Myrtle Beach Drug Lawyer

Myrtle Beach is one of the country’s premier vacation destinations. People from around the country gather here to have a good time. Often, that good time involves drugs. While most people who use, buy, or sell drugs do not get caught, when you do, the state has potentially severe consequences. Getting the help of a reasonable defense attorney can make all the difference in your outcome.

The potential punishments for drug crimes vary tremendously. The punishment for a first-time possession charge is much lighter than the punishment for a distribution charge or multiple lower offenses. Understanding the potential consequences and available defenses is critical to your defense strategy. A Myrtle Beach drug lawyer could help you understand the charges and evidence against you.

Types of Drug Crimes

South Carolina Code Ann. § 44-53-10 divides drug crimes into five basic types: possession, distribution, manufacturing, trafficking, and conspiracy. Generally, charges depend on the amount and type of drugs a person has in their possession. A person may face state and federal charges for certain drug crimes.

Drug possession crimes allege a defendant had possession of a recreational amount of drugs. Possession can be actual—a defendant has them on their body—or constructive—the drugs are in a defendant’s immediate vicinity. Possession charges are the lowest-level drug charges and are often misdemeanor offenses. For example, possessing less than an ounce of marijuana is a misdemeanor charge handled in Summary Court. First-time offenders with possession charges may qualify for deferred adjudication.

Distribution or possession with intent to distribute has the same elements as possession. However, the quantity of the drug is larger than what people generally have for personal use. That amount and punishment vary by drug.

Manufacturing involves preparing drugs for sale. Growing, producing, and preparing drugs all fall under this umbrella. Even growing a cannabis plant for personal use could potentially qualify as manufacturing with a potential sentence of up to five years.

Once the amount of drugs reaches a certain level, the crime goes from distribution to trafficking. The state’s trafficking laws are stringent, especially for narcotics. They can lead to lengthy prison sentences and may require a defendant to serve 85 percent of the sentence before being eligible for parole. Anyone charged with trafficking needs the help of a drug attorney in Myrtle Beach.

Conspiracy charges may attach to underlying drug charges. They apply when two or more people have an agreement to engage in a criminal enterprise. Conspiracy charges do not generally attach to possession charges but might attach to all other drug charges. Through conspiracy charges, a person can be found guilty of drug charges even if they do not have drugs in their possession.

Defenses to Drug Offenses

Almost all drug charges depend on a person being in possession of the substances. However, people rarely openly use, sell, or buy drugs in front of police officers. The police use techniques allowing them to search people’s homes, cars, or bodies for drugs. Some of these techniques are legitimate, while others are questionable.

A Myrtle Beach defense attorney may focus on the legality of those searches. When the police failed to comply with Fourth Amendment rules regarding searches and seizures, an attorney may be able to get the evidence excluded from a trial.

Talk to a Drug Lawyer in Myrtle Beach

Drug charges can have a devastating impact on your life. Some of them carry substantial potential fines and lengthy prison sentences. While lower-level offenses may not have the same criminal penalties, a conviction can impact other parts of your life. They can affect future employability, custody decisions, employment, and more.

You need a Myrtle Beach drug lawyer to help you navigate these charges. Schedule a consultation with the attorneys at Price Benowitz. We offer a free case evaluation. Our team could explain the charges against you, potential penalties, and possible defenses. Call today to learn more.

Myrtle Beach Criminal Defense Lawyer