Rock Hill Drug Crime Lawyer
Difference Between Misdemeanor & Felony Drug Charges in SC
When charged with a drug crime, you will either be facing misdemeanor charges or felony charges. Misdemeanor drug offenses are considered less severe and carry less serious penalties. Felony drug crimes are more serious and therefore involved much harsher punishments.
Whether you will face misdemeanor or felony charges is largely dependent on the weight of the drug that was in your possession. In addition, misdemeanors may be raised to felonies if there are aggravating circumstances, such as you had intent to distribute the drug or you manufactured it. You could also face felony charges for an offense that would otherwise be a misdemeanor if you have prior drug convictions.
Penalties for Drug Possession in South Carolina
In 2019, there were an estimated 1,558,862 arrests for drug offenses in the U.S. More than 86% of those arrests were for possession of a controlled substance. Penalties for drug possession in South Carolina vary depending on the drug classification. In South Carolina, controlled substances are divided into five schedules (Schedule I, II, III, IV, and V).
The penalties for possessing controlled substances include:
- Schedule I and II narcotics – First-time offenders face up to two years in jail and a maximum fine of $5,000. A second offense is a felony, carrying a punishment of up to five years in prison and a fine of $5,000. A third or subsequent offense will result in a maximum fine of $10,000 and up to five years in prison.
- Any other Schedule I, II, III, IV, or V drugs – First-time offenders face misdemeanor charges, punishable by a maximum fine of $1,000 and up to six months in jail. A second or subsequent offense results in a fine of up to $2,000 and up to one year in jail.
- Cocaine – A first offense is a misdemeanor, punishable by up to three years in prison and a maximum fine of $5,000. A second offense is a felony and carries a fine of up to $7,500 and up to five years in prison. Third and subsequent convictions will result in a maximum fine of $12,500 and up to 10 years in prison.
Types of Drug Crimes in South Carolina
Violating drug laws in South Carolina can result in significant consequences. If convicted of a drug crime, you could face thousands of dollars in fines and spend months or years in prison. In addition, your conviction will be added to your permanent record, which could affect your education and employment opportunities for the rest of your life.
I represent clients facing all types of drug charges, including:
- Simple possession
- Possession of drug paraphernalia
- Drug distribution
- Possession with intent to distribute
- Drug manufacturing
- Drug trafficking
- Drug conspiracy
With so much at stake, it is crucial to have an experienced lawyer on your side who can fight to get your charges reduced or dropped. Bruce Law Firm is here to provide the knowledgeable and strategic representation that your case demands. I have an in-depth understanding of the laws pertaining to your charges and knows what it takes to win.
Call (803) 336-7189 today for a free consultation to discuss your rights and options.
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