Drug Charges Defense

Drug offenses come in many varieties with one common factor, the penalties for a conviction are severe and may result in lengthy prison sentences and fines. An aggressive defense is necessary. Both Federal and State drug charges in South Carolina carry stiff penalties with serious lasting consequences. If you have been arrested for drugs, you need a lawyer who knows how the system works and will fight to protect your rights. 

 
South Carolina’s drug laws are among the stiffest in the nation. A first time offender charged with simple possession of marijuana can face up to thirty days in jail and be ordered to pay a fine, which can more than double when you add in court costs. There is also an automatic suspension of your driver’s license if convicted of a drug offense.
 
The penalties can significantly increase depending upon:
• The type of drug,
• the quantity of drugs,
• whether your case is brought in State or Federal court,
• your prior criminal record, or
• if you are accused of a drug crime within proximity of a
school, park, or childcare facility.
 
A Simple Charge Can Have Lasting Consequences: 
Even a conviction for simple possession of marijuana can result in:
• Academic discipline such as suspension or expulsion,
• Loss of financial aid or scholarships,
• Loss of, or inability to obtain, a professional license.
 
Proving Drug Possession In South Carolina:
In SC, there are two types of possession charges:
• actual possession
• constructive possession
To be charged with actual possession, the drugs must physically be on you, i.e., in your pocket, jacket, purse, or hand; to be charged with constructive possession, the drugs can be found in your car or home.
 
Whether you are charged with:
• Simple Possession
• Possession With The Intent to Distribute or Intent to sell
drugs
• Possession of drugs in the proximity of a school, child care
facility or park, or
• Felony Possession
 
Possession With The Intent To Distribute:
To convict you for possession with the intent to distribute or sell drugs in South Carolina, the prosecution must prove that you had possession of a specific quantity of drugs. You may also be charged with drug distribution if the drugs even appeared to be packaged for distribution.
 
Under South Carolina law, the following amounts are sufficient to be charged with possession with the intent to distribute drugs:
Marijuana: one or more ounces
Crack Cocaine: one or more grams
Heroin: two grains
Cocaine:  one or more grams
 
Penalties Related to Possessing a Firearm:
Possession of a firearm during commission of a drug offense is related charge that can land you in Federal Court, leading to more severe consequences and making it more difficult to have your charges reduced. Any Federal drug conviction accompanied by a weapons conviction can result in an additional five to 15 years of imprisonment.
 
Drug Trafficking: A charge of drug trafficking can be brought against any person who knowingly sells, manufactures, cultivates, delivers, purchases, or brings into this State, or who provides financial assistance or otherwise aids, abets, attempts, or conspires to sell, manufacture, cultivate, deliver, purchase, or bring into this State, or who is knowingly in actual or constructive possession or who knowingly attempts to become in actual or constructive possession of a specific amount of illegal drugs.
 
The charge brought is based upon the quantity of illegal drugs that you actual possess or were attempting to buy or even if you intended to use the drugs for personal use.
 
Navigating a drug trafficking charge requires an attorney experienced in handling both state and federal charges and misdemeanor and felony convictions.
 
A charge of drug trafficking is brought based upon the quantity of illegal drugs that you actually possess or attempted to buy or sell even if you intended to use the drugs for personal use.
 
Under South Carolina law, the following amounts are considered drug trafficking:
• Cocaine/Crack 10 grams
• Heroin 4 grams
• Marijuana 10 pounds
• Ecstasy 100 pills
 
Other narcotics trafficking charges include:
 
• Methamphetamines
• Prescription drugs, including prescription painkillers
such as Oxycotin or Xanax
• Ecstasy (MDMA) or other club drugs
 
The penalties for drug trafficking are severe, including mandatory minimum sentences of 25 years for certain trafficking charges.  You may also be charged with drug distribution if the drugs even appeared to be packaged for distribution.