DRUG RELATED OFFENSES


There are various types of drug related offenses in South Carolina.  The applicable law and potential penalties for each individual case depends on a number of factors such as the type of substance involved, the amount of the substance, and the activity that the accused is charged with (possession, distribution, manufacturing, etc.)  Mr. Stratos has handled a multitude of drug related cases during his years as a criminal defense attorney.  A summary of the some of the more common types of drug related charges and their accompanying penalties can be found below.

Possession:

  •  S.C. Code Ann. § 44-53-370

Marijuana

The possession of marijuana is unlawful in the State of South Carolina, and the drug is classified as a Schedule I substance.  “Simple possession,” perhaps the most common charge in South Carolina, refers to being in possession of less than one ounce or twenty-eight (28) grams of marijuana.  The term “simple” refers to the assumption that it is intended for personal use as opposed to distribution.  Simple possession of marijuana is considered a misdemeanor and imposes a penalty of a fine or imprisonment (or both).  The Court also has the discretion to order participation and successful completion of an approved drug abuse program and/or a pretrial intervention (PTI) program.

Offense

Fine

Imprisonment

First*

$100 – $200

0 days – 30 days

Second (or Subsequent)

$200 – $1000

0 days – 1 year

* First time offenders are eligible for Conditional Discharge under § 44-53-450

Cocaine

Meth or Crack Cocaine

Heroin

Heroin is categorized as a Schedule I(C) controlled substance. 

Possession with Intent to Distribute (PWID):

  • S.C. Code Ann. § 44-53-370(a), (b)

The possession of certain amounts of controlled substances is automatically considered “possession with intent to distribute” (PWID) and carries heavier penalties.  The threshold amount of some controlled substances that tips the law from “possession” to PWID is listed below:

Marijuana:       twenty-eight (28) grams or one (1) ounce

Cocaine:          one (1) gram

Heroin:            two (2) grains

Marijuana

Possession with intent to distribute marijuana is considered a felony offense in South Carolina.  The penalty upon conviction includes fine or imprisonment (or both).  Below is a summary of the possible penalties.

Offense

Fine

Imprisonment

First

$0 – $5000

0 years – 5 years

Second

$0 – $10,000

0 years – 10 years

Third (or Subsequent)

$0 – $20,000

5 years – 20 years

Cocain

Heroin

Offense

Fine

Imprisonment

First

$0 – $5000

0 years – 5 years

Second

$0 – $10,000

0 years – 10 years

Third (or Subsequent)

$0 – $20,000

5 years – 20 years

Distribution Within Proximity of School:

  •  S.C. Code Ann. § 44 -53-445

Possession of Drug Paraphernalia:

  •  S.C. Code Ann. § 44-53-391