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If you are facing 5th degree drug possession charges in the state of Minnesota, you might be unsure of what to do. Because of the complicated categorization of drug offenses, it can be confusing to understand your charges.

It’s always important to contact an experienced criminal defense attorney as soon as possible after your arrest. Your attorney can go over your charges with you and mount a strong defense. At Arechigo & Stokka, P.A., we have decades of experience handling these types of charges for our clients.

In this article, we’ll discuss 5th degree drug charges in Minnesota, as well as possible consequences and defenses. Remember that with the help of a criminal defense lawyer, charges can potentially be reduced or eliminated. If you face drug possession charges, we strongly recommend that you contact us as soon as possible.

What Are 5th Degree Drug Charges? 

In the state of Minnesota, there are five different degrees of drug charges. The degree of the crime depends upon the amount of substance in question. It also depends upon whether the substance was being sold or manufactured.

5th degree drug charges are the least serious. 5th degree drug charges only include those for possession or sale. However, 5th degree drug charges can be either a felony or gross misdemeanor. 

Felony 5th degree drug charges in Minnesota are for the sale of drugs or possession of larger amounts of drugs. Gross misdemeanor charges are those for possession of a small amount of drugs. In other words, if the cops arrested someone because they were selling marijuana, mixed drugs, or one of the drugs on Minnesota’s Schedule IV list, they might charge the person with felony 5th degree drug sale. If they arrested someone who was in possession of any of the drugs on the schedule I, II, III, or IV list (in greater than the amounts listed for gross misdemeanor charges), they might charge the person with felony 5th degree drug possession.

If it is someone’s first offense, and they possessed less than 0.05 grams of heroin or less than 0.25 grams (or one dosage unit) of another controlled substance, they might charge the person with 5th degree gross misdemeanor possession. 

What Are the Consequences for 5th Degree Drug Possession? 

The consequences for 5th degree drug possession in Minnesota will depend on whether the charge was a felony or gross misdemeanor. 

Gross misdemeanor possession charges are punishable by up to one year in jail, a $3,000 fine, oandr forfeiture of property related to the crime, like cash obtained. Felony 5th degree drug possession charges are punishable by up to five years in jail or a fine of up to $10,000, or both. 

However, the consequences you face outside the justice system may be worse. You may experience difficulty adjusting to life after your conviction. It could be difficult to find work or housing. You may also lose certain privileges, such as voting rights or the ability to lawfully possess a firearm.

Because the consequences of 5th degree drug possession can be so severe, you should contact an experienced criminal defense attorney as soon as possible after your arrest. 

Choosing the Right Drug Offense Attorney

Your choice of attorney will be the single most crucial factor in defending your drug charges in Minnesota. Several defenses may be available. The experienced attorneys at Arechigo & Stokka, P.A. will thoroughly investigate your case and work tirelessly to defend you.

Possible strategies for defense include the following.

Investigating Entrapment

Depending on the situation, entrapment may be a viable defense if officers tricked you into buying or selling drugs.

Analyzing the Chain of Evidence

We analyze the chain of evidence to assess whether the drugs were actually in your possession.

Examining Due Process 

We determine whether law enforcement complied with due process. We ensure that the arresting officers did not violate your constitutional rights, such as your right to be free from unreasonable searches.

Assessing Legal Possession

If you had a legal prescription for the substance but were not able to present it at the time of your arrest, you may still be able to get the charges dropped later.

Our Case Results

Our drug defense attorneys have had a number of drug charges dropped or reduced after a thorough investigation into the police conduct that resulted in the discovery of the drugs. Charges have been dropped or reduced because of the unlawful search of a motor vehicle, insufficient probable cause to support a search warrant to search a home, unlawful seizures and pat searches of an individual, and unreliable informants providing information to police. Our criminal defense lawyers have also kept clients convicted of serious 1st degree drug crimes out of prison after successful downward dispositional arguments.

Contact Arechigo & Stokka, P.A.

If you’ve been arrested on a 5th degree drug charge in Minnesota, contact the experienced attorneys at Arechigo & Stokka, P.A. We offer free consultations and will aggressively defend your case.

Author Photo

John T. Arechigo, Esq.

Attorney John Arechigo has a passion for criminal defense.  He devotes nearly 100% of his practice to defending individuals charged with a crime. John offers what very few other Twin Cities criminal defense lawyers can offer. His combination of experience, success, connections, resources, accessibility, and complete handling of a client’s file sets him apart from his colleagues.

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