man arrested for drug trafficking
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Drug trafficking is one of the most severe felonies in South Carolina, and even a first-time conviction comes with many legal repercussions. 

State and federal drug laws are stringent, and anyone found guilty of drug trafficking can face substantial fines, lengthy jail sentences, and a criminal record that can follow them for years. However, drug charges are complex, and the outcome of a case will depend on many factors. 

Drug Trafficking Laws in South Carolina

South Carolina classifies drug offenses based on the type and quantity of drugs involved. Drug trafficking charges can apply to the manufacturing, distributing, selling, and possessing of most controlled substances, such as:

  • Marijuana
  • Cocaine
  • Heroin
  • Methamphetamine
  • MDMA

Although many drug charges exist in South Carolina, trafficking is reserved for the most serious offenses involving a vast network of distributors, suppliers, and customers.

Federal Drug Charges

Whenever a drug crime falls beyond the scope of local or state law enforcement, you can expect to be charged under federal laws.

Federal charges are typically more severe than state ones, and the penalties for a conviction are generally harsher. Federal drug trafficking laws are enforced by various federal agencies, including the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). 

Criminal Penalties for Drug Trafficking in South Carolina

South Carolina defines drug trafficking as the intentional or knowing distribution, manufacture, or possession of a controlled substance with the intent to distribute. 

Due to the many possibilities for drug classifications and drug amounts, no two charges are ever the same. However, typical penalties for South Carolina convictions can include the following:


A first-time offender for drug possession can face up to a month in jail and a $200 fine. However, subsequent offenses can result in more significant penalties.


A conviction for drug distribution may result in up to five years in prison and a $5,000 fine. Depending on mitigating or aggravating circumstances, the consequences can vary significantly for distribution convictions.


The most severe drug charges in South Carolina are classified as trafficking and involve the most considerable quantities of illegal substances.

A conviction for trafficking can result in a minimum sentence of 25 years in state prison and fines ranging from $25,000 to $500,000, depending on the severity.

How a Drug Crimes Defense Attorney Can Help

If you’re facing drug trafficking charges in South Carolina, hiring an experienced criminal defense attorney specializing in drug crimes is essential. You can expect your attorney to engage in the following tasks:

Review the Case

Your attorney will first review all the evidence against you, including police reports, witness statements, and any other relevant documents or evidence related to the drug trafficking charges in question.


After your attorney has received all the discovery materials from the prosecutor, they’ll conduct an independent investigation to gather additional evidence or information that may help your case. This process can include interviewing witnesses and law enforcement and hiring experts to testify in your favor. 

File Motions

After reviewing the case, your attorney will look for strategic ways to challenge the case and file motions accordingly. Motions can often be filed to suppress specific evidence or dismiss the case entirely.

Negotiate a Plea Bargain

If appropriate, your attorney may also negotiate with the state to reduce the charges related to your drug offense. Although plea bargains require you to admit guilt, they’re often the safest and most efficient way to resolve a case. However, your attorney may recommend a trial if there’s strong evidence in your favor. 

Drug Offense Attorneys in Spartanburg, South Carolina

If you’ve been charged with a drug trafficking offense in Spartanburg, contact the Law Office of Mo Abusaft. As criminal defense specialists, we’re dedicated to fighting drug charges and defending your civil rights. Call us today for a free case review.