If you are arrested on drug charges, get the best defense possible from a Columbia, SC drug crime lawyer at The Leventis Law Firm.
Even just having drugs in your possession, without any evidence that you used the drugs or planned to sell them, is a criminal offense.
Under current South Carolina law, willfully possessing, selling or manufacturing any illegal controlled substance is a criminal offense.
If you are found in possession of a drug and are facing criminal charges as a result, you need to call our Columbia, SC drug crime lawyer today. The Leventis Law Firm is here to help you fight those criminal charges and protect your rights with the help of our drug charges defense attorneys.
We know how difficult it can be to face our criminal justice system alone. We offer our clients aggressive legal representation and support during one of the most challenging times in their lives. Contact the Leventis Law Firm at (803) 256-0113 today to get started.
BASIC DRUG CHARGES IN SOUTH CAROLINA/
While all possession, sale and use of illegal drugs is a criminal offense in South Carolina, the severity of that offense will vary depending on the type of drug, how it was possessed, how much of the drug was present and even where the arrest took place. Some of the more common types of drugs that can lead to drug charges include:
Controlled prescription drugs.
In addition, large amounts of ephedrine, a drug commonly found in cough and cold medicine, can lead to drug charges. Any purchase or possession of more than 9 grams of this particular drug is considered a criminal offense.
Not only does the type of drug impact the type of offense and the severity of the criminal penalties in South Carolina, but also the action taken with the drug. Some common activities include:
Distribution is the actual sale of the drug. With many drugs, distribution is not weight dependent. Even selling just one marijuana cigarette can lead to distribution charges.
Possession with Intent
Possession with intent refers to possessing the drug with the intent to sell it. This carries heavier fines and penalties. Possession with intent is often a felony charge.
Manufacturing a drug with the intent to distribute is often a felony charge, and fines can be as high as $25,000 for first offenses, depending on the drug in question. In the case of marijuana, growing even just one plant can lead to manufacturing charges.
Drug trafficking is similar to distribution, but trafficking charges are more often weight dependent. In the case of marijuana, a person can be charged with trafficking if caught growing 100 or more plants.
Simple possession refers to simply having the drug in one’s possession. A first offense for most drugs is considered a misdemeanor and carries fines and potential jail time. You can be charged with possession of drugs that are not yours if they are found in your car or home and the police can prove that you have control over them as a result.
Being found in possession of drugs near a protected area, like a school, can lead to the addition of a proximity offense to your charges.
As you can see, the number of different South Carolina charges that are possible in drug cases are extensive. While the penalties range from misdemeanor charges to felony charges, the end result is the same. If you are charged with drug crimes, you will face high fines and almost certain jail time. That’s why talking to a drug charge lawyer is so important. If you or someone you love has been found with drugs or is facing drug charges, contact the Leventis Law Firm right away to discuss the details of your case with a qualified Columbia, SC drug crime attorney.
PARTNER WITH A COLUMBIA, SC DRUG CRIME ATTORNEY TO BUILD YOUR DEFENSE/
Getting caught with drugs can feel like an impossible situation, but you need to know that you have rights. Even if the evidence seems to be stacked against you, you still have the right to a fair trial and the help of a lawyer. There are laws in place governing what the police are allowed to do when arresting someone for drug charges; if any of your rights were violated, your charges may be invalid.
Working with an attorney from the Leventis Law Firm will help you find these types of issues so you can build a solid defense.
A knowledgeable Columbia, SC drug charge lawyer is ready to fight for you. We have helped many who faced the sobering reality of drug crimes charges build a defense and successfully defend their rights. No matter how serious your charges may be, we will fight for you and help you understand your rights.
Contact the Leventis Law Firm at (803) 256-0113 today to discuss your case with a caring and tenacious drug charges defense attorney.
Marijuana Drug Charges/
Marijuana is a controlled substance, which means that penalties for possessing or selling marijuana can be harsher in South Carolina than in other states. Depending on how much marijuana you are arrested with, the charge can be a misdemeanor or a felony. If you possess less than an ounce (28 grams), the charge will typically be a misdemeanor. When someone is arrested for possessing more than an ounce of marijuana, the charge can be considered possession with the intent to distribute, which is a felony.
Other states have more lenient laws regarding marijuana, but possession and distribution is still considered a very serious offense in South Carolina. If you’ve been arrested for marijuana-related offenses, you should contact a Columbia, SC drug crime attorney immediately.
