Possession With Intent to Distribute (PWID) Defense Attorney in Greenville
South Carolina has strict laws and harsh punishments for those who commit drug crimes. People who engage in drug abuse and other illegal behavior can spend years of their lives behind bars, in addition to hefty fines and other consequences. Simple possession comes with the least severe penalties while drug trafficking comes with the most severe penalties. But how serious of a crime is possession with intent to distribute (PWID) in the state of South Carolina? The answer depends on the type and amount of drug you’re possessing.
If you’re facing drug distribution charges, drug trafficking charges, or any other type of drug crime, you need top Greenville criminal defense attorney AnneMarie Odom on your side. At AnneMarie Odom Law, we will protect your rights at all costs while aggressively fighting for you in either state or federal court. For a consultation, call 864-775-5833 today.
What is Possession With Intent to Distribute?
Possession with intent to distribute, or PWID, is a type of drug crime that’s prohibited by the federal government. It basically means that a person has unlawful controlled substances in their possession that they plan to distribute or sell to other people.
Simple Possession vs. Possession with Intent to Distribute
The main difference between simple possession and PWID is that PWID is a much more serious crime. Basically, simple drug possession in South Carolina is when someone has a specific amount of a drug that corresponds with what South Carolina law defines as personal use. Meanwhile, drug possession with intent to distribute is typically an amount larger than what would be associated with personal use and means the person in possession likely intended to sell or distribute these illegal substances.
Thresholds of Controlled Substances in South Carolina
If law enforcement catches you possessing an illegal substance that weighs more than the following thresholds, then you could face possession with intent to distribute charges. This is because the quantity suggests that you’re not just possessing illegal drugs for personal consumption.
- Marijuana: between 1 ounce and 10 pounds
- Powder or Crack Cocaine: between 1-28 grams
- Meth: more than 1 gram
- Heroin: more than 2 grains
- Morphine: more than 2 grains
- Ecstasy: more than 15 dosage units
It is certainly possible to face a PWID charge even if you are caught with an illegal substance weight that is less than the threshold, as long as it appears the intent to sell or distribute was there. Often times, this occurs if law enforcement also finds scales, baggies or other paraphernalia that would indicate the drugs were for more than just you.
Types of Controlled Substances
A controlled substance found in the Schedule I category is described as having:
- High potential for abuse
- No accepted medicinal benefits
- Lack of safety
Examples of a substance involved in this schedule include heroin, LSD, marijuana and ecstacy.
Schedule II means that these substances are described as having:
- High potential for abuse
- Accepted medicinal benefits (with restrictions)
- Severe physical or psychological dependence
Examples include morphine, hydrocodone, opium, and oxycodone.
Schedule III means that the drugs are described as having:
- Lesser potential of abuse compared to drugs in the former two schedules
- Accepted medical use
- Moderate risk to low risk of physical dependence and high psychological dependence
Examples of schedule three drugs include anabolic steroids, ketamine, testosterone, and Tylenol with codeine.
Drugs found in the Schedule IV category are described as having:
- Lesser potential for abuse compared to drugs in schedule three
- Accepted medicinal benefits
- Physical and psychological dependence less than drugs in Schedule III
Drugs involved in this schedule include Xanax, Klonopin, Valium, Ativan, and more.
Drugs found in the Schedule V category are described as having:
- Lesser potential for abuse compared to drugs in schedule four
- Accepted medical use
- Physical and mental dependence less than drugs in schedule four
Examples of schedule V drugs include less than 200 milligrams of codeine, Lomotil, Motofen, and others.
How to Prove Intent
In order to be convicted of possession with intent to distribute, the prosecutor must prove the element of intent. This can must be done by proving the following:
- The weight of the illegal substances in your possession exceeds personal consumption thresholds
- Your drug packaging indicates that you were planning illegal distribution
- Your drug paraphernalia (scales, bags, injection equipment, etc.) suggests that you plan to distribute the substances, even if drug particles aren’t found on the paraphernalia
Possession With Intent to Distribute Jail Time
Your criminal charges and subsequent prison sentence will depend largely on the type of controlled substance that you are caught possessing.
The legality of marijuana use is rapidly changing across the United States. Under South Carolina state laws, marijuana is still illegal. Listed below are the possible penalties for possessing more than 1 ounce but less than 10 pounds of marijuana:
- First Offense: A prison term of 0-5 years, plus a fine of up to $5,000
- Second or Subsequent Offense: 0-10 years behind bars, plus a fine of up to $10,000
- Third Offense: 5-20 years behind bars, plus a fine of up to $20,000
Crack, Cocaine and Meth
Listed below are the possible penalties if you’re caught with more than 1 gram but less than 28 grams of crack, cocaine, meth, or heroin.
- First Offense: A prison term of 0-15 years, plus a fine of up to $25,000
- Second or Subsequent Offense: 5-30 years behind bars, plus a fine of up to $50,000
- Third Offense: 10-30 years, plus a fine of up to $50,000
Call Experienced Attorney AnneMarie Odom Today
South Carolina state laws are incredibly strict about illegal drug use and drug crimes in general. No matter what kind of drug charge you are dealing with, our Greenville criminal defense law firm can provide unmatched legal guidance and defense for you. At AnneMarie Odom Law, we are passionate about giving our clients the best outcome possible. Call us at (864) 775-5833 to schedule a consultation.
Contact a Greenville PWID 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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