South Carolina Drug Lawyer

South Carolina Drug Defense Attorney

All drug charges have serious criminal penalties associated with them. Therefore, if you have been charged with a drug possession crime or other drug crime in the state of South Carolina, it is imperative that you seek out an experienced criminal defense lawyer to represent you throughout your case.

No matter what type of drug crime you have been charged with, a knowledgeable criminal defense lawyer can help to safeguard all your legal and constitutional rights while your case is pending.

A South Carolina drug lawyer may also be able to help you formulate legal defenses to your drug charge, help you to obtain a favorable plea deal from the prosecution, or represent you aggressively at trial, if necessary.

How are Drug Charges Classified in South Carolina?

South Carolina drug crimes are generally classified into two categories: felonies and misdemeanors. Generally, felonies are crimes which are punishable by more than one year of incarceration. Misdemeanors, on the other hand, are generally punishable by up to one year of incarceration – or by a fine or another penalty.  However, there are numerous exceptions in South Carolina Code of Laws.

South Carolina drug crimes are classified as either felonies or as misdemeanors, depending upon the classification of the type of drug, the amount of the drug, and whether the person is charged with simple possession, drug sale / drug distribution, or drug trafficking.

Individuals may also be charged with attempted drug crimes in cases where the specific intent to commit a crime was present, but, for whatever reason, the crime was not completed. A South Carolina drug attorney can provide guidance specific to your criminal charge.

Types of Drug Charges

South Carolina drug crimes may be classified into one or more of the following common categories:

  • Drug possession crimes – where a defendant may be charged with actual possession or constructive possession (i.e. when the drugs are found in a motor vehicle, home, or some other area within the defendant’s immediate grasp or vicinity).
  • Drug possession with intent to distribute – where the drugs found are of a sufficient quantity to presume that the defendant intended to sell or distribute them.
  • Drug manufacturing – cultivating, producing, preparing illegal drugs for distribution or personal use.
  • Drug trafficking crimes – where the drugs that were found weighed a certain amount.
  • Drug conspiracy charges – where there was an explicit or implicit agreement between two or more individuals to engage in a criminal enterprise, such as selling or distributing drugs in an open-air drug market.

Drug crimes may be prosecuted through both the South Carolina state court and the federal district court systems.

What Are the Most Common Types of Drugs?

The most common illegal drugs that warrant attention from a South Carolina drug lawyer including marijuana, methamphetamine, cocaine/crack, and heroin. Additionally, individuals could be charged for improper possession or use of controlled substances/prescription Drugs such as Xanax, Oxycontin, Alprazolam.

Penalties for Drug Crime Convictions

Penalties upon conviction for a South Carolina drug charge depend largely upon the drug classification, the type and quantity of the drug(s) at issue, the nature and circumstances of the charge, and the number of prior drug offenses or convictions.

Common penalties imposed for South Carolina drug crime convictions include the following:

  • Fines
  • Incarceration (Jail/Prison time)
  • Community service
  • Probation
  • Mandatory attendance at drug abuse treatment programs

How Do Police Officers Discover Illegal Drugs?

It is rare for a police officer to witness a drug sale or for a defendant to be openly carrying drugs in public. Instead, officers rely on techniques that allow them to search a person’s body, car, or home either through exigent circumstances or through a search warrant (e.g., using a confidential informant).

While every person has a Constitutionally protected right against illegal searches, seizures, and unreasonable invasions of privacy, these protections goes away if the police have reasonable suspicion or probable cause of a crime. This can allow an officer to search the body of a person arrested for another act, to obtain a search warrant to enter a home, or to search a car if they smell marijuana.

Fighting back against the premise that a police officer had a right to conduct these searches is key to defending many South Carolina drug cases. A South Carolina drug attorney could help to evaluate the actions of police officers and to ask a court to exclude any evidence that the police obtained using illegal methods.

Working to Contest Drug Analysis Reports

Police officers receive extensive training on how to locate and identify illegal substances. However, their opinions cannot hold up in court as evidence. While police officers may believe that their seized substances are illegal drugs, they cannot prove this in court on their own. As a result, a prosecutor’s case often hinges on the results of laboratory analysis.

A seasoned South Carolina drug attorney could help to contest the results of these tests. They can argue that the drugs did not follow the proper chain of custody, that the methods used by the analyst were incorrect, or even that the substances were not illegal drugs.

Hiring a South Carolina Drug Lawyer

Some of the most common defenses to South Carolina drug charges include mere presence, improper or deficient Miranda warnings, illegal searches and seizures, improper or illegal traffic stops, lack of probable cause, improper interrogation techniques used by police officers or investigators, and mistaken identity.

Contact a South Carolina Drug Attorney Today

Drug crimes are very fact-specific. A good criminal defense attorney may be able to assist you with obtaining a dismissal of your drug charge, a reduction of your charge by way of a plea deal with the prosecution, or a penalty reduction upon conviction.

You should feel free to contact a South Carolina drug lawyer at any time, via telephone or email, for a free initial consultation.

(803) 272-4503

South Carolina Drug Lawyer