Prescription Drug Charges/
Prescription drugs are unique because possession charges are completely dependent on the existence of a doctor’s prescription. Possession of an opiate is completely legal for someone with a prescription for that drug, while another person can be charged with very serious crimes if they don’t have a prescription. Here are just a few of the medications that can carry serious criminal charges…
Medications containing codeine, such as certain cough syrups
Controlled Substance Criminal Charges/
The severity of drug charges depends on how the drug is classified and regulated by our government. For example, acetaminophen isn’t tightly regulated and is available for anyone who wants to purchase it. Other drugs, however, are closely monitored by the government, and possession or distribution of them can carry harsh penalties.
The government classifies controlled substances in “schedules,” which means levels or degrees. Zolpidem, the generic name for Ambien, is classified as a Schedule IV drug. Fentanyl, a powerful opiate, is classified as a Schedule I drug.
A drug’s schedule is a classification intended to describe the drug’s acceptable medical use and potential for abuse. It is not a designation that defines criminal charges. Even possession of a drug that is not on the federal list of controlled substances can be prosecuted the same way as a Schedule I drug will be dealt with.
While the specific schedule of a drug isn’t directly related to criminal charges, the classification of a drug as a “controlled substance” does impact how someone in possession of that drug will be charged.
Cocaine Drug Charges/
Cocaine is completely prohibited in the United States. It is considered a Schedule I narcotic, and while penalties for possession of small amounts might be considered a misdemeanor, subsequent offenses or possession of larger quantities of cocaine is considered a felony.
If a person is arrested for trafficking cocaine multiple times, they can face up to 30 years’ imprisonment and up to $200,000 in fines. Similar charges are given for substances derived from or including cocaine, such as crack.
If you’ve been charged with the possession, sale or trafficking of illegal substances in South Carolina, we encourage you to contact the Columbia, SC, drug charge lawyers at the Leventis Law Firm. We will get to work on your case immediately upon receiving your call.
HOW A DRUG CHARGE CAN IMPACT YOUR LIFE/
While we’ve discussed imprisonment and fines associated with drug charges, it’s important to understand that there are many other consequences of a drug charge in South Carolina.
A drug charge can impact your ability to find a job. Many employers won’t consider hiring a candidate that has a criminal background, particularly if that criminal record includes drug charges. For professionals who work in fields that require licenses, a drug charge can put a career in peril.
Housing might also become an issue for drug offenders. When screened by landlords, a criminal background will be scrutinized, and a housing applicant can be denied a rental property for past drug charges.
Financial and educational opportunities can be impacted by drug charges in South Carolina. For those who want to put the past behind them, our criminal justice system makes moving forward quite difficult, and institutions like corporations, colleges and banks offer little sympathy to those with a criminal record.
The impact of a criminal record can seem daunting, but attorneys know how to mitigate the damage on your personal life. Contact the Columbia, SC, drug defense lawyers at the Leventis Law Firm to learn more about your option.
Remember two things: Stop talking and call a drug charge lawyer./
You might be tempted to talk to the police when they question you. Don’t resist arrest or be confrontational with the authorities. This will create more problems and potentially lead to additional charges. However, you should remain silent and say the absolute minimum to the police.
You could feel the need to “talk your way out of it,” or explain your situation to the police. Authorities like it when you do this. They say or do whatever they can to get you to talk at greater lengths about your situation. The police know that the more you say, the more fuel you’re giving prosecutors.
Don’t do the authorities any favors: stop talking.
The only thing you should say is, “I’d like to call my attorney.” These words are a powerful statement that lets the authorities know you will not be incriminating yourself.
A drug charge lawyer will immediately get to work on your behalf. They’ll stop you from saying anything that will hurt your case and give you advice on how to proceed. Call the Columbia, SC, drug crime lawyers at the Leventis Law Firm as soon as possible after your arrest. We will respond to your call promptly and ensure that your rights are being protected.
Don’t post to social media either.
After your arrest, or after your release from jail, you should avoid the temptation to speak at length to anyone about the details of your case. The more you say, the more you could make life difficult for people close to you that could become potential witnesses. If you are a user of social media platforms, do yourself a favor and stay away from all of them. Posting anything about your case could completely derail your defense. Even posts about things unrelated to your case can be used against you by prosecutors.
A drug charge lawyer in Columbia, SC will give you valuable advice in the days, weeks and months following your arrest. Follow their advice closely and be mindful that both your words and your actions can be used against you in court.