is a subsequent controlled substance conviction, a person convicted under subdivisions 1 to 2a, paragraph (a), shall be committed to the commissioner of corrections for not less than four years nor more than 40 years and, in addition, may be sentenced to payment of a fine of not more than $1,000,000.

3. (c) In a prosecution under subdivision 1 involving sales by the same person in two or more counties within a 90-day period, the person may be prosecuted for all of the sales in any county in which one of the sales occurred.

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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