Lexington Drug Lawyer

Many states have taken steps towards decriminalizing the possession of small amounts of drugs. South Carolina has not done so. The possession of even the smallest amounts of illegal substances is still illegal and can result in a person serving jail time.

The exact nature of the specific penalties depends upon the type of drugs found, their amount, and how they were being handled.

Lexington drug lawyers help people who have been charged with everything from simple possession through trafficking of all sorts of illegal substances. To discuss your case and begin building a defense, consult with an experienced defense attorney in Lexington County today.

South Carolina Controlled Substance Laws

South Carolina’s legislature has enacted a series of very detailed statutes in South Carolina Law 44-53-370 that describe and define illegal activities that relate to controlled substances. The list of controlled substances is too long to provide here but the most common examples of prohibited substances are:

  • Marijuana,
  • Methamphetamine (Meth)
  • Heroin,
  • Cocaine (Crack),
  • Fentanyl,
  • Ecstasy, Xanax, and Adderall.

The possession of any of these drugs is strictly prohibited and is punished according to the type of drug. For example, a first conviction for possession of marijuana is considered a misdemeanor and may result in a fine up to $1,000.00 and a maximum of 30 days in jail.

On the other extreme end of the spectrum, simple possession of cocaine can result in a jail term of a maximum of three years and a $5,000.00 fine for a first conviction also making it important to consult with a Lexington drug lawyer.

When the allegations turn to distribution or trafficking, the penalties become much more serious. A person may be accused of distribution if they are caught actually selling the drugs. The intent to distribute can also be inferred if a person is caught with large amounts of drugs, or a warrant reveals packaging materials. Trafficking is similar to distributing but in larger quantities.

Any conviction for distribution, regardless of the type of drug, is considered a felony. Even the distribution of marijuana can result in a prison term of up to 5 years in addition to a fine of up to $5,000.00. The most serious trafficking cases carry mandatory minimum prison sentences and fines of up to $200,000.00. Because of these harsh penalties, it is vital to defend against all drug-related charges at every opportunity.

Defending Against Drug Charges

Cases, where a person is accused of any type of drug charge, are more complicated than most other criminal cases. This is because, in order to prove that a person even possessed an illegal substance, the substance must be analyzed in a laboratory. This adds an additional avenue for a defense strategy designed to discredit the State’s case.

In many situations, a person is arrested only after a warrant is issued to search their home. A warrant must not only be applied for correctly but executed in a very specific manner.

Lexington drug attorneys examine the warrant itself and how it was executed to see if key evidence may be excluded due to an abuse of police power.  We also defend against warrantless searches of vehicles during traffic stops.  We review the constitutionality of the stop and the subsequent search and seizure by police.

In still other cases, the bulk of the evidence against the defendant is provided by another person who is facing similar charges. These witnesses are rarely providing testimony for the State on their own initiative so they can be viewed as untrustworthy by juries.

In situations where a person is arrested on the street, our attorneys will examine the reason for the stop and the logic behind the police’s search of the defendant. If this search is found to be improper, the entire case may be won (evidence suppressed).

Talk to a Lexington Drug Attorney Today

The consequences for a conviction of a drug charge are long lasting and severe. Take a step to protect yourself and contact our Lexington County drug lawyers today.