Pickens County drug charge lawyer
Any willful possession, distribution, and trafficking of illegal drugs and controlled substances such as marijuana, methamphetamine, cocaine, LSD, club drugs and heroin fall under the umbrella of drug offenses. Any such activity is considered illegal in South Carolina. Also, the possession of any chemicals that can be used in the drug cultivation and manufacturing of such drugs is also a criminal offense in Pickens County, SC. If you have been charged with any of these offenses, you need to consult a South Carolina drug charge lawyer as soon as possible.
As far as drug offenses are considered, there are different considerations, penalties, and punishments for different types of drugs.
Controlled Dangerous Substances
Specifically, the legal system in Pickens County, SC divides controlled dangerous substances (CDS) into five schedules. These schedules are based on the degree of dangerousness of the drugs and include:
- Schedule I drugs which could include opiates and opium derivatives and hallucinogenic substances. The drugs included in this category have a high risk of abuse and could be unsafe if used for medical purposes, even if it is done under medical supervision.
- Schedule II drugs include coca leaves and opiums. Drugs in this category have a high risk of abuse, and while they may have a medical use, abuse or dependency on the drug could result in severe psychological and physical dependence.
- Schedule III drugs include codeine and amphetamines. These drugs have a lower risk of abuse as well as a low or moderate risk of physical dependence. However, these drugs may have accepted medical use but are believed to have a high level of psychological dependence.
- Schedule IV drugs include barbiturates. These drugs have a low risk of physical and psychological dependence and also have an acce[ted medical use.
- Schedule V drugs have the lowest potential for abuse as well as limited physical or psychological dependence. This category could include narcotic drugs
While marijuana law is undergoing significant change throughout the U.S., with some states legalizing its recreational use while others legalizing its medical use, South Carolina is one state in the US where all forms of marijuana possession, sale or trafficking is considered illegal. There is only one exception, and that is cannabidiol (CBD), a compound in cannabis which is known to be effective in patients with debilitating epileptic conditions.
Drug Possession Charges
Possession, distribution, and trafficking of illegal drugs is both a federal and state offense. Anybody accused of drug possession, drug distribution or drug trafficking will be charged if the prosecution is able to prove that they had the knowledge that the drug they were dealing with was a controlled substance and that they knowingly had possession of or control over the drug. It is important to note that drug possession does not only include possession of the drug physically or on one’s person. Constructive possession is also considered possession and refers to a situation where the person does not have the drugs on their person at the time of arrest but have access to the drugs. For example, a person believed to be engaging in drug-related offenses may not have the drugs on him but may have access to a van filled narcotics. This will be considered as constructive possession and is still considered a crime.
There are two main categories of drug possession:
- Simple possession with refers to the possession of drugs for personal use
- Possession with the specific intent of distributing and selling illegal drugs and substances.
Marijuana Possession in Pickens County, SC
There are two degrees of unlawful possession of marijuana in Pickens County, SC. These include:
- First-degree possession and a Class C felony for possessing marijuana for a purpose other than personal use or for personal use after a previous conviction of unlawful possession of marijuana. If convicted, the drug offender can be fined up to $15,000 and can get between 1 to 10 years in prison.
- Second-degree possession and a Class A misdemeanor if found in possession of pot for personal use. If convicted, the drug offender can be fined up to $6000 and could receive a prison sentence of up to one year.
Penalties for Drug Possession in Pickens County, SC
Penalties for drug possession in Pickens County, SC vary according to the type of drug, the quantity of the drug, the age of the offender and their past record concerning drug offenses. Drug possession penalties that can be imposed on drug offenders include:
- Misdemeanor with up to $6000 fine and up to one year in jail if found in possession of fewer than 2.2 pounds of marijuana.
- Class C Felony with up to $15,000 fine and 1-10 years in jail if found in possession of more than 2.2 pounds of marijuana or 28 grams of cocaine.
- Class C Felony with up to $50,000 fine and three years in jail if found in possession of more than 28 grams but less than 500 grams of cocaine.
- Class C Felony with up to $15,000 fine and 1-10 years in jail if found in possession of fewer than 28 grams of methamphetamine.
- Class C Felony with up to $50,000 fine and three years in jail if found in possession of more than 28 grams but less than 500 grams of methamphetamine.
- Class C Felony with up to $15,000 fine and 1-10 years in jail if found in possession of fewer than 4 grams of heroin.
Penalties for Drug Distribution in Pickens County, SC
Any individual who engages in the distribution or selling of illegal drugs can face from 10 to 99 years in prison and fines up to $60,000. Unlike drug possession, drug distribution is never considered a misdemeanor. All types of drug distribution activities in Pickens County, SC are considered Class A felony drug offenses.
The unlawful distribution of marijuana is classified as a Class B felony in Pickens County, SC. The drug offender could be fined up to $30,000 with 2 to 10 years in prison. In case an adult sells marijuana to a minor, the charge is increased to a Class A felony which could be subject to a maximum fine of $60,000 and 10-99 years in jail or life imprisonment. Also, any individual engaged in distributing and selling marijuana within 3 miles of a public or private school or university will be subject to an additional five years in prison without the possibility of probation.
