At the David W. Martin Law Group, our drug crimes attorneys in Rock Hill know there is a lot of confusion regarding drug possession charges, and when they turn into a more serious charge of drug possession with intent to sell or drug trafficking.
Is there a magic number or amount of drugs that increases the charges? Do law enforcement officials decide the type of charges when you are arrested?
Our criminal defense lawyers in Greenville will clearly explain the charges against you, as well as your rights and legal options to pursue the best outcome based on the evidence the solicitor’s office has to build their case.
First, let’s discuss a few of the key differences in South Carolina drug charges.
How is Drug Possession Charges Different from Drug Possession with Intent to Sell or Drug Trafficking Charges?
First, drug possession charges require proof of possession occurred and can be charged in two different categories:
- Actual Possession
- Constructive Possession
Actual possession charges require that the drugs were found in your hand or pocket, or on your person.
Constructive possession charges are typically related to drugs found in a car, house, or on the ground near you.
Possession of Marijuana Charges & Penalties in South Carolina
Possession of marijuana in Fort Mill, South Carolina is a misdemeanor charge with penalties of a fine of up to $1,000, up to 30 days in jail, or both for a first conviction.
For a second conviction, the penalties may include a fine of up to $1000, up to one year in jail, or both.
Possession of Cocaine Charges & Penalties in South Carolina
A first offense for possessing one gram or less of cocaine is also a misdemeanor.
However, any subsequent offenses of any amount will be charged as a felony.
The penalties for possession of one gram of cocaine or less include:
- First offense: Up to three years in jail and/or fines up to $5,000
- Second offense: Up to five years in prison and/or fines of up to $7,500
- Third offense or greater: Up to ten years in prison and/or up to $12,500 in fines
Possession of Heroin Charges & Penalties in South Carolina
If your first drug offense is simple possession of heroin, you will be charged with a misdemeanor. However, if you have a previous drug charge on your record, even for drugs other than heroin, you will face felony charges.
Possession of heroin penalties in Rock Hill South Carolina include:
- First offense: Up to two years in prison and/or fines of up to $5,000
- Second offense: Up to five years in prison and/or up-to $5,000 in fines
- Third offense or greater: Up to five years in prison and/or fines reaching $10,000
If you have been arrested and charged with possession of any type of drug in South Carolina, contact our experienced criminal defense attorneys at the David W. Martin Law Group today to learn more about how we can help with your case.
What is Possession with Intent to Distribute in South Carolina?
Possession with intent to distribute in York County South Carolina is typically based on the quantity or weight of the drugs found and is often supported by additional evidence like baggies, packaged drugs, scales, or conversations and other communication like text messages or recordings that demonstrate the intent to sell.
The jail time, fines, and additional penalties are much steeper for possession with intent to distribute charges and will require an experienced attorney to pursue results both outside and inside the courtroom.
Possession with intent to distribute marijuana can carry the following penalties in South Carolina:
- First Offense: Up to five years imprisonment
- Second Offense: Up to ten years imprisonment
- Third Offense: Mandatory minimum of five years and up to twenty years imprisonment
Possession with intent to distribute cocaine, crack cocaine, or heroin in South Carolina:
- First Offense: Up to 15 years imprisonment
- Second Offense: Mandatory minimum of five years and up to thirty years imprisonment
- Third Offense: Mandatory minimum of ten years and up to thirty years imprisonment
What is Considered Drug Trafficking in South Carolina?
Drug trafficking charges in Fort Mill, South Carolina are applied by the weight of the drugs found in your possession and are always felonies.
For drug charges to qualify as trafficking, they must exceed:
- Ten pounds of more of marijuana
- Ten grams or more of cocaine or any cocaine mixture
- Four grams or more of heroin, morphine, or another opiate
- Ten grams or more of methamphetamine
- One gram or more of Rohypnol
- 15 grams or more of methaqualone
- 50 milliliters or more GHB
- 100 tablets or more of lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD)
- 100 tablets or more of MDMA or ecstasy
The type of drug and the individual’s criminal history will dictate the penalties for drug trafficking in South Carolina.
However, even a first-time trafficking offense can result in up to ten years imprisonment, and a second offense is up to thirty years.
If you have been arrested and charged with a drug crime in South Carolina, contact our Rock Hill criminal defense attorneys at the David W. Martin Law Group today by calling (803) 548-2468 to review your case with our experienced lawyers who are here to help you pursue positive results.