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Can you avoid a criminal record for marijuana possession?

In the state of Minnesota, courts hear cases about possessing, selling, importing or cultivating marijuana every day. Many of the charges constitute a felony, but under certain conditions, the court can drop the charges. If you have been arrested on a marijuana offense and fear how it will impact your future as a professional, you should seek the help of an experienced criminal attorney as soon as possible.

Penalties for possession in Minnesota

Courts base the penalties for possession of marijuana by amount. For example, in Minnesota, if you possess less than 42.5 grams of pot, the court will only charge you with a petty misdemeanor and there will be no jail time. Having 42.5 grams up to 10 kilograms is a Fifth-Degree Drug Crime. This is a felony for which you might receive five years in prison and up to $10,000 in fines. For a First-Degree Drug Crime, maximum penalties would include up to 30 years in prison and $1 million in fines for the possession of 100 kilograms of pot.

Penalties for the sale of pot

If you distribute 42.5 or less grams of pot and do not receive remuneration, the court might charge you with a misdemeanor that may come with a drug education requirement. This usually means no jail time. From there on, you will be facing a felony charge, and the penalties escalate. Depending on how much marijuana you sell, distribute or import into the state, your penalty could be as much as 35 years in prison with a fine of up to $1,250,000.

The possibility of Conditional Discharge

If you are a working professional and you worry about how a charge will affect your career and record, take a deep breath. For a first offense, you might be eligible for Conditional Discharge. Prior to trial, there is a period of probation that includes random drug tests and meetings with your supervisor. If you complete probation successfully, the court will drop the drug charge.

Seek legal help

Do not delay in seeking legal assistance for your marijuana charge. A criminal defense attorney experienced with handling drug offenses will review the details of the situation thoroughly, see to the protection of your rights and work to secure the best possible outcome for your case.

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