Minneapolis Drug Charges Lawyer & Criminal Defense Attorney

Minneapolis Drug Crime Defense AttorneyIn Minnesota, arrests and drug crime charges, even against innocent individuals, are a problem.  Having the mention of a drug related crime on your criminal record can have huge negative consequences on your personal and professional life, as well as potentially carrying a lengthy prison term.  One needs to understand that drug charges are amongst the most serious charges and hence demand professional intervention at the earliest possibility.  If you or your loved one has been charged with a drug crime, then call Lynne Torgerson, Esq., of TORGERSON CRIMINAL DEFENSE, Minnesota Drug Charges Lawyer, as soon as possible. This is crucial, as she can aid you with your defense.

Different Types of Drug Crimes

Some of the common drugs which are often associated with drug charges in Minnesota are:

  • Cocaine
  • Crack
  • Heroin
  • LSD
  • Marijuana
  • Methamphetamine
  • Mushrooms
  • Oxycodone
  • PCP
  • Percocet
  • Prescription drugs
  • Speed
  • Synthetic drugs

Illegal use, possession or distribution of any the above drugs can lead to very serious charges against an individual, which in turn could lead to serious and long lasting consequences and punishments.  As with any other serious charge, time is of the essence in drug crimes.  It is best to seek the professional advice of a Minnesota drug crimes attorney as soon as possible.

Different Levels of Drug Crimes and Offenses

There are five degrees of felony drug crimes in Minnesota. There are also misdemeanor and petty misdemeanor level drug crimes in Minnesota.  They include:

  • First Degree Drug Offense/Controlled Substance Crime/Felony
    • Possession/Sale/Manufacturing
  • Second Degree Drug Offense/Controlled Substance Crime/Felony
    • Possession/Sale/Manufacturing
  • Third Degree Drug Offense/Controlled Substance Crime/Felony
    • Possession/Sale/Manufacturing
  • Fourth Degree Drug Offense/Controlled Substance Crime/Felony
    • Possession/Sale/Manufacturing
  • Fifth Degree Drug Offense/Controlled Substance Crime/Felony
    • Possession/Sale/Manufacturing
  • Marijuana in a Motor Vehicle/Misdemeanor
  • Possession of a Small Amount of Marijuana/Petty Misdemeanor
  • Possession of Paraphernalia/Petty Misdemeanor

While possession of marijuana in a motor vehicle is a misdemeanor, the other five degrees of drug offenses are considered felonies.  If a person is convicted of misdemeanor possession of marijuana in a motor vehicle, a person’s drivers license may also be revoked or suspended.  In Minnesota, a petty misdemeanor is not considered a crime.  Under federal law however, a petty misdemeanor is considered a crime.

Drug Crime Punishments

As with any felony conviction, the penalties associated with drug crime charges may be quite severe.  A felony drug conviction can result in imprisonment of up to 30 or 40 years and/or a fine of up to $1,000,000 or more.  A federal drug offense can result in life imprisonment.  Whatever the degree of the charge, if it is linked to drugs, it is highly recommended that you hire the services of an experienced drug crime attorney.  One needs to understand that even a bit of delay may lead to very grave consequences.  It is best to hire a reputed Minnesota attorney without any delay.  Lynne Torgerson, Esq. has been handling drug cases with success for over 29 years.  As a lawyer of repute and extensive legal knowledge, experience and expertise, she has gained a thorough insight into the legal defenses associated with a drug crime charge.  She understands the consequences of a drug crime conviction and is dedicated towards providing you with excellent legal representation in a court of law.  If you are looking for a lawyer of excellence, a drug crime attorney, call the law office of Lynne Torgerson for a free consultation right now!

Minnesota drug laws

Ms. Torgerson, a criminal defense lawyer, represents people charged with drug crimes.  Drug crimes, upon conviction, can carry some of the longest sentences in the criminal justice system, especially where sales of drugs are involved.  In Minnesota, drug offenses are called controlled substance crimes.  They usually involve charges of possession or sale of drugs or such as methamphetamine, heroin, crack, cocaine, mushrooms, marijuana, or possession of paraphernalia, and the like.

There are different degrees of drug crimes in the State of Minnesota. There are felonies, and, misdemeanors.

Felony drug charges

The most serious at the felony level is 1st degree controlled substance offense. For the most serious felony drug offenses, the maximum amount of time a defendant may face is 30 to 40 years in prison. At the state level in Minnesota, there is also 2nd degree controlled substance crime, as well as 3rd, 4th, and 5th.  These are all felony level offenses, and, are categorized as crimes of violence.  If a person is convicted of a felony crime of violence, then they also lose their Second Amendment rights to keep and bear arms for the remainder of their life.

