Whether you intentionally were transporting drugs, accidentally carried illegal substances into a state where they are illegal, or a mistake somehow happened and you've found yourself facing drug distribution or trafficking charges, the thought of time in federal prison can be terrifying. Many people do not realize that simple misdemeanor possession charges can quickly turn into federal drug charges, with severe penalties, if even just one thing goes wrong.
If you are facing federal drug trafficking charges, you should not do so alone. A drug trafficking allegation can change the course of the rest of your life, are extremely hard to have expunged, and will give you felon status in the United States, permanently taking away your right to own firearms in South Carolina, and your right to vote until your time in the court system has come to a close, including all parole after your release. Because these offenses carry such heavy consequences, it is important to choose a Greenville drug trafficking lawyer who will do everything they can to lower your charges and sentencing.
At TF Law, we are dedicated to reaching the best possible outcome, and lowest possible sentencing for all of our clients.
What is Drug Trafficking?
Drug trafficking laws don't simply apply to the transportation of illegal substances, these criminal charges can also cover possession of illegal substances, growing these substances (marijuana), "cooking" or creating these substances, as well as drug distribution, selling, purchasing, or delivering controlled substances. This doesn't only apply to illegal drugs, such as marijuana, methamphetamines, or cocaine, but also to controlled substances such as opiates.
There is a minimum amount of illegal drugs or controlled substances that a person must have on them in order to qualify for the minimum requirements to be charged with drug distribution or trafficking.
- 1 ounce of marijuana
- 10 grams of cocaine, meth, or crack
- 4 grams of heroine
- any opiates or other controlled medication or prescription drugs that are not prescribed to you
Acid, MDMA, Molly, and psychedelic mushrooms can also lead to trafficking or distribution charges. In situations where a person is arrested for possession with intent to distribute, the gross amount of product on this person must be above these levels. If the gross amount of product is below these levels, these persons would be charged with possession, but not with the intent to distribute.
However, even if you have lesser amounts of illegal drugs or controlled substances on your person, you can still be charged with trafficking and/or distribution charges if you are also in possession of certain drug-related paraphernalia, such as scales and individual bags, known as dime bags.
Learn More: Do You Need a Lawyer for Drug Charges?
How Common are Drug Trafficking Charges in South Carolina?
Nearly 575 South Carolina residents are arrested per 100,000 for drug-related charges each year in South Carolina. In 2019, that number equated to over 1.25 million arrests for drug possession, or worse.
What are the Penalties for Drug Trafficking?
Drug trafficking charges are automatically considered felony charges, and the penalties of these charges depend on the amount of drugs you are carrying, as well as the types of drugs. Marijuana charges tend to be lesser than most other drug charges because marijuana has been medically approved in states neighboring South Carolina and they are much more common charges, though marijuana is considered to be a much less harmful drug than most other illegal substances.
Simple possession of marijuana in South Carolina can you see behind bars for up 6 months and is not considered a felony. Felony possession of marijuana, which begins at an ounce, however, carries a maximum sentence of 5 years, 10 years if you were arrested within a mile of a school or a park.
Penalties for more serious drugs, such as cocaine, crack, meth, acid, etc, carry much harsher minimum sentences. For cocaine, meth, and crack, the minimum sentencing is 3 years, with a ten-year maximum for your first offense. Heroine carries a minimum sentence of 7 years.
Your sentence will depend on the amount of illegal drugs you were carrying at the time of your arrest, or were found in your car and/or home. Over 100 lbs of weed, 100 grams of cocaine, meth, or crack, and 14 grams of heroin all equate to a minimum sentence of 25 years in federal prison.
Because drug crimes are considered violent crimes, whether or not any violence happened, all drug charges in the state of South Carolina are exempt from normal bail, bond, and parole rules. South Carolina has extremely harsh drug laws, and without extremely rare circumstances, persons charged with PWID (possession with intent to distribute) are normally not eligible for parole and/or bail.
What Should You do if Charged With Drug Trafficking?
Drug charges are extremely serious, especially in states like South Carolina with extremely harsh drug laws. South Carolina lawmakers want drugs off the streets, which often means trying to put people away for much longer than they deserve in an attempt to get drugs off of the streets.
No matter the reason for your arrest, you can always fight back if you have an experienced drug crime lawyer on your side. Whether that means taking a plea deal, getting your trafficking charges lowered to possession charges, or attempting to have your charges dropped all other, hiring a dedicated Greenville criminal defense attorney will always be your best chance.
Contact Us Today for a Free Consultation
At Touma & Fedalei Law, we believe that every client that walks through our doors deserves the best possible representation possible. Through a free initial consultation, we will sit down with you, go over the facts and evidence of your case, and help you choose the best game plan for how to handle your charges. As experienced Greenville drug charge lawyers, we're dedicated to providing the best possible defense, tailored to their case.