A Brief Guide to Drug Crime Punishments in South Carolina

Unlawful drug offenses in South Carolina include the purchase, sale, trafficking, distribution, manufacturing, possession, or possession with intent to distribute controlled substances. Every one of these offenses is aggressively prosecuted by law enforcement and the Circuit Solicitor’s Office in an attempt to clean up the streets.

If you’re convicted of a drug crime, you’ll find yourself facing heavy fines and extended prison terms, as well as a difficult future when it comes time to rent a property, get a job, or obtain custody of your child. That’s why it’s so important to understand and fight these charges with the help of a good lawyer.

What Are the Specific Drug Charges in South Carolina?

  1. Drug Possession – The possession of street drugs with no medicinal use, or prescription drugs for which you do not have a valid prescription, are both illegal. Any drug that falls in the schedule I – VI categories is unlawful to possess, and pharmaceutical drugs are highly regulated due to their addictive nature.
  2. Drug Distribution, Manufacture, or Possession With Intent to Distribute – Distribution is defined as transferring or selling a controlled substance to another person. Manufacturing refers to the production, growth, or gathering of ingredients for illegal drugs. Possession with intent to distribute involves possessing more drugs than you would need for personal use. All three of these charges are considered serious indictments.
  3. Drug Trafficking – If you’re found to be in possession of a large amount of an illicit substance, you can be charged with drug trafficking. The court does not need to prove intent for you to be found guilty of this crime.

What Are the Punishments for Drug Offenses in South Carolina?

The penalties for drug charges in South Carolina can vary depending on the amount and type of controlled substance in your possession, and what offense you’re being charged with. These are the punishments for the most commonly prosecuted substances:

  1. Methamphetamine – Possession of meth will get you between two and five years in prison, as well as a fine of at least $5,000. If you’re convicted of distribution, manufacture, or possession with intent to distribute, you’ll face a prison sentence of 15 to 20 years and a much steeper fine of up to $25,000. Trafficking is worse yet with 25 years in prison and up to a $50,000 fine.
  2. Marijuana – If you’re found in possession of marijuana for personal use, you may be given up to 30 days in jail or a $100 – $200 fine. Manufacture, possession with intent to distribute, and distribution will all land you in jail for up to 5 years with a fine up to $5,000. Trafficking has a penalty of one to 10 years imprisonment and a heavy fine up to $10,000.
  3. Cocaine – Possession of cocaine leads to up to two years in prison and a fine of at least $5,000. Distribution, possession with intent to distribute, and drug manufacture have a penalty of a $25,000 fine and 15 years imprisonment. Trafficking has a slightly lesser punishment with a similar $25,000 fine but only three to 10 years in prison.

By hiring an experienced defense lawyer to combat your drug charges in South Carolina, you can ensure that your rights and future will be protected. Call the Greg McCollum Complete Legal Defense Team at 843-321-4968 to discuss your defense options for the best possible outcome.