Possession, actual possession, construction possession, or sale of a controlled substance; giving away and sharing of drugs…Beware!

The law also distinguishes between possession and sale. Possession can be actual, or, constructive.  Actual possession is where you have an illegal substance on you. Constructive possession is where you can exercise dominion or control over the illegal drug.

Penalties are more severe for sales and manufacturing offenses., as opposed to possession of a controlled substance.

Please note! Giving away and sharing a drug constitutes a “sale,” under the definition of the statute, which carry more severe penalties.

Misdemeanor drug crimes

There are also misdemeanor level drug offenses. The most serious misdemeanor drug related offense is probably driving with marijuana in your motor vehicle. This can cause a revocation of your drivers license, a terrible inconvenience.

The most common drugs in drug offenses are methamphetamine, crack, cocaine, marijuana, heroin, synthetic drugs, and mushrooms.

Informants and “cooperation”

Informants are also often used in drug cases. Beware of everyone with whom you are dealing, because they may currently be working against you, or, may do so in the future.  This can involve wearing a recording device, engaging you in a “controlled buy,” or testifying against you in court.  Law enforcement often use informants.  This usually occurs after someone has been arrested, and then they wish to try and cooperate, to get rid of potential charges, or, avoid going to prison.

Also, beware of “cooperating” to get a lesser a sentence, or not be charged, etc.  Often times, Drug Task Force agents make promises, that they do not later fulfill.  It is a good idea to get all cooperation agreements in writing, through your lawyer, in advance.  If you don’t, you may later regret it.

Potential outcomes include

Sometimes we are also able to work out settlement agreements where a felony will not go on your record. Other times, we are able to keep people from going to prison, or, from going to jail.

Lynne Torgerson began working in the criminal defense area in 1988, now approximately 31 years ago.   She has extensive experience in this area, and, has standards of excellence.  Please give her a call at (612) 339-5073 for representation in your case!

SUCCESSES BY LYNNE TORGERSON, ESQ:

Major victory by Minnesota Drug Charges Lawyer Lynne Torgerson;  82 grams of methamphetamine charge dismissed

Criminal defense lawyer, drug charges lawyer, Lynne Torgerson, Esq., her client was charged with 1st degree possession of 82 grams of methamphetamine.  He/she, the client, had a lengthy criminal history, with a criminal history score of 6 or more.  A conviction of same would thusly likely result in a very lengthy prison sentence.  A lengthy contested omnibus hearing was litigated, with several witnesses, about 10, testifying.  A squad video was also introduced as evidence, which shows the initial encounter of the vehicle containing four (4) occupants, the stop, seizure, and search of the car, the arrest,  and the seizure of the container containing 82 grams of methamphetamine.  Ms. Torgerson raised issues of probable cause for the charge, and, Fourth Amendment suppression issues.  The trial court took the matter under advisement.  The trial court then issued an opinion dismissing the 1st degree controlled substance crime charge on the grounds that the State had failed to establish probable cause to believe Lynne Torgerson’s client possessed the methamphetamine.  Attorney Lynne Torgerson therefore won the dismissal of this 1st degree possession of methamphetamine case.  This result has removed the threat of many years in prison for her client.  Bravo Ms. Torgerson!

Minnesota Criminal Defense Lawyer Lynne Torgerson obtains favorable resolution in felony drug crime charge

Ms. Torgerson obtained a successful resolution of drug charges.  Her client was charged with possession of a controlled substance, a felony.  Very fortunately, Ms. Torgerson successfully obtained an agreement where the charge and conviction could be kept of her client’s record entirely, thus protecting his future. There was no conviction.  Excellent result Ms. Torgerson!

Minnesota Criminal Defense Attorney Lynne Torgerson obtains dismissal of possession of a controlled substance charge, synthetic drug

Minnesota Drug Charge Defense Lawyer Lynne Torgerson obtained a dismissal of a possession of a controlled substance case, a synthetic drug, out of the County of Washington, State of Minnesota.  Ms. Torgerson’s client had purchased a synthetic drug in the State of Illinois.  He then was driving from Illinois to North Dakota, and was pulled over by an officer in the State of Minnesota.  The officer conducted a search of the vehicle, which turned up a synthetic drug.  Ms. Torgerson’s client was charged with possession of a controlled substance, a synthetic drug. Ultimately, Ms. Torgerson obtained a dismissal of the case before probable cause was found.  This result kept this off Ms. Torgerson’s client’s criminal record, important for her client’s future employment opportunities, etc.  Well done Ms. Torgerson!

