Minnesota Drug Crime Attorneys

If you’re looking for the best defense for drug charges in the Twin Cities and beyond, you’ve come to the right place. Right now, you might be thinking that you don’t have options — but you’d be surprised. We’ve represented thousands of clients, all of whom started in the same position as you right now.

We’re here to help. This system can be complicated and punitive — that’s why you need an advocate who can help you navigate it every step of the way. Schedule a consultation to get started.

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About the law

Changes to Minnesota drug laws in 2023

If you’ve been charged with a marijuana-related crime, here’s what you need to know:

On May 30, 2023, Gov. Tim Walz signed a bill into law that legalizes marijuana for adults 21 and older and allows for expungements of prior marijuana convictions.

If you’ve been convicted of a marijuana-related crime: All felony-level convictions must be individually reviewed by the Office of Cannabis Management for expungement or resentencing. Unfortunately, the office isn’t expected to be set up for several more months, and the process could take years. 

But you don’t have to wait for the state — read our blog to find out how to clear your record faster.

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Experienced Counsel

Drug Crime Services

If you’ve been charged with a drug crime, we’re here to help. We will defend all drug crimes involving the possession, sale, distribution, or manufacturing of the following (but not limited to):

  • Marijuana
  • Cocaine
  • Hallucinogens
  • Methamphetamines
  • MDMA
  • Narcotics
  • Opiates
  • Prescription drugs
  • Drug paraphernalia

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Criminal Defense Services

DWI Defense

If you have been charged with a DWI, it may seem only thing to do is accept the accusation of a machine and plead guilty. It is far from your only choice. At Sheridan, Dulas, Hunstad & Kins, P.A., we don't seek plea deals for DWI charges. We will actually fight your DWI charges with the aim of a not guilty verdict.

Domestic Assault

An accusation of domestic assault or violence can have a serious impact on your personal and professional reputation and lead to severe criminal penalties. In addition, there are serious hidden collateral consequences, such as a lifetime ban on the possession of firearms. You should not ever try to face these charges alone.

Juvenile Defense

A juvenile record will adversely impact your child’s future opportunities, including educational opportunities that are so critical to their future. We understand that your child means everything to you, which is why we will build a vigorous defense on your child’s behalf.

Assault & Battery

Assault charges can vary depending on whether or not you caused injury to the victim, how severe the injuries were, and more. These cases can be complicated, which is why you need the best possible attorney at your side to fight for you.


A criminal record can have major impact on your ability to seek an education, get a job, and secure housing. With the help of one of our experienced lawyers, you may be eligible to seal your record through an expungement.

Probation Violations

A probation violation could trigger significant penalties. In fact, a probation violation usually results in penalties more severe than an original sentence. It could easily result in serving the maximum penalty allowed by law. If you are accused of violating your probation, one of our experienced criminal defense lawyers will help you keep your freedom.

Drug Crime Charges in Minnesota

What are the degrees of drug crimes in Minnesota, and what punishments apply to each?

Chapter 152 of the Minnesota Statutes covers drug sentencing guidelines in Minnesota. The various drug offenses include:

  • Controlled Substance Crimes, ranging from 1st to 5th degrees
  • Importing Controlled Substances Across State Borders
  • Possession of Substances with Intent to Manufacture
  • Possession of Drug Paraphernalia

The severity of your charges and the penalties you’ll face will vary depending on the type of drug you’re charged with. Methamphetamine-related crimes are charged and prosecuted differently than prescription-drug-related crimes, for example.

The charges and penalties also vary depending on whether you were charged with possession, sale, distribution, or manufacturing; how much of the substance you had in your possession; and whether or not you had used the substance.

The least severe crimes will be fifth-degree offenses, and the most severe are first-degree offenses which can carry prison sentences of up to 30 years and fines up to $1,000,000 for a first offense.

Drug charges and penalties vary significantly from case to case, which is why you need an experienced criminal defense attorney who can understand the specific nuances of your case and create the best defense for you. 

How serious is my drug offense?

The severity of your charges and penalties depends in part on the specific type of drug in question. Minnesota follows the federal government’s list of Scheduled Drugs, with the Schedules arranged from one (I) to five (V). The most serious penalties and charges will be attributed to Schedule I drugs.

However, your unique case will depend on a variety of factors — particularly the amount of the drug, your prior criminal history, and whether you were found in possession, selling, distributing, or manufacturing the drug.

Schedule I Drugs

Considered highly addictive and with no medical uses. Examples include heroin, LSD, marijuana, ecstasy, methaqualone, and peyote. (Note: In 2023, Minnesota legalized marijuana. It is still illegal at the federal level — see our FAQs for more details.)

Schedule II Drugs

Considered highly addictive but with some medical uses. Examples include methamphetamine, cocaine, fentanyl, and many prescription painkillers.

Schedule III Drugs

Considered addictive and may have medical properties. Examples include codeine, ketamine, anabolic steroids, and testosterone.

Schedule IV Drugs

Considered potentially addictive and may be prescribed by a doctor. Examples include most prescriptions, like Xanax, Soma, Ambien, and Valium.

Schedule V Drugs

Considered slightly addictive or non-addictive and may be sold over the counter. Examples include off-the-shelf medications, such as pain relievers and cough medicines.

Next steps

So you’ve been charged — what happens now?

Knowing what to expect can make it easier to handle this difficult and stressful time. The legal process can seem daunting and confusing, but when you’ve got an advocate by your side with decades of experience defending drug crimes, everything is easier.

We’re here to guide you through this process so you can come out on the other side with the brightest possible future.

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Frequently Asked Questions About Drug Defense

Do I really need an attorney?

