Minneapolis Fifth-Degree Controlled Substance Charges
As there are a variety of drug-related offenses outlined in our statutes, the level of the offense and the consequences of these offenses can be confusing to anyone, even the most seasoned lawyers. Drug charges and convictions are taken very seriously in Minnesota and the effects of the convictions last a lifetime, affecting more than just yourself.
Each drug charge is broken up into degrees based on the seriousness of the crime and the scheduled level of the drug. Each degree has different consequences and procedures attached to each crime. Most drug crimes are considered felonies but some fifth-degree offenses can be considered gross misdemeanors. Both misdemeanors and felonies can have detrimental effects on your life and proper representation is essential to maintaining your rights, your freedom, and the quality of your future.
Contact An Experienced And Effective Minnesota Defense Attorney
Judith A. Samson is a practiced and results-driven attorney who stands out for her compassion towards anyone accused of a crime. Her goal is to aggressively brainstorm and execute a fool-proof defense that will ensure the best results available for you and your family. Call us at 612-333-8001 for a free consultation with Judith to thoroughly discuss your options with a twenty-year veteran of criminal law. She has tangible experience supporting and defending the rights of both adults and juveniles through their drug charges and she is ready to help you through your fifth-degree controlled substance charge.
What Is Possession And/Or Selling Of A Controlled Substance In The Fifth Degree?
Minnesota Statute 152.025 describes a fifth-degree controlled substance crime as drug possession and/or a selling charge involving a Schedule IV controlled substance. A Schedule IV CS is a drug with a lower tendency towards abuse when compared to a schedule III drug such as codeine or anabolic steroids. Examples of Schedule IV drugs are:
- Alprazolam, or Xanax
- Clonazepam, or Klonopin
- Diazepam, or Valium
- Lorazepam, or Ativan
The charges refer to the above prescription drugs when obtained illegally and abused recreationally in smaller amounts. The possession of marijuana over a certain amount can also be considered at fifth-degree drug charge.
Selling And The Consequences
A person may be charged with a fifth-degree drug charge if they are caught illegally selling, giving away, or otherwise distributing over 42.5 grams of marijuana or any of the drugs on the Schedule IV list. Of course, the amount of sold drugs sold, who they are sold to, and any previous drug charges will determine the penalties that prosecutors will seek for the crime.
A first-time misdemeanor offense can cost a person up to five years in prison and up to $10,000 in fines. If there are previous drug charges, the cost of a guilty verdict could be at least six months in prison, though the sentence shall not exceed ten years. The fines can cost you up to $20,000. All fines do not include court costs and lawyer fees.
Possession (Other Crimes) And The Consequences
Prosecutors can charge you with a fifth-degree drug charge when you have possession of a single dosage of a Schedule I, II, III, or IV drug, such as prescription painkillers, meth, hallucinogens, and cocaine, excluding small amounts of marijuana. Attempting to obtain these drugs by deceit, such as impersonating a doctor, pharmacist, or manufacturer, definitely increases the seriousness of the crime. Accusations of fraud and deceit when it comes to the procurement of these drugs can also bring forth other, or additional, charges.
Any person who does not have previous drug charges will be charged with a fifth-degree gross misdemeanor violation as long as the controlled substance is under a quarter of a gram, or 0.25 gram(s). Heroin is discounted but a quarter of a gram usually equals one dose of a drug. Any more than this amount will bring the charge up to a felony.
For a first offense, anyone accused of fifth-degree drug possession can be given up to five years in prison with a $10,000 fine. A focused and supportive lawyer can help you stay out of jail for a first offense and often get the charges lowered or dropped entirely. A well-constructed and impenetrable defense is key for the desired positive results.
Possible Consequence Alternatives For A Fifth Degree Controlled Substance Charge
An effective attorney is a natural leader, a concise communicator, and a detailed researcher. Such a lawyer can argue for probation instead of jail and community service in place of fines. Drug treatment programs are excellent substitutions for jail time and probation, instead of prison, can last up to five years. The best result within reach of a first-time offender is for charges to be dismissed entirely without a permanent public record of the offense. A seriously attentive and hardworking attorney will work their hardest to achieve such optimal results.
Minnesota does have mandatory minimum sentences for many crimes and if you have previous drug convictions then you are at risk for jail time. A skilled and intelligent criminal defense attorney can successfully argue against the minimum sentence so that you can be treated as a first-time offender. Again, drug rehabilitation can be a great substitution for jail time. No matter what, a successful and proven attorney is necessary to combat these charges.
Optional Defense Strategies
Defense strategies include:
- Illegal searches and seizures
- Improper warrant application
- General entrapment
- Reasonable doubt towards ownership of the drug
- Reasonable doubt towards any information used to obtain a warrant
- Questioning the validity and/or strength of said drugs
- Targeted harassment by police due to sexual orientation, race, income level, or other determining factors
Judith Samson has direct experience trying cases just like yours and she can help you gain an advantage over your predicament.
Contact Judith Samson For The Best Defense Available
Judith S. Samson, Attorney At Law, is a Minneapolis criminal defense attorney who empathizes with you and understands your current legal situation. She is the most formidable and effective defense attorney in both misdemeanor and felony cases. She is a dedicated advocate for any client, juvenile or adult, who is accused of a crime. She has twenty years of experience and the results to back this up.
Contact us to schedule your free initial consultation with the most skilled criminal defense attorney in Minnesota. Call us anytime, 24/7, at 612-333-8001. We are here for you.
Disclaimer: The information you obtain at this site is not, nor is it intended to be, legal advice. You should consult an attorney for advice regarding your individual situation. We invite you to contact us and welcome your calls, letters and electronic mail. Contacting us does not create an attorney-client relationship. Please do not send any confidential information to us until such time as an attorney-client relationship has been established.