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Greenville Drug Possession Lawyer

KENDRICK & LEONARD, P.C. > Greenville Drug Possession Lawyer

Drug Charge Lawyer in Greenville, SC

Hundreds of people die every year in South Carolina, and many more lose their jobs, their possessions, and their loved ones’ respect due to drugs. In many cases, especially in Greenville, SC, it all begins with curiosity, with the desire to relax and escape routine, even for a bit. It ends in a rehabilitation center, in a courtroom for those who are lucky enough to have an experienced Greenville drug charge lawyer on their side, or in prison.

The laws in South Carolina do not care what reason you had to possess drugs or what you stand to lose in case of a conviction. They punish all drug crimes. If you had the misfortune to get caught with drugs on you, it is in your best interest to contact a Greenville drug possession lawyer as soon as possible. The charges for drug possession and the corresponding penalties depend on several factors:

  • The type and quantity of drugs in your possession
  • The evidence available against you
  • The existence of previous convictions
  • The experience and skills of your drug possession attorney

It is important to note that, although a criminal conviction by itself may not seem like much, its impact on the life of the convicted will be huge:

  • Employers usually reject applicants with drug convictions on record, labeling them as unreliable and dangerous.
  • People often isolate, look down on, and refuse to befriend former convicts and their family members.
  • The income of the family is drastically reduced when the convict loses their job and is unable to find another one.
  • Former convicts are often presumed guilty of anything occurring around them.

If you are facing drug-related charges, a Greenville drug charge lawyer can help you avoid all or at least some of these consequences. From helping you assess your situation to defending you in court, they will stand by you and protect your interests every step of the way. The best way to understand where you stand and why getting help from a reputable drug possession lawyer is so important is to take a closer look at the laws governing drug crimes in South Carolina.

South Carolina Drug Laws Overview and the Role of the Greenville Drug Charge Lawyer

Drug possession in South Carolina is subject to Title 44, Chapter 53, Article 3. Perhaps the most important part of this article is the one categorizing different types of drugs under five schedules, according to their toxicity and risk level. Here are the five schedules and the drugs each of them includes:

Schedule I

According to SC Code Section 44-53-180-190, Schedule I includes substances with a high abuse potential, that are not approved for medical use. Such substances are opiates, opium derivates, hallucinogens, depressants, stimulants, and their derivates.

This is the category with the most dangerous drugs and the most severe penalties. Anyone caught possessing Schedule I drugs in Greenville, SC, should immediately contact a drug charge lawyer.

Schedule II

According to SC Code Section 44-53-200-210, Schedule II includes substances with a high abuse potential, accepted for medical use, but with severe side effects, such as physical or psychic dependence.

Common examples are vegetable or chemical narcotics, such as opium and opiates, their chemical alternatives, opium poppy straws and poppies, cocaine, opiates like methadone and dihydrocodeine, stimulants like Ritalin, amphetamine, and methamphetamine, depressants like PCP and amobarbital, and amphetamine precursors.

The substances in this category are very dangerous as well, so those caught possessing them or distributing them will need the assistance of an experienced Greenville drug possession attorney.

Schedule III

The substances in this category, described in SC Code Section 44-53-230, have a lower abuse potential than the ones in the above categories, are approved for medical use, and can lead to moderate or low physical dependence and high psychological dependence.

The category includes stimulants like appetite suppressants, depressants like sedatives, barbiturates, anesthetics, and lysergic acid, nalorphine, and narcotic drugs with a limited concentration of morphine, codeine, hydrocodone, hydrocodone, or opium.

Although not as dangerous as the drugs in the first two categories, anyone possessing Schedule III substances can end up in prison, so the advice of a Greenville drug charge lawyer will surely come in handy.

Schedule IV

Subject to SC Code Section 44-53-250, this category includes substances with a lower abuse potential than those in the above category, currently used as treatments in the U.S., and able to induce limited dependence when consumed in excess.

