The penalties for drug trafficking are more severe than for simple possession, and a defendant could face a sentence of several years in prison if convicted on trafficking charges.

A Charleston drug trafficking lawyer who is familiar with the South Carolina Code of Laws could review the details of your case and prepare an appropriate legal defense to the charges you are facing. A lawyer could also safeguard your legal rights, including your constitutional right to due process.

Drug Trafficking Laws in Charleston

South Carolina law distinguishes drug trafficking from the lesser offense of possession based on the amount of drugs or controlled substances in a person’s possession.

The amount of a drug or controlled substance a person must be in possession of to constitute drug trafficking varies by drug. A person could be charged with and prosecuted for drug trafficking if found to be in possession of any of the following drugs in the amount indicated:

  • Cocaine — 10 grams or more
  • Marijuana — 10 pounds or more
  • Methaqualone — 15 grams or more
  • Heroin or morphine — 4 grams or more
  • MDMA or ecstasy — 100 tablets, capsules, etc., or more
  • LSD — 100 tablets, capsules, etc., or more

A Charleston drug trafficking attorney could explain the minimum amounts of other types of drugs and controlled substances that constitute drug trafficking under state law.

Other Drug Offenses in Charleston

In addition to being charged with drug trafficking, it is also possible for a defendant to be simultaneously charged with other drug offenses in Charleston. Other potential charges include manufacturing, distributing, selling, possession with the intent to distribute, or conspiracy to manufacture, sell, or distribute illicit drugs or controlled substances. A drug trafficking lawyer in Charleston could help defend against multiple correlated drug charges.

Sanctions for Drug Trafficking in Charleston

The sanctions for drug trafficking offenses in Charleston vary based on the substance allegedly being trafficked, as well as whether it is a first, second, or subsequent offense. For example, the sanction for a first offense of trafficking between 10 and 100 pounds of marijuana includes a prison sentence of 1-10 years, but 5-20 years for a second offense. A third or subsequent offense is punishable by a mandatory prison sentence of 25 years.

Similarly, the sanctions for a first offense of trafficking between 10-28 grams of cocaine includes a prison sentence of 3-10 years. A second offense is punishable by 5-30 years in prison, while a third or subsequent offense is punishable by 25-30 years in prison. A Charleston attorney could work to mitigate the penalties for a defendant’s specific charge.

Speak with a Drug Trafficking Attorney in Charleston

It could be to your advantage to retain a Charleston drug trafficking lawyer who is familiar with the drug laws and could prepare an appropriate legal defense to the specific charges against you.

In addition to developing an effective defense, an attorney could also accompany you during police questioning, negotiate with prosecutors, and file any necessary paperwork. For legal assistance, speak with a drug trafficking attorney in Charleston about your case as soon as possible.