In Minnesota, a possession with intent violation occurs when a person is caught in possession of a controlled substance and the police suspect they intended to sell it.
Possession with Intent to Distribute, Deliver, or Sell
Police and prosecution determine possession with intent by examining the circumstances surrounding the controlled substance arrest.
For example, possession of drug paraphernalia such as baggies, scales, or even large amounts of cash can all be used as evidence that you were intending to sell drugs.
Possession with intent to distribute, deliver, or sell is a fourth degree controlled substance offense. This charge carries a potential sentence of 15 years in prison and $100,000 in fines.
Minnesota law is especially tough on meth-related criminal possession charges. If you are caught with the tools and/or ingredients to manufacture methamphetamines, you could be charged with a very serious felony charge with a potential prison term of up to 10 years and fines reaching $20,000.
Possession of a Small Amount of Marijuana
Many states, including Minnesota, have de-criminalized marijuana to a certain extent. This does not mean that marijuana is legal in Minnesota, but that possession of a small amount (42.5 grams or less) of the drug will carry relatively small penalties.
De-criminalization means there is no jail time for first-time offenders caught with a small amount of marijuana intended for personal use. The consequences of possessing a small amount of marijuana (42.5 grams or less) are a fine of up to $200 and attendance of a drug education class.
First Degree Drug Possession
A person is guilty of a Minnesota first degree criminal possession charge if the person possesses:
- 25 grams or more of cocaine, heroin, methamphetamine, or any combination of the three
- 500 grams or more of a narcotic drug other than cocaine, heroin, or methamphetamine
- 500 grams (or dosage units) or more of amphetamine, phencyclidine, or hallucinogenic drugs
- 100 kilograms or more of marijuana or Tetrahydrocannabinols
Second Degree Drug Possession
To be convicted of a second degree Minnesota controlled substance crime a person must unlawfully possess:
- Six grams or more of cocaine, heroin, methamphetamine, or any combination of the three
- 50 grams or more of a narcotic drug other than cocaine, heroin, or methamphetamine
- 50 grams (or 100 dosage units) or more of amphetamine, phencyclidine, or a hallucinogen
- 50 kilograms or more of marijuana or Tetrahydrocannabinols
Third Degree Drug Possession
A person is guilty of a third degree controlled substance violation if the person possesses:
- Three grams or more of cocaine, heroin, or methamphetamine
- 10 grams or more of a narcotic drug other than cocaine, heroin, or methamphetamine
- 50 or more units of a narcotic drug
- Any amount of a Schedule I or II narcotic drug or five or more dosage units of lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD), methylenedioxy amphetamine, or methylenedioxymethamphetamine in a school zone, park, public housing zone, or drug treatment facility
- 10 kilograms or more of marijuana or Tetrahydrocannabinols
- Methamphetamine or amphetamine in a school zone, park, public housing zone, or drug treatment facility
Fourth Degree Drug Possession
In order to be convicted of a Minnesota fourth degree controlled substance violation a person must unlawfully possess:
- 10 or more dosage units of phencyclidine or hallucinogen
- A controlled substance classified in Schedule I, II, or III, except marijuana or Tetrahydrocannabinols, with the intent to sell it
Fifth Degree Drug Possession
A person is guilty of a controlled substance crime in the fifth degree if the person:
- Unlawfully possesses a controlled substance classified in Schedule I, II, III, or IV, except a small amount of marijuana (42.5 grams or less)
- Procures, attempts to procure, possesses, or has control over a controlled substance by any of the following means:
- Fraud, deceit, misrepresentation, or subterfuge
- Adopting a false name or giving false credit
- 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
Read about the penalties for drug possession here.