What You Need to Know If Charged with a Drug Crime in South Carolina
Law enforcement takes drug crimes in South Carolina very seriously as these types of crimes are sometimes associated with other criminal behavior, such as burglary and sex crimes. To help curtail drug crimes in South Carolina, drug offenses carry heavy penalties if convicted. Depending on the type of charge and drug, drug offenses can be tried as misdemeanors or felonies.
In South Carolina, there are three types of drug charges. They are:
Simple Possession: the lowest form of charge where first offenses are usually misdemeanors
Possession With Intent to Distribute (PWID): a felony that can carry serious consequences; the second or third offense of PWID usually carries a mandatory jail sentence.
Trafficking: a felony that carries a mandatory jail sentence and is determined by the weight (ounces) of the drug.
How Can We Help You?
What To Do Next
If you are accused of a drug crime in South Carolina, you need an experienced criminal defense attorney on your side to help you navigate the process and focus on securing the best possible outcome. Attorney Robert (“Robbie”) Ferguson has 12+ years’ experience as both a prosecutor and criminal defense attorney, including defending clients charged with drug offenses and drug trafficking. Robbie’s depth of experience means he understands the law and criminal system in South Carolina and will work tirelessly for you to determine the best strategy for your defense.
Whether you’ve been charged with a misdemeanor or highly complex felony or capital offense, contact the attorneys at Ferguson & Ferguson, LLC today at 843-470-4704 to schedule a consultation.
FAQs on Drug Crime or Drug Offense Cases
Q. If I intend to plead guilty, why do I need a lawyer?
A lawyer can help you understand your constitutional rights and the potential defenses prior to any guilty plea. By pleading guilty, you are waiving your rights and any potential defenses you may have. There may be collateral consequences of a guilty plea such as asset forfeiture, increased penalty for subsequent offenses, required drug and alcohol counseling, etc. Seeking the counsel of an attorney well-versed in criminal defense will ensure you understand all your rights and are making the best decision for you and your future.
Q. What kind of drug cases has Ferguson & Ferguson, LLC defended?
We defend drug charges, including simple possession, sale and distribution, possession with intent to distribute and drug trafficking.
Q. What is the difference between a misdemeanor and a felony marijuana charge?
A simple possession of marijuana is the possession of less than 28 grams or one ounce of marijuana. Simple possession of marijuana is punishable by up to 30 days in jail or fines of $100 up to $200.
PWID MJ is the possession of a quantity of marijuana coupled with evidence of the intent to distribute. Evidence of the intent to distribute may be the presence of scales, baggies, etc. Additionally, the possession of over 28 grams or one ounce of marijuana allows for the inference of the intent to distribute based on the quantity in possession. It is important to note that the inference of intent is rebuttable. PWID MJ is a felony and is punishable by up to five years in prison or a fine of up to $5,000.00.
Trafficking marijuana is the possession and/or distribution of 10 pounds or more of marijuana. This charge is a felony and punishable by a one-year mandatory sentence minimum up to 30 years in prison, and fines of $10,000 up to $200,000.
Q. Is there a way to get drug charges reduced?
Yes, the prosecutor and/or arresting officer may offer to reduce a drug charge to a lesser offense as part of a plea negotiation. Additionally, if the facts do not support the greater offense, the charge may be reduced to a lesser offense. It is important to seek the counsel of an experienced criminal defense lawyer familiar with drug charges to understand your rights and the best defense for your case.
Q. What if the police conducted an illegal search?
The United States Constitution and the South Carolina Constitution protect you from unreasonable searches and seizures. This provision means that law enforcement mush have probable cause before obtaining a search warrant or searching pursuant to one of the exceptions to the warrant requirement. If a search was performed without a warrant, and no recognized exception to the warrant requirement applies, the evidence seized during an unreasonable or unlawful search cannot be used against you in court.
Disclaimer – This website, and all materials within it, have been prepared by Ferguson & Ferguson, LLC for informational purposes only. This information is not legal advice, and it is not intended to and does not create a lawyer-client relationship. Viewing or receiving this information does not constitute or create a lawyer-client relationship. Internet users and other readers of this information should not act upon it without seeking professional legal advice. Ferguson & Ferguson, LLC does not undertake a duty of confidentiality with regard to any communication sent to the firm in connection with this website. Past success does not indicate the likelihood of success in any future representation.
FERGUSON & FERGUSON, LLC
PO Box 1745, Beaufort, South Carolina, 29901-1745
1001 Bay Street, Beaufort, South Carolina 29902
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