One of the top concerns people have when accused of drug crimes is whether they could be facing jail time. What can individuals be facing when it comes to jail time when accused of marijuana possession here in Minnesota?

Under state law, jail time generally will not be given for possession of 42.5 grams or less of marijuana. This level of possession is instead punishable by a fine and a possible requirement to participate in a drug education program.

There are exceptions though in which this smaller level of possession can lead to jail time. The main one is the vehicle exception. Under state law, if a person has marijuana somewhere in his or her vehicle other than the trunk and the amount is above 1.4 grams, the possession jumps from being a petty misdemeanor to a misdemeanor. Up to 90 days in jail can be given for this misdemeanor.

And if a person is found to have possessed more than 42.5 grams of marijuana in any environment, they can be facing the possibility of spending a considerable amount of time behind bars. Under Minnesota law, possession of marijuana in excess of 42.5 grams is a felony offense. A felony conviction puts considerable prison sentences on the table.

The maximum prison sentences that can generally be given for felony marijuana possession in Minnesota are:

  • 5 years for offenses involving 42.5 grams-10 kilograms
  • 20 years for offenses involving 10-50 kilograms
  • 25 years for offenses involving 50-100 kilograms
  • 30 years for offenses involving 100+ kilograms

So, while the state has decriminalized certain small levels of marijuana possession, there are still plenty of situations in which possession allegations could leave a person facing the possibility of a long imprisonment. Defense attorneys can help people accused of marijuana possession in the state with their efforts to avoid getting jail or prison time.