Drug Trafficking in Pickens County, SC
Drug trafficking penalties also depend on the amount of drug and where the drug trafficking occurred and if there were any minors involved or affected. However, for a first time offender, the following are the penalties in Pickens County, SC:
- A Class A felony leads to a $25,000 fine and minimum three years in prison if convicted of drug trafficking more than 2.2 pounds but less than 100 pounds of marijuana.
- A Class A felony leads to a $50,000 fine and minimum five years in prison if convicted of drug trafficking 100 to 500 pounds of marijuana.
- A Class A felony leads to a $200,000 fine and minimum 15 years in prison if convicted of drug trafficking 500 to 1000 pounds of marijuana.
- A Class A felony leads to life imprisonment without the possibility of parole if convicted of drug trafficking more than 1000 pounds of marijuana.
- A Class A felony leads to a $50,000 fine and minimum three years in prison if convicted of drug trafficking more than 28 grams but less than 500 grams of cocaine.
- A Class A felony leads to a $50,000 fine and minimum three years in prison if convicted of drug trafficking more than 28 grams but less than 500 grams of methamphetamine or more than 4 grams but less than 14 grams of heroin.
The South Carolina Drug Trafficking Enterprise Act also holds that any person who manages a minimum of 5 people and specifically engages in marijuana trade from which they derive a substantial income could face higher fines and longer sentences. A first-time conviction could result in 25 years in prison and fines between $50,000 to $500,000. A second conviction could result in life imprisonment without parole and fines between $150,000 to $1,000,000 fine.
Other Penalties for Drug Offenses in Pickens County, SC
Some other penalties if charged with possession, distribution, and trafficking of other drugs including CDS include:
- A Class A misdemeanor is punishable by no more than one year jail time if found in possession of marijuana for personal use.
- A Class C misdemeanor is punishable by no more than three months in jail for possession of imitation CDS.
- A Class C felony is punishable by one to 10 years in prison and fines up to $15,000 for possession of any CDS listed in Schedules 1 through V; for obtaining CDS by fraud, deceit or misrepresentation, concealment or prescription alteration; and possessing marijuana with intent to sell or distribute.
- A Class B felony is punishable with up to $30,000 in fines and two to 20 years in prison for possession, purchase, transfer or distribution of anhydrous ammonia while knowing that it would be used to manufacture a CDS.
Drug Paraphernalia in Pickens County, SC
Drug paraphernalia includes any equipment that may be used to produce, conceal and consume illegal drugs and substances. These could include bongs, roach clips, spoons, pipes, syringes, etc. Legally speaking, any equipment, product or material that is specifically intended or designed for use in the manufacturing, compounding, converting, concealing, producing, possessing, preparing, injecting, ingesting, inhaling or introducing a controlled substance into a human body falls under the definition of drug paraphernalia.
Drug paraphernalia is illegal in the US, and any person who sells or offers to sell such equipment or engages in the transportation of drug paraphernalia or import or export drug paraphernalia is committing a drug offense.
Consequences of Drug Offense Convictions in Pickens County, SC
Drug offenses are treated very severely in Pickens County, SC. Marijuana laws may have become more relaxed in other states, but South Carolina continues to consider it illegal.
Anybody found guilty of possessing, distributing and trafficking illegal drugs in Pickens County; SC can end up with a felony on their criminal record. They may also lose their voting privileges and their right to possess a firearm because of this conviction. Also, drug offenders may also lose their driving privileges and be subject to certain fines, fees and additional costs imposed at the time of conviction. Finally, drug offenders may have to undergo treatment under the South Carolina habitual offender.
Seek Legal Counsel for Drug Offenses in Pickens County, SC
The above discussion demonstrates that penalties for drug offenses in South Carolina can be very strict. Drug offenders convicted of drug crimes in Pickens County, SC may end up paying thousands of dollars in fines and suffering through long jail sentences if they engage in possessing, distributing or trafficking illegal drugs and controlled substances. If you are facing drug offense charges in Pickens County, SC, you should contact a drug charge lawyer immediately. These charges should not be taken lightly.
At Brumback & Langley, our drug charge lawyer, serving Clemson, Easley, and Pickens, is here to help you deal with any drug-related charges quickly and effectively. Our legal team knows how the system works and they have extensive knowledge as to how they can navigate the system to improve the chances of a positive outcome for you. South Carolina’s drug laws are quite strict, and our drug offense lawyer understands these laws and is well-equipped to handle and resolve cases for clients facing drug charges in South Carolina. Call us to speak to our drug charge lawyer today. A drug offender conviction can significantly alter your personal, professional and financial life. Do not let misunderstandings and mistakes ruin your life. A South Carolina drug charge lawyer who understands the system and who knows how to prepare a strong defense for your case is a huge asset for people facing drug offense charges.