Only if you want the best chance at getting your charges lowered or outright dismissed. Being charged with any crime is a life-altering event. We don’t just mean now, where you’ll likely face jail time or steep fines. We mean in the future, too, where your conviction can prevent you from getting employment, providing for your family, maintaining custody of your children, and for felony-level convictions, it will bar you from your constitutional rights to own firearms or vote.

An attorney’s job is to come up with a strategy for your defense, combing through every detail of your case to find inadmissible evidence and identifying every possible opportunity for your charges to be lowered or dismissed.This level of defense is what we call “leaving no stone unturned”. It’s an approach that requires time, energy, and expertise, which is often why attorneys who do this will charge more for their services — but it can get you life-altering results (whether that’s getting your charges lowered or even outright dismissed). 

If you’ve been charged with a crime, you may not think you have options, but there is hope. Schedule a free consultation with us, and we’ll go over the facts of your case and let you know what options you have. Then, you can decide whether you want to work with an attorney or not.

What about if it’s a marijuana charge (illegal at the federal level, but legal in the state)?

As of 2023, recreational marijuana is legalized in Minnesota (with several stipulations, see here for more details).

But at the federal level, marijuana possession is still considered illegal. So how can marijuana possession be lawful and unlawful at the same time?

It’s possible because most marijuana regulations and enforcement are done at the local and state level. 

That said, the U.S. Congress still has full power to enact federal laws for acts that occur on federal property or that affect "interstate commerce," which means any movement of goods or services that cross state lines (think vehicle and air travel). These acts are not permitted under any law (even Minnesota law).


Reviews For Sheridan, Dulas, Hunstad & Kins, P.A.

See what our clients are saying.


I retained Mr. Sheridan based on reviews from this very site. Those reviews were not wrong. Through a long drawn-out process he never wavered. He guided me in every aspect of the ordeal. He stuck with me till the end. And in the end, the charges were dismissed due largely I believe cause he never stopped fighting for me. I would recommend Mr. Sheridan to anyone in a heartbeat.


I contacted multiple attorneys in the south Metro before finding Mr. Randall Kins. During my consultation I immediately felt his compassion for my situation, and his determination to win for his clients. I hired him during that call. I had 8 felony charges each carrying a potential term of 5 years imprisonment. He quickly reached out to the prosecutor and started working my case, communication during the process was great, and his office easy to deal with. He did not tell me what I wanted to hear, was straight forward, and honest about my chances of a good deal. Mr.Randall Kins was able to have all 8 Felonies dropped or reduced to gross misdemeanors, I was not sentenced to serve time, I retain my rights, and most importantly it will not affect my job. Thanks to his amazing work, I can move on with my life. I would highly recommend Mr. Randall Kins to help with your case.


I am a retired college professor who ran into some legal issues late in life. I searched for and hoped to find a professional attorney, someone who is intelligent and knowledgable. The best thing I did was hire Randall Kins. He was not only intelligent and knowledgable, but he was well-versed in laws and courts and a nice, congenial attorney. I had two cases that Randall covered and both ended up very positively. I am in awe of someone who can maneuver their way through laws and the courts. Randall showed that he is well-trained and respectful. At every step, he was open and helpful and always kept me well-informed. My cases were somewhat unique and Randall waded through both of them. For neither case did I have to serve time in jail and it was because of Randall's skills and training and pure professionalism. I would encourage anyone to hire Randall. He is the real deal.


Randall was professional and got better results than I anticipated! He has his client's best interests at heart and works hard to achieve outstanding results.


Randall and his team helped me with my case in a very professional way. I have never experienced anything like this before and Randall took the time to explain to me every single detail more than once. Is a very complicated system and he totally took the time to explain it to me. I would totally hire him and his law firm.


Randall was extremely helpful regarding my DUI case. I had no idea how to precede or what to expect as this was my first offense. He explained everything in depth very clearly during our consultation and I chose to move forward with hiring him to represent me. He responded to my e-mails very timely and was always able to answer all of my questions. He gave great advice regarding my case and he never rushed anything; I never felt like a burden. I had great outcomes on my case, which I greatly contribute to Randall and all the time and work he put into my case!


Last year right before the pandemic started, I was charged with a DWI and afterwards it felt like my life was on a downward spiral. After searching online and going to friends for legal referrals it seemed like a dead end with no results. Looking on Avvo I found Mr. Kins through his positive feedback and testimonials; I had a gut feeling that he was the right person for this job and he was! If there is one adjective that can best describe Mr. Kins is a Bulldog, because he will fight for you and make sure you get the best and fairest outcome. He was able to get my DWI reduced to a Careless Driving conviction! I am a highly satisfied customer and will refer anyone to his services.

Brian J.

Very talented. If you’re facing serious charges you need to be very well represented. Jeff is tenacious.


I could not have asked for a better outcome with a committed lawyer. I would highly recommend Randall Kins to those who need the right representation. Thanks again Randall for the great job you have done.


Mr. Randall Kins is a straightforward, client-focused Attorney, he had my best interest from our first meeting. He told me play-by-play how my case would go during that same 1st meeting and it went exactly as he said. Any and all doubts, anxiety, and the burden of having an active case was lifted by a single meeting with Mr.Kins. I had my case dismissed, Mr.Kins delivered everything he promised during our first meeting. I highly recommend You retain Mr. Randall Kins as your attorney!

Let's Fight This Together

There's hope for the future.

Even if you think you’ve run out of options, there is hope. To learn more about the results we’ve achieved for our clients, check out our Settlements & Verdicts page to review a small selection of our recent case victories. 


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Serving the Minneapolis-St. Paul region and beyond

Our criminal defense attorneys are ready to defend cases statewide in Minnesota and Wisconsin. We’re here to serve you in every county, including Anoka County, Carver County, Dakota County, Hennepin County, Washington County, and Wright County.

We're available 24/7. Give us a call now to start preparing your best possible defense.

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