Minnesota law has stiff penalties for controlled substance crimes. A second-degree penalty is up to 25 years with a three year minimum for people with a prior drug felony. If convicted of a second degree controlled substance crime, a person could also pay up to a $500,000 fine. Third-degree brings up to 20 years and a $250,000 fine while the fourth degree is up to 15 years and up to $100,000. A fifth-degree penalty carries a $10,000 fine and up to 5 years in prison. While meth took a back seat to other drugs for a time, experts say meth’s resurgence is due to lower prices and mass manufacturing.
Looking at the Statistics
Law enforcement and addiction centers report that methamphetamine is still one of the most widely used hard drugs in Minnesota and North Dakota. According to an article by twincities.com, there has been a 489 percent increase in methamphetamine seizures by law enforcement between 2009 and 2016. Meth is often smuggled into Minnesota from Mexico.
Some of the ways a person can end up with a meth-related criminal charge include possessing it, distributing it, or transporting it in commercial or personal vehicles. Because the violent crime taskforce zeros in on mid- upper-level dealers, it’s most likely a lesser crime can be swiftly handled by an experienced St. Paul defense attorney. One of the goals of the legal system is to get meth users into addiction treatment centers to overcome their dependency on hard drugs.
Meth, according to twincities.com, is now second to alcohol in terms of treatment admissions. To overcome the psychological withdrawal symptoms, experts typically recommend 24 to 48 hours of residential or in-house drug treatment.
Dealing with Multiple Charges
Some people dealing with drug crimes also face other charges that can be as serious as murder if a person dies of a drug overdose. The Minnesota Department of Health reports 78 individuals in Minnesota died from drugs in the meth category called “psychostimulants.”
In 2010, only 18 people died for the same reason. Experts say the reason more people are dying is that it’s less difficult to get a hold of the ingredients used to make meth. According to a news release by the Minnesota County Attorney’s Association, a man received an 18-year prison sentence for overdose murder. He injected a woman with meth and heroin. The medical examiner found the speedball of drugs resulted in the woman’s death.
Keep in mind the current “zero tolerance” societal attitudes about drug dealers and drug smugglers connected to an overdose. Even if you don’t think of yourself as a hardened criminal, drug smuggler, dealer, or murderer, you could face serious criminal charges by being in a compromising situation.
Oftentimes, frustrated, and overwhelmed parents struggle with the legal problems facing their young adult children. If you have a spouse, child, or another relative who goes in over their head with meth, consult with a criminal defense attorney.
At Rogosheske, Rogosheske & Atkins, we are experienced criminal defense attorneys who have practiced law for more than 70 years in South St. Paul. For more information about how a St. Paul drug crimes lawyer can help you or a family member, please contact us.