Sale and Possession Crimes Under Minnesota's Methamphetamine (Meth) Laws

The gravity of crimes involving sale or possession of methamphetamine is linked to the amount of substance involved; the amount of the drug is determined by the total gram weight of the substance, not by the actual amount of methamphetamine present in it. Because of the dangers that methamphetamine, cocaine, and heroin pose, the penalties for sale or possession of these drugs are much harsher than penalties for the same amount of other drugs.

1st Degree Methamphetamine Sale & Possession Sentence

Sale of ten grams or more of any mixture or substance containing methamphetamine, or possession of 25 grams or more of any such substance, is a first-degree controlled substance crime and carries a penalty of up to 30 years’ imprisonment and a $1 million fine, or both. If the person has a previous controlled substance conviction, the penalty is increased to at least four and up to 40 years’ imprisonment. Minn. Stat. § 152.021. The Minnesota Sentencing Guidelines recommend an 86-month sentence for a person with no criminal history who is convicted of a first-degree controlled substance offense.

2nd Degree Meth Sale & Possession Sentence

Sale of three to ten grams or possession of six to 25 grams of a methamphetamine substance is a second-degree controlled substance violation and is punishable by a 25-year prison sentence or a $500,000 fine, or both. For offenders with a previous controlled substance conviction, the penalty increases to up to 40 years (with a three-year minimum sentence) and an optional fine of up to $500,000. Minn. Stat. § 152.022. The Minnesota Sentencing Guidelines recommend a 48- month sentence for a person with no criminal history who is convicted of a second-degree controlled substance offense.

3rd Degree Meth Sale & Possession Consequences

Sale of any substance containing methamphetamine, or possession of three to six grams of such substance, is a third-degree controlled substance crime and carries a prison term of up to 20 years or a fine of up to $250,000, or both. With a previous controlled substance conviction, the term is at least two and up to 30 years, with an optional $250,000 fine. Minn. Stat. § 152.023. The Minnesota Sentencing Guidelines recommend a stayed 21-month sentence for a person with no criminal history who is convicted of a third-degree controlled substance offense.

4th Degree Meth Possession Sentence

Possession of a substance containing any amount of methamphetamine is a fourth-degree controlled substance crime and carries a prison term of up to 15 years or a fine of up to $100,000 or both. With a previous controlled substance conviction, the term is at least one and up to 30 years, with an optional $100,000 fine. Minn. Stat. § 152.024. The Minnesota Sentencing Guidelines recommend a stayed 12-month sentence for a person with no criminal history who is convicted of a fourth-degree controlled substance offense.


This is part of a series of posts on Methamphetamine (Meth) Laws in Minnesota.