Drug use has become socially acceptable in some parts of the country, but drug crimes are still aggressively prosecuted in South Carolina. A drug conviction can be life-altering, resulting in a lengthy prison sentence and other penalties. If you have been charged with a drug crime, turn to the Law Office of Mo Abusaft.
We have successfully defended clients against all types of criminal offenses, including drug charges. Lead attorney Monier “Mo” Abusaft knows that anyone can face drug charges but African Americans and individuals in underprivileged communities are more likely to be profiled by the police and arrested for drug crimes.
Our legal team is committed to protecting your rights and freedom, regardless of your background. When you meet with us, we will take the time to understand your circumstances and consider your legal options. Contact our Spartanburg office today to speak with an experienced drug crimes attorney.
Common Drug Charges in South Carolina
Controlled substances are dangerous, often resulting in addiction and overdoses. Drugs also threaten public safety since drug crimes often go hand-in-hand with violent crimes. For these reasons, the state vigorously prosecutes drug charges and seeks harsh penalties.
You need a skilled drug crimes attorney who will protect your rights and not back down. At the Law Office of Mo Abusaft, we have extensive experience defending clients against state and federal drug offenses, including:
Charges depend on the type and amount of narcotics involved.
Possession with intent to distribute (PWID)
This felony offense is based not only on the amount of a particular drug a person is allegedly caught with but also on whether law enforcement determines the intent to distribute is present.
Narcotics distribution charges include selling or distributing illegal controlled substances.
This offense includes producing controlled substances, such as methamphetamines, possessing drug manufacturing materials, or cultivating marijuana plants.
The distribution of controlled substances, or conspiracy to traffic drugs, is illegal under state and federal laws. Trafficking charges are usually based on the weight of the drug. Possession of more than ten grams of cocaine or cocaine base, four grams of heroin, or ten pounds of marijuana, is considered trafficking under South Carolina law. Drug trafficking can be prosecuted federally if the defendant moves narcotics across state lines.
This offense involves forging or falsifying prescriptions, possessing medication without a valid prescription, and illegally transporting, distributing, or trafficking prescription drugs.
Regardless of the charges, you need an aggressive defense, especially if overzealous prosecutors are on your case or law enforcement violated your rights due to improper or unlawful police procedures. Attorney Mo Abusaft will fight to protect your rights, freedom, and future.
How Drug Classifications Impact Your Case
South Carolina follows federal classifications based on the drug’s addictive nature, its potential to be abused, and whether it has accepted medical use.
- Schedule I – This classification includes highly addictive drugs with no known medicinal use: heroin, MDMA (ecstasy), mescaline, lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD), and peyote.
- Schedule II – These are controlled substances with some accepted medical use but likely to be abused: cocaine, methadone, methamphetamine, hydrocodone, morphine, and oxycodone.
- Schedule III – Drugs with some accepted medical purpose but only a moderate or low risk of abuse: barbiturates, anabolic steroids, and medicines containing small amounts of codeine.
- Schedule IV – This classification includes anti-anxiety drugs with low potential for addiction or abuse: Xanax, Valium, and Ambien.
- Schedule V – These are substances with small amounts of narcotics or non-narcotic active medical ingredients: over-the-counter medicines, cough syrups, and cold medications).
Drug Crime Penalties in South Carolina
Charges and penalties for drug crimes depend on factors such as:
- The drug’s classification
- Whether the drugs were intended for personal use or distribution
- Whether you have prior drug convictions
South Carolina has harsh drug laws compared to many other states. For example, possession of a Schedule I or Schedule II drug may result in a fine of up to $5,000, and up to 2 years in prison for a first offense. The penalties for a second offense include fines of up to $5,000 and to 5 years.
The penalties for drug trafficking offenses can be severe, including mandatory minimum sentences of 25 years for some trafficking charges. Moreover, some trafficking and distribution offenses are also considered violent crimes, which means a defendant may be subject to the state’s three strikes law and not be eligible for parole.
Marijuana Charges in South Carolina
Unlike other states, medical and recreational marijuana, and derivatives such as hashish, remain illegal in South Carolina. The federal government still classifies cannabis as a Schedule I drug. You could face stiff penalties for being charged with possessing, growing, or selling marijuana.
For example, possession of one ounce or less is a misdemeanor that is penalized by a fine of up to $200 and up to 30 days in jail. Many first-time offenders charged with possessing a small amount of marijuana may be able to avoid prosecution by participating in a diversion program. However, being arrested with higher amounts of marijuana can lead to PWID charges.
Why Choose Us to Defend Your Drug Charges?
Attorney Mo Abusaft has comprehensive knowledge of state and federal narcotics law and extensive experience defending clients against all types of drug charges. Our legal team will investigate your case and explore possible defenses such as:
- Law enforcement conducted a search or seizure of your home, car, or person that violated your constitutional rights
- The arresting officers failed to advise you of your Miranda rights
- The police relied on information from an unreliable confidential informant, such as a convicted drug dealer
- You did not knowingly possess the controlled substance, or someone else had exclusive control of it
- You lacked the requisite intent to commit the offense, for example, drug trafficking
You can trust us to guide you through the process and work to achieve the best possible outcome for your case.