Minnesota does give the option of alternative penalties following a drug conviction. The drug court's aim is to reduce the rate of re-offenses, which means that helping those who are struggling with drug abuse is more important than imprisoning them. Those convicted of low-level drug offenses may be able to seek out drug addiction recovery assistance instead of having to go to jail, for example.
If a person has had a violent criminal background, then that person will be excluded from the alternative options. For instance, if a person was selling drugs and violently attacked someone who was purchasing those drugs, he or she would be excluded from the alternative penalty programs.
For cocaine-specific arrests, you face a number of serious penalties if you're caught selling the drug. No matter how much you're selling, you can face up to 20 years in prison. You may also have to pay up to $250,000 in fines to the court. For selling just three to 10 grams, you can face 25 years in prison and fines of up to $500,000.
Selling cocaine to a minor automatically results in up to 25 years in prison and/or up to $500,000 in fines and penalties. Fortunately, since there are no mandatory sentence lengths, the judge has a significant amount of leeway. If you are a low-level offender, your attorney may be able to help you get a lesser penalty and reduce or eliminate a prison sentence altogether if you agree to other terms set by the court. Your attorney can talk to you about the options you have if you're facing drug crime charges. Our site has more information on what you can do to fight the charges against you.