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.


Immediately after I was involved in a DWI incident I contacted Mr. Kins. During a free consultation, he actively listened to my story and made me feel comfortable. I hired him immediately and he continued to be a great resource and trusted attorney. Throughout my complicated two-year case, he maintained professionalism and always had my best interest in mind. The result of my court case turned out better than I could have expected, and I would recommend him to anyone that needs a competent and trusted attorney.


Mr. Sheridan knows his business well, very well. He fought like a pit bull to remove charges and shot holes thru a very shady officer's defense. We walked away with 1 yr probation. Thank You Sir for all you do!


After my positive experience with Mr. Sheridan and your firm, l have no hesitancy in recommending your services to others. I feel so fortunate that a kindly ER nurse steered me in your direction. l will forever be in your debt for all you have done to bring about a better than hoped for resolution to my case. If that nurse hadn’t referred me to your firm, l hesitate to think about how badly this could have played out.


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!


The case was complicated and had many interactions that were required behind the scenes to achieve a positive outcome regarding some serious but defendable charges. Randall had to work on several levels with the case, including civil, criminal, and elements addressing mental competency. Randall manage all avenues with great agility and when it came to making a decision between accepting a plea settlement or going forward to trial, there was never any pressure other than whether the deal made sense or not and OUR best interests. There was never any pressure to settle because it would mean less work for him; he was willing to go where the case took him, and he was willing to fight if we wanted the fight, even though it meant no more money for him, just more work. He has our 100% confidence and we will always be grateful for the efforts he put in on our behalf, efforts which ‏extended over a much longer period of time and required far greater number of interactions than any of us expected when we hired Randall to take our case. Thank you Randall for a very successful outcome and the peace of mind you brought us along the way!


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.


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.


I was charged with Domestic Assault (Strangulation) A felony. Randall Kins was the lawyer that was appointed to me in jail that day. I decided to hire him after speaking to countless other lawyers who wanted to charge me a ton of money. Mr. Kin's fee was reasonable and worth every penny . Randall Kins worked tirelessly and fought for me every step of the way. He is a Magic Lawyer. He was always clear and never sugar coated anything. Mr Kins worked every angle and treated me as #1. He also was able to explain my situation to the prosecutor in a way that made them look at the circumstances and ultimately led to my charges being dropped! I would recommend Randall Kins if you are facing any criminal charges. He gets it done. Really Really Awesome Lawyer. If you are having any legal issues hire this man! He will fight for you!


I met with Randall due to my 3rd Degree DWI charge. I was shaken, I was scared (because who wouldn't be). He made me feel at ease. He was very informative on how a DWI case goes, there are 2 cases to be fought out. When I told my peers about that, they were surprised because they didn't even know there were 2 sides to a DWI charge. He will fight tooth and nail to get every piece of evidence, study all that is given to him and make sure that you are satisfied with the outcome. I would just like to say that the outcome that I received on my case is the best that I could have ever hoped for. It went from a 3rd Degree DWI down to Careless Driving. I won my case with a lesser charge and I am truly happy about it. All this could not have been possible without the knowledge, trust, and hard work that Randall did for me.


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 gave great advice regarding my case and he never rushed anything and kept me updated along the way throughout the long process. He was able to negotiate to get my license back while we waited for the final ruling which was very helpful. I had a great outcome on my case and would recommend him to anyone looking for an 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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