What Happens If Convicted of a Drug Crime

Drug crimes represent extremely serious offenses, even if we are talking of simple possession of marijuana. South Carolina laws have zero tolerance for any kind of possession, manufacturing or trafficking of controlled substances. Thus, if you are charged with any drug crime, you must hire a skilled Spartanburg criminal defense lawyer and start building your case.

Let us explain the short term and long term consequences of a drug crime conviction in our state.

The First Consequence: Harsh Fines and Prison Sentences

South Carolina legislation on drug offenses shows no lenience, even for first-time offenders. One thing you must remember is that our state did not join other U.S. states which made marijuana legal. You will be charged even if you are found in possession of a small quantity for personal use.

But let us examine the sentencing in more detail:

Penalties for Schedule I and II Narcotics and LSD

If you are found in possession of LSD and narcotics (including all opiates and cocaine) included in Schedule I and II of controlled substances, you are facing the following sentences:

  • For the first offense: up to 15 years in prison, up to $25000 fine or both
  • For the second offense: between minimum 5 and maximum 30 years in prison, $50,000 fine or both
  • For the third and subsequent offenses: between minimum 10 and maximum 30 years in prison, $50,000 fines or both

Penalties for Other Schedule I and II Drugs

Leaving aside narcotics, Schedule I and II controlled substances include:

  • Ecstasy
  • Heroin
  • Marijuana
  • Methamphetamine

The penalties for possessing these types of drugs are:

  • The first offense: up to 5 years in prison, $5,000 fine or both
  • The second offense: up to 10 years in prison, $10,000 fine or both
  • The third offense and subsequent: between 5 and 20 years in prison, $20,000 fine or both

our state imposes severe penalties for drug possession and trafficking

Penalties for Schedule IV Substances

Schedule IV controlled substances include prescription medication with a potential for abuse and addiction, such as:

  • Ambien
  • Darvocet
  • Valium
  • Xanax

In this situation, the penalties range from up to 3 years in prison and a $3,000 fine to up to 5 years in prison and a $6,000 fine for second and subsequent offenses.

You should contact a skilled Spartanburg criminal defense lawyer if you are charged with unlawful possession of such prescription drugs, even if it was a small quantity.

Losing Your Professional License

The consequences of a drug crime conviction go beyond the sentence you receive at the end of the trial. If you are working in a job requiring a professional license, you will most certainly lose it and will never be able to practice that job.

Such jobs include:

  • Health care professional (doctor, nurse)
  • Veterinarian
  • Accountant
  • Lawyer
  • Commercial driver

Even if you are convicted for lesser charges, have your charges dismissed or are found not guilty, you may still face disciplinary action from the appropriate regulatory board.

Loss of Civil Rights

Last but not least, you will lose the privilege of exercising various civil rights if you are convicted of a drug crime. These include:

  • The right to own a firearm
  • The right to vote
  • The right to serve on a jury

Consult with a Spartanburg Criminal Defense Lawyer If Charged with a Drug Crime!

A drug crime conviction is a lasting negative mark on your criminal record and on your life. You will face loss of various rights, having to retrain for a lesser paying job, as well as social stigma.

You owe it to yourself to have the best defense pitted against the prosecution during the trial. This is why you must talk to an experienced Spartanburg criminal defense lawyer at Baldwin Law as soon as possible after being charged.

We offer each new client a free case review, so call us today: 864-777-4615!

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