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What Is Considered Simple Possession Of A Controlled Substance Under Minnesota Law?


There are two ways to possess controlled substances under Minnesota law. The first is constructive possession, which means that you are in the general area or the contraband was found in a location that you are presumed to own or have control over. For example, if there is a search warrant executed at your residence and you live alone, then anything in that residence is going to be presumed to be yours, and therefore the police will assume you are in possession of it.

The second type of possession is physical possession, meaning that you are holding or touching the items when they are located.

What Are The Quantities For Simple Possession In Minnesota?

When it comes to the quantities of drugs for simple possession in Minnesota, the difference between a gross misdemeanor and a felony-level controlled substance offense is dependent upon the type of drug. For example, the you need significantly more marijuana to be in possession of a felony amount than you need cocaine or methamphetamine.

It’s very important to consult with an attorney to make sure that the level of charge that you receive is appropriate based on the allegations and the type of drug that you are accused of possessing.

What Is The Difference Between Possession And Possession With Intent To Sell Under Minnesota Law?

The difference between possession and possession with intent to sell under Minnesota law depends a lot on the circumstances of where and how the drugs are found. For example, if the drug is found in a high quantity, the law may presume that it is possessed with the intent to sell. The same can be said if the drug is found with paraphernalia, such as a scale for weighing and baggies for packaging.

However, just because someone has a large quantity of a drug doesn’t mean that they are intending to sell it. This is a factual issue that you would need to discuss with your attorney so that they can argue on your behalf for possession as opposed to possession with intent to sell.

What Evidence Does The Prosecution Need In Order To Prove A Possession With Intent To Sell Charge?

When the prosecutor is trying to prove an intent to sell controlled substance charge, the best type of evidence is having caught the defendant in the act of selling the controlled substance. In the absence of that type of evidence, the prosecutors would look for other paraphernalia, such as a scale for weighing, baggies for packaging, and devices that can be used to transport or conceal individual dosage amounts.

Will The Absence Of Certain Types Of Evidence Be Helpful To My Defense?

To build a defense, it is important to speak with your attorney about how to characterize the evidence that the prosecutors will use to try to convict you. There is no cut-and-dry answer about whether something will or will not be helpful in any particular case because it is very fact-specific. It also depends a lot on the history of the person who has been charged with the crime, as well as the circumstances surrounding the discovery of the contraband.

Can The Defense Attorney Challenge The Search And Seizure In A Drug-Related Case?

In a case involving search and seizure, it is very important for the defense attorney to analyze the reason law enforcement came into contact with the defendant or the contraband in the first place. For example, if someone is pulled over for a traffic violation and the situation somehow escalates to a search of the vehicle or the person, then the defense attorney should ensure that law enforcement had a legal basis to expand that stop every step of the way.

If there is an issue with a search warrant being executed at a residence or a business, then the defense attorney should check the validity of the information in the affidavit that was used to obtain the search warrant. More specifically, the defense attorney should make sure that the information is recent enough to potentially be accurate, that it is not based on an anonymous source, and that it could be somewhat verified by law enforcement prior to them requesting a warrant. These are important considerations when determining how to fight a case from a pre-trial standpoint.

For more information on Possession Of Controlled Substance In MN, a free initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (651) 314-9620 today.

Jennifer Congdon, Esq.

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