Criminal Defense Lawyer Lynne Torgerson obtains continuance for dismissal of vaping in airport charge

Minnesota Criminal Defense Attorney Lynne Torgerson obtained a continuance for dismissal of a vaping in airport charge.  This type of charge is a misdemeanor with a maximum penalty of up to 90 days in jail and a $1000 fine.  Ms. Torgerson’s client had no prior criminal record.  Kindly, the prosecution agent was willing to grant some mercy and agreed to a continuance of dismissal.  This means that provided the defendant essentially pays costs and remains crime free, in 1 year, the case will be dismissed, thus keeping Ms. Torgerson’s client’s record clean.  A clean record is something very important to protect.  Well done Ms. Torgerson, client, and prosecution agent!

Minnesota Criminal Defense Lawyer Lynne Torgerson successfully keeps felony 5th degree possession of a controlled substance off of client’s record 

Criminal Defense Attorney Lynne Torgerson successfully kept a felony 5th degree possession of a controlled substance off of her client’s record.  She did this by obtaining a stay of adjudication in his case.  A stay of adjudication is where someone pleads guilty to the offense,  but a conviction is not entered, and, if they successfully complete probation, then, at the end of probation, the case is dismissed.  This means there is no conviction, and, their record is kept clean.  This can be very important for things such as long term career opportunities and employment.  In this case, Ms. Torgerson’s client received a stay of adjudication on the felony 5th degree possession of a controlled substance, and pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor.  Then, after he completed his probation, the case was dismissed, keeping his record clean of any felony conviction.  Well done Ms. Torgerson.

CASE LAW UPDATE:  The Minnesota Supreme Court held that search of body cavity not reasonable under Fourth Amendment

This case requires a determination as to whether a body cavity search performed by forcing the defendant to be strapped down and sedated and to undergo an invasive anoscopy against his will as reasonable under the Fourth Amendment to the United States Constitution.

The Minnesota Supreme Court held that (1) when determining whether a search conducted within a person’s body is reasonable, a court considers the extent to which the procedure may threaten the safety or health of the person, the extent of the intrusion upon the person’s dignitary interests in personal privacy and bodily integrity, and the community’s interest in fairly and accurate determining the guilty or innocence of the individual; and (2) the extreme and substantial intrusion of defendant’s dignitary rights by a coerced anoscopy and the risks that the procedure posed to defendant’s health and safety outweigh the community interest in retrieving potential evidence that defendant possessed a controlled substance, particularly where no exigent circumstances existed.

State v. Brown, A17-0870, Minnesota Supreme Court (2019).

CASE LAW UPDATE:  Whether the Drug Sentencing Reform Act is to be applied retroactively? Fortunately, yes.

Defendant argued that he was entitled to resentencing under the new sentencing grid created by the Drug Sentencing Reform Act (the DSRA).  Noting that defendant’s sentence was not yet final when the DSRA became effective, the Minnesota Court of Appeals concluded that defendant was entitled to resentencing in accordance with the DSRA.  Reversed and remanded.

Johnson v. State, A18-1983, Polk County.

Minnesota Criminal Defense Lawyer Lynne Torgerson was not attorney of record in this case.

CASE LAW UPDATE:  The observance of petty misdemeanor drug offense does not give rise to probable cause for arrest of felony possession of a controlled substance 

Defendant challenged the trial court’s denial of his pretrial motion to suppress evidence obtained by an allegedly illegal entry, arrest, and search.  After stipulating to the State’s case under Minn. R. Crim. P. 26.01, subd. 4, the trial court found defendant guilty of 5th degree possession of a controlled substance.  The Minnesota Court of Appeals concluded that the officers’ observation of the drug related petty misdemeanors did not give the officers probable cause to arrest defendant for felony possession of a controlled substance.

State v. Peterson, A18-1969, Anoka County.

Minnesota Criminal Defense Lawyer Lynne Torgerson was not attorney of record in this case.

