Greenville, SC Drug Distribution Defense Attorney
Serious criminal penalties accompany all drug charges in South Carolina. If you have been charged with drug distribution or any other drug crime, it is critical that you hire an experienced criminal defense attorney. Experienced legal representation can help protect your rights no matter what type of drug charge you face.
AnneMarie Odom has extensive experience defending clients in and out of the courtroom. She creates effective legal defenses to drug charges, strives to work out a plea deal with the prosecution, and vigorously defends her clients at trial, should the case go that far.
Drug Charges in South Carolina
Drug crimes fall into two categories in South Carolina: misdemeanors and felonies.
What qualifies the crime as either a misdemeanor or a felony charge depends on the drug’s classification, the quantity of the drug, and the drug charge. Possible charges include simple, actual, or constructive possession, drug distribution or sale, possession with intent to distribute, manufacturing, and drug trafficking.
In addition to prosecution at the state level, drug crimes may also be federal offenses. South Carolina criminal defense attorney AnneMarie Odom can defend you against the charges leveled against you in both state and federal court.
What is Drug Distribution?
The crime of manufacturing drugs, selling, delivering, or importing illegal drugs or substances is drug distribution. Unlawful controlled substances include marijuana, cocaine, heroin, and methamphetamine, to name a few.
What is a Controlled Substance?
When the government regulates the manufacture, possession, or use of a chemical or drug, it is considered a controlled substance. This includes unlawful substances that are addictive or frequently abused.
Controlled substances are categorized by the federal Controlled Substances Act and are as follows:
A Schedule I drug has no accepted medical use. It is very addictive and includes drugs such as Ecstasy, marijuana, LSD, and heroin.
Schedule II drugs have some medical uses. However, they are very addictive and include cocaine, Vicodin, oxycodone, morphine, and Adderall.
These drugs have accepted medical uses. They have a low potential for abuse by users and the physical dependence risk is moderate. Buprenorphine (Suboxone) is an example of a Schedule III drug.
Drugs classified as Schedule IV have accepted medical uses and a lower potential for abuse and addiction compared to Schedule III drugs. Xanax, Valium, Ativan, and Ambien are included in this schedule.
These drugs also have accepted medical uses and a low potential for abuse and addiction compared to Schedule IV drugs. Lyrica and cough suppressants are Schedule V drugs.
What is Possession with Intent to Distribute in SC?
When law enforcement officials find a large enough amount of drugs to conclude that the possessor planned to distribute or sell them, they typically charge the person with possession with intent to distribute. Under South Carolina law, the amount of drugs discovered must be higher than the “threshold weight.” Threshold weights vary by drug.
This charge is similar to simple possession but it has the added factor of the intent to distribute. You face the same potential punishment for intent to distribute as you would for actually selling the drugs.
However, drug weight alone may not be enough for a conviction of PWID. The state must prove that you planned to sell or distribute the drugs. Though prosecutors can use the drug weight to prove this, your SC criminal defense lawyer may argue that the drugs were for your personal use. Witness testimony, your statements, the drug packaging, and the presence of drug “paraphernalia” may be used as evidence of your intent to distribute. The criminal offense may decrease to simple possession if your attorney is able to prove the drugs were for personal use.
Penalties for Drug Distribution Charges in South Carolina
In South Carolina, distribution and trafficking charges have severe punishments. Some trafficking charges carry a minimum prison sentence of 25 years upon conviction. Penalties such as the term of imprisonment may increase depending on the amount of the drug found, the existence of second or subsequent offenses, and whether it is a violation of state or federal law.
For example, a PWID Cocaine first offense at the state level carries penalties of 0-15 years. A second offense increases the penalties to 5-30 years and a third offense carries a sentencing range of 10-30 years. If the amount of drugs reach trafficking level weight, the penalties are even steeper.
What Are the Most Common Types of Drugs?
The most common drugs people get charged for possessing in South Carolina include marijuana, cocaine, methamphetamine, fentanyl and heroin. People can also get charged with improperly possessing prescription drugs, drug paraphernalia, or controlled substances like Xanax, Oxycontin, or other pain medications.
Contact Greenville Criminal Defense Attorney AnneMarie Odom Today
A drug distribution or trafficking conviction in South Carolina can lead to severe penalties, especially if you’re a repeat offender. At our firm, top Greenville criminal defense lawyer AnneMarie Odom works hard to fight for your freedom and put you in the best position possible if charged with or under investigation for a drug-related crime.
If you face drug charges in Greenville or anywhere else in the Upstate, call experienced SC drug defense attorney AnneMarie Odom at (864) 775-5833. Our firm also handles DUI defense, violent crimes, white-collar crimes, and more.
If you’re facing drug distribution charges in South Carolina, criminal defense attorney AnneMarie Odom can help you plan a successful drug crime defense strategy. Call (864) 775-5833 today to schedule a free consultation to go over your legal options, or simply fill out our online intake form to get started.
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