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Drug court is not always an option for Minneapolis defendants

Minneapolis is home to some 2.5 million people, at least one-half of the entire population of the state of Minnesota. In addition to being a densely populated city, it's also one known for its extreme weather. In the winter, it's snowy and bitterly cold and in the summer, it's sunny and hot. Seasonal changes in weather coupled with everyday pressures of life send many Minnesotans over the edge and to embrace vices like drugs.

While the use of drugs is not unique to our one state, there are some drug trends in Minnesota that have emerged over the past few years.

Those who may have originally been prescribed prescription opiates such as fentanyl often find themselves with no outlet to continue acquiring it. In many cases, these individuals turn to the street drug heroin to continue getting their fix. Others oscillate between or graduate to even more harmful drugs as is the case when a cocaine user starts to use methamphetamine.

Oftentimes, it's once these individuals have alienated their families and friends or have lost their job because of their drug use that they graduate from possession to distributing or trafficking it as a way to pay for their habit. This is when an individual is most apt to be charged with a drug offense.

While drug courts have been set up in many jurisdictions to help these individuals get the help that they need with their addiction, those charged with selling or trafficking large amounts of a drug may qualify. Use of certain Schedules of drugs may disqualify one as well.

For those fortunate enough to be allowed to try to overcome their substance abuse dependency through a drug court, they often end up in a rehab facility in the state.

Statistics from one facility in Minneapolis shows that at least 13 percent of their residents have heroin addictions. Another 10 percent have a prescription opiate one. Nine percent have a methamphetamine dependency and 7 percent have a cocaine addiction.

Addressing an addiction in drug court may only be an option available to a defendant prosecuted at the state level. Those charged with federal drug offenses may instead face long prison sentences, fines, asset forfeiture and probation if convicted. The best chance that a defendant has of getting a fair shake in their own legal matter is to be represented by an experienced Minneapolis drug charge attorney.

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Joseph S. Friedberg Chartered
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Minneapolis, MN 55415

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