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Cocaine penalties and charges in Minnesota

On Behalf of | Nov 10, 2021 | Drug Charges

Cocaine is a mind-altering stimulant commonly made into powder form from the leaves of the coca plant. The dangers of the drug make it a federally controlled substance. A person in Minneapolis, Minnesota, who gets charged with offenses related to cocaine may face several penalties.

Overview of drug laws

Minnesota has five groups of drug charges divided into Schedule I to V arranged according to addiction risk. Schedule I substances, such as LSD and heroin, have the highest risk of addiction and no medical application. Cocaine falls under Schedule II substances, which are less dangerous, but they can be obtained with a prescription.

State laws also make driving under the influence of controlled substances illegal, even for legal prescriptions. A driver can get charged with drug driving if they knowingly are impaired by a controlled substance or any amount of Schedule I or II.

Cocaine penalties

Possession means knowingly and willingly having cocaine on the person, such as a pocket, for sale or personal use. Possessing three grams or less of cocaine commonly carries penalties of up to five years and/or a $10,000 fine in jail. Possessing three to six grams may include up to a 20-year prison term and up to 40 years for a second offense.

Selling cocaine regardless of amount includes up to a 20-year prison term and/or a $250,000 fine. Selling or possessing 25 grams or more is a first-degree felony, which includes up to a 30-year prison term and a $1,000,000 fine. Aggravating factors can increase the penalty for any charge, such as previous convictions, firearms, involvement of minors, and drug-free zones.

The prosecution must prove the defendant willingly and knowingly had control of the drugs. For first offenses, the defendant may enter a plea bargain to get a reduced sentence or avoid jail through drug court.