The myriad of local and federal drug offenses in the United States can be overwhelming. A person can face charges for possessing, using, selling, distributing, trafficking, manufacturing, or cultivating drugs. They could also face allegations for offenses related to drug paraphernalia, controlled substances available by prescription, broadly unlawful narcotics such as heroin, as well as conspiracy to commit drug crimes. Hiring an experienced criminal defense attorney could help you understand the many charges associate with illicit substances.

Further confusion may arise especially when it comes to marijuana laws. Some states have legalized medical marijuana in one form or another, some have decriminalized the drug generally, and some continue to prohibit possession. If you have been charged with a substance possession offense, it could be beneficial to seek assistance from a North Charleston drug lawyer to understand the consequences of your charge and how you could avoid a conviction.

Unlawful Drug Transactions in North Charleston

Section §44-53-370 of the South Carolina Code of Laws prohibits a range of conduct associated with disseminating drugs, individually or with others. These laws include unlawfully creating, distributing, delivering, purchasing, and manufacturing controlled or counterfeit substances or possessing such substances so as to engage in any of these activities. Penalties for these offenses vary depending on the drug’s classification under the Controlled Substances Act by the United States Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA).

A controlled substance will fall within one of five schedules established by the DEA, with the most medically sanctioned and least addictive drugs classified as a Schedule V and the least sanctioned and most subject to abuse as Schedule 1. For example, heroin is classified on Schedule I, cocaine on Schedule II, anabolic steroids on Schedule III, Xanax on Schedule IV, and Lyrica on Schedule V.

A drug charge could have different penalties depending on the substance’s classification and the amount that was carried. A substance offense attorney in the area is familiar with the strategies for preventing serious repercussions and can help an individual understand the charges against them.

Local Marijuana Laws

As far as nationwide trends go, the marijuana laws in South Carolina fall on the stricter side, but the state does permit limited uses for cannabis and hemp. State laws are not as strict as in, Idaho, for example, which prohibits marijuana use for any reason. By necessity, this strictness also applies at the federal level, where the DEA continues to classify marijuana as a Schedule I drug. However, individual states may adopt a more liberal policy, as most now have.

North Charleston residents should keep in mind that marijuana purchased legally outside of South Carolina may violate local laws if possessed, used, or circulated within the state. Under the South Carolina Code, a person convicted of possessing an ounce or less of marijuana for the first time may be imprisoned for up to 30 days or fined $100 to $200. For further insight on state marijuana laws and penalties, an individual should consider speaking with a drug lawyer in North Charleston.

Seek a North Charleston Drug Attorney Who Understands the Laws and Penalties at All Levels

Whether you face a first-time misdemeanor charge for possessing an ounce of marijuana or a harsher charge for distributing a large quantity of a controlled substance, you could benefit from legal assistance. With the vast range of charges and classification, discussing all potential alternatives to conviction with a North Charleston drug lawyer may be your best option.

Because every subsequent conviction could further jeopardize one’s finances, freedom, and reputation, a relatively minor offense could have a major effect. Limit the damage of any charge by getting informed and making wise decisions about legal action. Hiring a knowledgeable attorney could make all the difference. Call today to get started.