The Best Defenses Against Minnesota Drug Crimes
In Minnesota, drug laws are strictly enforced. If convicted of drug crimes in the state, you can face severe penalties that will alter the course of your life forever.
That’s why if you’re charged with a drug crime in Minnesota, your best option is to mount a robust defense in court so that you are found not guilty. Experienced drug crime attorneys can help you with these defenses.
Which defense is best? That depends on your individual case and the circumstances surrounding it. But a few defenses can help those who are accused. Here’s what you need to know about drug crimes in Minnesota and the best defenses against them.
What Does the Law Say?
In Minnesota, drug crimes that involve controlled substances are classed into five separate categories based on severity, from first degree to fifth degree. These classes encompass several different types of offenses, including the sale, use, distribution, and possession of various controlled substances.
Drugs in the state that are considered controlled substances include:
- Other narcotics, such as those found in prescription medications
The type of drug you are found with and the amount will determine your charge. The penalties range from five years in prison and fines of $10,000 for fifth-degree possession of a controlled substance to as many as 30 years in prison and fines of as much as $1 million for the first-degree possession of a controlled substance.
The Best Defenses Against Drug Crimes
There are usually several different defenses that can be used in drug crime cases in Minnesota. The type will depend on the facts surrounding your individual case. The most common and best defenses that have been used in general include:
Unlawful Search and Seizure
Even if you are suspected of a crime, you are guaranteed certain rights by the Constitution of the United States. You have the right to be free from what is known as “unreasonable search and seizure”. This means that police cannot search you or your property without probable cause that you’ve committed a crime.
If you are illegally searched or your property seized by police without probable cause, then any evidence that was found against you at that time can be thrown out of court. If there’s no evidence, the prosecutors have no case.
Lack of Possession
If the drugs that you are being accused of possessing were not yours, that is a defense against drugs crimes in Minnesota, too. If you were with other people at the time of the arrest, and someone else’s drugs were found near your person, that’s a solid defense against drug possession charges.
Entrapment is when police pressure a person into committing a crime they otherwise would not have enacted. It’s an abuse of police power, so if it happened to you, then it’s a defense that can be used in court to show your innocence.
Proof of Intent or Knowledge
It is up to the state of Minnesota to prove what your state of mind was at the time the offense took place. For example, if they have to prove that you knew you possessed drugs at the time of your arrest or that you were selling drugs, then they must produce evidence to back that up. Without that evidence, the charges can be dropped.
About the Author:
Andrew T. Poole is a Minnesota native who has served in the Army for more than 18 years and is currently a JAG lawyer in the Army Reserves in addition to serving as a partner at LaCourse, Poole & Envall. He has handled thousands of criminal and family law cases over the course of his career and has a firm belief that all hardworking Minnesotans should be entitled to the best possible legal counsel. Mr. Poole boasts a 10/10 Superb rating on Avvo, is Lead Counsel rated, and has been recognized multiple times by SuperLawyers, National Trial Lawyers, and others for his work.