South Carolina Drug Possession Charges
In South Carolina, possession of a controlled substance is a serious offense. Depending on factors such as the type of drug found in your possession, any prior criminal history, and the circumstances of your arrest, drug possession can result in a variety of consequences. There is a lot on the line when you are faced with drug possession charges, whether you are guilty or not. That is why you need someone with substantial legal knowledge and courtroom experience to assist you in successfully navigating South Carolina’s criminal justice system.
At AnneMarie Odom Law, our Greenville drug crime defense attorneys work extremely hard to put forth the best possible defense for each of our clients to help them achieve the most favorable outcome for their situation. If you are in need of a skilled Greenville criminal defense attorney, call the law offices of AnneMarie Odom at (864) 775-5833 today.
South Carolina Drug Laws
The three most common drug possession offenses are simple possession, possession with intent to distribute, and drug trafficking in South Carolina. The type of drug charge you are facing is determined by a number of variables, the most common of which is the amount of drug present at the time of arrest.
In South Carolina, drug charges are dependent on the weight of the substances allegedly discovered. For each type of illegal drug, there is a threshold amount. The charge is presumed to be simple possession of a controlled substance if the drugs weigh less than this threshold. If they weigh more, the charge is increased to either possession with intent to distribute or drug trafficking. However, even if the drugs weighed less than the threshold amount, authorities may still charge a person with possession with intent to distribute if they have further evidence that the underlying intent was to distribute the drugs.
Penalties for Drug Possession in South Carolina
The potential penalties for drug possession in South Carolina depend on many different factors. Certain drugs carry much harsher penalties, and the amount found on or near you also weighs into the sentencing for the criminal offense.
A first offense for possession of Schedule I, II, III, IV, or V can vary widely. For example, the first offense of possession of marijuana results in up to 30 days in jail while the same charge for methamphetamine can carry a maximum sentence of 3 years.
For a second offense of possession of Schedule I or II narcotic drug, the charge is raised to a felony. If convicted of a second drug possession offense for any schedule I or II drug, you may face:
- A fine of up to $5,000
- Up to five years in prison
For a third offense (or subsequent offense) of possession of Schedule I or II narcotics, you face a felony charge with a penalty that includes:
- A fine of up to $10,000;
- Up to five years in prison;
Possession of Cocaine
- A fine of up to $5,000
- Up to 3 years in prison
- A fine of up to $7,500
- Up to 5 years in prison
Third or subsequent offense:
- A fine of up to $12,500
- Up to 10 years in prison
South Carolina Marijuana Laws
South Carolina’s laws regarding recreational marijuana usage are generally stricter than those in other states. While many other states have decriminalized or legalized marijuana possession, South Carolina continues to prosecute these offenses harshly under The Controlled Substances Act.
Actual vs. Constructive Possession
To be charged with actual possession in South Carolina, the accused must have the substance on their person. However, when the substance is in easy reach of the accused but not physically on their person, this is known as constructive possession. For example, if law enforcement agents find drugs in a residence or vehicle where the defendant is present, the defendant may be in constructive possession of the substance.
Either actual or constructive possession are sufficient to support marijuana drug possession charges.
South Carolina Drug Possession Defense Attorney
If you or a loved one is facing drug possession charges in South Carolina, Greenville criminal defense attorney AnneMarie Odom is here to help. AnneMarie Odom Law, a South Carolina criminal defense firm, offers you your best chance at retaining your freedom and protecting your rights. Our legal experience and relationships, knowledge of SC criminal law, aggressive defense methods, and incredible attention to detail all increase the likelihood of a favorable outcome for you.
Contact a Greenville drug possession defense attorney at AnneMarie Odom Law to discuss your situation and work towards building the best possible defense for your case today.
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