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Controlled Substance Crime in the Third Degree § 152.023

Alleged drug possession or sale offenses that exceed certain statutory minimums can result in people being charged with third degree controlled substance crimes. Convictions for controlled substance crimes in the third degree carry steep penalties that can include possibly being sentenced to decades in prison and ordered to pay hundreds of thousands of dollars in fines.

If an alleged offender has been previously convicted of a drug crime in Minnesota, the possible consequences of a conviction for a third degree controlled substance crime may be enhanced. In addition to possible incarceration and fines, these types of convictions can also have many other long-term consequences that can impact a person’s ability to adopt a child, possess a firearm, or obtain employment or housing.

Lawyer for 3rd Degree Controlled Substance Crimes in Apple Valley, MN

If you were recently arrested for an alleged controlled substance crime in the third degree in the Twin Cities, it will be in your best interest to exercise your right to remain silent until you have legal counsel. James Blumberg Law represents individuals facing all kinds of drug charges in communities throughout Anoka County, Dakota County, Hennepin County, and Ramsey County, including Hastings, Apple Valley, Burnsville, Eagan, Farmington, and many others.

James Blumberg is an experienced criminal defense attorney in Apple Valley who is a former prosecutor in the Criminal Division of the Dakota County Attorney’s Office. Call (952) 431-7758 today to have our lawyer review your case and discuss all of your legal options during a free, confidential consultation.


Overview of Controlled Substance Crimes in the Third Degree in Minnesota


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Types of Controlled Substance Crimes in the 3rd Degree in Dakota County

Certain sales and possession crimes constitute controlled substance crimes in the third degree under Minnesota Statute § 152.023. An alleged offender can be charged with this crime if he or she:

  • unlawfully sells one or more mixtures containing a narcotic drug (defined under Subdivision 10 of Minnesota Statute § 152.01 as meaning any of the following, whether produced directly or indirectly by extraction from substances of vegetable origin, or independently by means of chemical synthesis, or by a combination of extraction and chemical synthesis: opium, coca leaves, opiates, and methamphetamine; a compound, manufacture, salt, derivative, or preparation of opium, coca leaves, opiates, or methamphetamine; or a substance, and any compound, manufacture, salt, derivative, or preparation thereof, which is chemically identical with any of the substances previously referred to);
  • on one or more occasions within a 90-day period unlawfully sells one or more mixtures containing phencyclidine (PCP) or hallucinogen, it is packaged in dosage units, and equals ten or more dosage units;
  • unlawfully sells one or more mixtures containing a controlled substance classified in Schedule I, II, or III, except a Schedule I or II narcotic drug, to a person under the age of 18;
  • conspires with or employs a person under the age of 18 to unlawfully sell one or more mixtures containing a controlled substance listed in Schedule I, II, or III, except a Schedule I or II narcotic drug; or
  • on one or more occasions within a 90-day period unlawfully sells one or more mixtures of a total weight of 5 kilograms or more containing marijuana or Tetrahydrocannabinols (THC).

A person can also be charged with a third degree controlled substance crime if he or she:

  • on one or more occasions within a 90-day period unlawfully possesses one or more mixtures of a total weight of 10 grams or more containing a narcotic drug other than heroin;
  • on one or more occasions within a 90-day period unlawfully possesses one or more mixtures of a total weight of 3 grams or more containing heroin;
  • on one or more occasions within a 90-day period unlawfully possesses one or more mixtures containing a narcotic drug, it is packaged in dosage units, and equals 50 or more dosage units;
  • on one or more occasions within a 90-day period unlawfully possesses any amount of a schedule I or II narcotic drug or five or more dosage units of lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD), 3,4-methylenedioxy amphetamine (MDA), or 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA, Ecstasy, or Molly) in a school zone, a park zone, a public housing zone, or a drug treatment facility;
  • on one or more occasions within a 90-day period unlawfully possesses one or more mixtures of a total weight of 10 kilograms or more containing marijuana or THC; or
  • unlawfully possesses one or more mixtures containing methamphetamine or amphetamine in a school zone, a park zone, a public housing zone, or a drug treatment facility.

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Third Degree Controlled Substance Crime Penalties in Minnesota

First convictions for controlled substance crimes in the third degree may be punishable as follows:

  • Up to 20 years in prison; and/or
  • A fine of up to $250,000.

If an alleged offender has been previously convicted of a controlled substance crime, a third degree controlled substance crime may involve a presumptive sentence established under Minnesota’s Drug Offender Grid. Controlled substance crimes in the third degree are classified as D6 severity level on the grid, the fourth-highest such ranking.

An alleged offender’s possible sentence is based on his or her criminal history score, which is calculated based on the points assigned for his or her prior convictions. Third degree controlled substance crime convictions can result in one of the following sentences, depending on the alleged offender’s criminal history score:

Criminal History Score

0

1

2

3

4

5

6 or More

Controlled Substance Crime in the Third Degree

21 Months

27 Months

33 Months

39 Months
(34-46 Months)

45 Months
(39-54 Months)

51 Months
(44-61 Months)

57 Months
(49-68 Months)

The Minnesota Sentencing Guidelines recommends probation for cells in the shaded area of the grid and commitment to prison for cells in the non-shaded areas. Italicized numbers within the grid denotes the range within which a court may sentence without the sentence being deemed a departure.


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Minnesota Controlled Substance Crime in the 3rd Degree Resources

Minnesota Regional Alcohol, Tobacco, and Other Drugs (ATOD) Prevention Coordinators — The Regional Prevention Coordinators are a community-focused, prevention based initiative. Visit this website to learn more about some of the work that ATOD coordinators have done in the seven regions of Minnesota. Each region also contains links to specific county resources.

Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) — SAMHSA is the agency within the United States Department of Health and Human Services with the mission to reduce the impact of substance abuse and mental illness on America's communities. On this website, you can find information about behavioral health treatments & services, prevention of substance abuse and mental illness, and recovery and recovery support. You can also learn about SAMHSA programs and find various kinds of data.


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James Blumberg Law | Apple Valley Third Degree Controlled Substance Crime Defense Attorney

Were you arrested in the greater Minneapolis-St. Paul area for an alleged controlled substance crime in the third degree? Do not say anything to authorities without legal representation. Contact James Blumberg Law right now.

Apple Valley criminal defense lawyer James Blumberg aggressively defends clients in West St. Paul, Inver Grove Heights, Lakeville, Mendota Heights, Rosemount, and many surrounding areas of Dakota County. He can provide a complete evaluation of your case as soon as you call (952) 431-7758 or fill out an online contact form to set up a free initial consultation.


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