Last year throughout the United States, there were over 1.5 million drug arrests.
Most of these arrests were for drug possession, which is just as important to our South Carolina law enforcement officials who take all drug crimes very seriously.
At the David W. Martin Law Group, our drug crimes attorneys in Fort Mill know that means even a drug possession arrest for an illicit substance found in small amount can put you and your future in jeopardy.
That is why our Fort Mill, criminal defense attorneys work tirelessly to provide our clients with the representation they deserve to pursue the best legal outcome for their unique drug charges, so they can get their lives back on track.
What is the Difference Between a Misdemeanor and Felony Drug Crime in South Carolina?
In very simple terms, the difference between a misdemeanor and a felony drug charge is that felonies carry substantially more serious penalties, including jail time.
Consider that someone is arrested for carrying a small amount of marijuana, and there were no aggravating circumstances related to the arrest. That person would likely be charged with a misdemeanor.
Felony drug charges are often the result of more illicit drugs, found in larger quantities. Cocaine, methamphetamines, or heroin that is found in quantities that may be deemed possession with intent to distribute may be charged as a felony and carry much harsher punishments and penalties, including a lengthy prison sentence depending on the circumstances of the case.
If you have a history of drug convictions, additional drug crime arrests may also be charged as a felony, which will significantly increase the possibility of jail time.
What is the Difference Between South Carolina State and Federal Drug Charges?
State and federal drug charges are dependent on the circumstances of an arrest, and whether the state or the federal government has jurisdiction.
In certain circumstances, you could be charged with both a state and federal crime.
Federal drug laws typically cover things like drug trafficking, manufacturing, or conspiracy to traffic drugs.
This distinction is relevant to South Carolina residents because if someone drives across the border into North Carolina or Georgia to sell drugs, he or she could be charged with drug crimes under federal law.
Federal drug crimes will significantly increase the penalties and punishments associated with the drug charges and will require an experienced Greenville defense lawyer to review the complete details of the arrest and the evidence the solicitor’s office has to enforce the charges to build a proper defense and pursue legal solutions that will deliver the best outcome.
How Will a South Carolina Drug Conviction Impact My Future?
The initial impact of a drug charge is that it may land you in jail. Depending on the type of drug, and the weight that was found during your arrest, that could be a stay that lasts longer than overnight.
Even if you do not end up with a lengthy jail stay, a guilty conviction will impact your ability to get a job, successfully apply for a loan, or even rent an apartment, as your criminal history may be visible during a background check that most employers, landlords, and lenders conduct when making these important decisions.
Other consequences can include probation and court-ordered obligations that interfere with your ability to work full-time or help take care of your family, heavy fines that affect your financial stability, and forfeiture access to federal funds like student loans and other financial aid options.
If you are facing drug charges of any type — even if you believe they are insignificant — contact our Greenville drug crimes lawyers at the David W. Martin Law Group by calling (803) 548-2468 to schedule a free consultation to review the complete consequences of your case. Even a single misdemeanor drug charge may lead to more significant legal trouble going forward. Do not put your future at risk by facing the solicitor’s office alone. Our Fort Mill & Greenville criminal defense attorneys will protect your rights while pursuing the best outcome available for your unique legal circumstances.