I recently completed a first-time 5th degree felony drug possession case. Thanks to Minnesota Statutes 152.18 there’s a good chance that my client will never have a felony drug conviction on his criminal record. So what is 152.18 and how does it prevent a conviction?
Stay of Adjudication for First-Time Felony Drug Offenders
Minnesota Statutes 152.18 basically allows a first-time felony drug offender to opt for probation and have a chance to prevent a felony drug conviction from appearing on their record. First, the offender must truly be a first-time offender; if the defendant has been convicted before, or opted for diversion for prior offenses, they will be ineligible for the stay of adjudication under 152.18. Second, the offender must successfully complete probation before the dismissal takes effect. The way a stay of adjudication works is that the defendant pleads guilty, but the court holds on the the guilty plea and does not convict the person. If the defendant completes probation, the charge will be dismissed, and, publicly, the defendant will not have a conviction on their record. However, a private record will exist, so if the defendant is ever charged again, the previous file could deny them a stay of adjudication.
If you know someone facing a felony drug charge in Minnesota call St. Paul Drug Crime Attorney Eric Rice for a free consultation at 651-998-9660.