CASE LAW UPDATE:  Whether a sentence on two counts of 1st degree possession of  a controlled substance should have been Hernandized 

Defendant pleaded guilty to two counts of first degree possession of cocaine with intent to sell after St. Paul police found cocaine in his car, and, two days later, Minneapolis police found cocaine in his apartment.  The trial court sentence defendant on both counts.  Defendant appealed, arguing that one of his convictions must be vacated because the offenses were both part of the same course of conduct and were a single behavioral incident.  He contended that the trial court exaggerated the criminality of his conduct by Hernandizing his sentences.  The Minnesota Court of Appeals concluded that defendant’s convictions resulted from different behavioral incidents.  Affirmed.

State v. Jones, A19-0373, Ramsey County.

Minnesota Criminal Defense Lawyer Lynne Torgerson was not attorney of record in this case.

CASE LAW UPDATE:  No knock entry for search of cocaine

Defendant challenged his convictions of aiding and abetting first degree sale of cocaine, arguing that (1) the trial court erred by denying his suppression motion and (2) the evidence was insufficient to support his conviction of aiding and abetting first degree sale of cocaine.  The Minnesota Court of Appeals concluded that the unannounced entry was supported by the requisite reasonable suspicion, noting that allegations in the warrant application of a high level of suspected drug trafficking, the number of people observed coming and going, a criminal record, and a gun being associated with the drug trafficking, presented sufficiently particularized circumstances that supported a reasonable suspicion of a threat to officer safety or a threat of destruction of evidence.  Affirmed.

State v. Rayford, A18-1504, St. Louis County.

Minnesota Criminal Defense Lawyer Lynne Torgerson was not attorney of record in this case.

CASE LAW UPDATE:  Controlled substance crime conviction based on accomplice testimony sufficiently corroborated  

Defendant argued on appeal that:  (1) his convictions for 3rd degree controlled substance crime and contributing to the delinquency of a minor should be reversed because the accomplice testimony was not sufficiently corroborated; (2) sentences on both convictions must be vacated because the offenses were part of the same behavioral incident.  The Minnesota Court of Appeals found sufficient corroboration, noting that an undercover agent provided direct evidence of defendant’s participation in the sale of Suboxone.  However, defendant could only be sentenced for one conviction since the offenses were part of a single behavioral indicent.  Affirmed in part, reversed in part, and remanded.

State v. Wortman, A18-1850, Brown County.

Minnesota Criminal Defense Lawyer Lynne Torgerson was not attorney of record in this case.

THANK YOUs/TESTIMONIALS

1.”Great great service.”  5th degree possession of controlled substance.  F.A.

Minnesota Drug Attorney & Criminal Defense Lawyer:  Territories of representation

Our Minnesota Drug Lawyer Lynne Torgerson represents clients throughout Minnesota including the following cities and counties:  Minneapolis, St. Paul, the Twin Cities, Hennepin County, Ramsey County, Anoka, Anoka County, Becker County, Beltrami, Benton, Big Stone, Blaine, Blue Earth, Bloomington, Brooklyn Center, Brooklyn Park, Brown, Burnsville, Carlton, Carver, Cass, Chaska, Chippewa, Chisago, Clay, Clearwater, Cook, Coon Rapids, Cottonwood, Crow Wing, Crystal, Dakota, Dodge, Douglas, Eden Prairie, Edina, Excelsior, Faribault, Fillmore, Freeborn, Golden Valley, Goodhue, Grant, Hastings, Hennepin, Hopkins, Houston, Hubbard, Isanti, Itasca, Jackson, Kanabec, Kandiyohi, Kittson, Koochiching, Lac Qui Parle, Lake, Lake of the Woods, LeSueur, Lincoln, Lyon, Mahnomen, Maple Grove, Maplewood, Marshall, Martin, McLeod, Meeker, Mille Lacs, Minnetonka, Morrison, Mound, Mower, Murray, New Brighton, New Hope, Nicollet, Nobles, Norman, Olmsted, Otter Tail, Pennington, Pine, Pipestone, Plymouth, Polk, Pope, Ramsey, Red Lake, Redwood, Renville, Rice, Robbinsdale, Rock Roseau, Saint Louis Park, Scott, Sherburne, Sibley, St. Anthony, St. Louis, St. Paul, Stearns, Steele, Stevens, Swift, Todd, Traverse, Wabasha, Wadena, Waseca, Washington, Watonwan, Wilkin, Winona, Woodbury, and Wright.  Lynne Torgerson, Esq., a lawyer of excellence, represents clients throughout the entire State of Minnesota.

Contact Lynne Torgerson, Esq. today at 612-339-5073 for a free consultation. Our law firm can help you with our qualified Drug Charges Lawyer in Minneapolis, Minnesota.




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