Common Schedule II substances are depressants like alprazolam and clonazepam, appetite suppressants and other stimulants, fenfluramine, narcotics with a limited concentration of dextropropoxyphene and difenoxin, butorphanol, and pentazocine hydrochloride.

Although the penalties for possessing schedule IV drugs are lower, the experience and advice of a Greenville drug possession lawyer can make the difference between being convicted and having charges dropped, or getting away by enrolling in a substance abuse rehabilitation program.

Schedule V

This category is subject to SC Code Section 44-53-270 and includes the least dangerous substances, with low abuse potential, medical use approval, and able to induce limited physical and psychological dependence when abused.

The main components in this category are narcotics with nonnarcotic active ingredients in limited concentrations, like opium, codeine, and more.

Although the drugs in this category come with the lowest penalties, any conviction will negatively influence the career and personal and social life of the convicted, so it is best to work with a drug possession attorney and avoid or minimize penalties.

If you or someone close to you was caught possessing drugs from any of the above categories, you should get in touch with a drugs charge lawyer in Greenville as soon as possible. Drugs-related charges should be taken seriously because they can bring about severe penalties, as described in the following lines.

Main Drug Crime Penalties, or Why Work with a Greenville Drug Possession Lawyer

Code Section 44-53-375 establishes the main penalties for drug-related crimes in South Carolina. As any drug charge lawyer may explain, the penalties for possessing cocaine, methamphetamine, or derivates with the intention to sell or distribute range according to the quantity possessed, as follows:

  • Less than 1g – Misdemeanor for first-time offenders, with penalties of up to 3 years in jail and/or $5,000 fine. Second-time offenders will be charged with a felony and risk spending up to 5 years in jail and/or paying a fine of up to $7,000. Third and subsequent offenses lead to felony charges and, for those convicted, up to 10 years in jail and/or a fine of up to $12,000, or both.
  • 1g – 10g – Felony conviction and penalties of up 15 years in prison and/or a fine of up to $25,000 for a first offense, up to 30 years in prison and/or a fine of up to $50,000 for second and subsequent offenses.
  • 10g – 28g – Felony conviction and penalties of between 3 and 30 years in prison and/or between $25,000 and $50,000, depending on whether the accused is at their first, second, third or subsequent offense.
  • 28g – 100g – Felony conviction and penalties ranging from 7 to 30 years in prison and a fine of $50,000, depending on the existence and number of previous offenses.
  • 100g – 200g – Mandatory prison sentence of 25 years and a fine of $50,000.
  • 200g – 400g – Mandatory 25-year prison sentence and a fine of $100,000.
  • Minimum 400g – Between 25 and 30 years in prison and a fine of $200,000.
  • Possession of paraphernalia or equipment for the manufacturing of cocaine, methamphetamine, or derivates qualifies as proof of intent to manufacture.

The same code section sanctions the illegal possession of more than 9g of ephedrine, pseudoephedrine, phenylpropanolamine, their derivates, or combinations. Depending on the quantities involved and the existence and number of previous offenses, those found guilty risk spending between 10 and 30 years in prison and paying fines between 5,000 and $200,000.

It goes without saying that the experience and skills of a Greenville drug charge lawyer can make a significant difference in any case. Those who are not yet sure whether or not they should consult a drug possession lawyer or not should consider the following aspects:

  • Some Greenville lawyers, like us, at Kendrick & Leonard, offer free consultations, so those seeking their advice for the first time have nothing to lose.
  • Experienced attorneys often find procedural errors and use them to force the prosecution to dismiss some of the evidence and even drop all charges.
  • A dedicated drug possession lawyer will not hesitate to conduct their own investigation in order to find evidence to prove their client’s innocence or at least cast a shadow of doubt over the evidence the prosecution has gathered against them.
  • It is not uncommon for a drug possession attorney to find attenuating circumstances for their client’s behavior and convince the court to dictate a lesser sentence for the latter, even when there is crushing evidence against them.
  • Depending on the existing charges and the details of the case, an experienced drug charge lawyer may convince the court that their client is not dangerous, is aware of their actions and regrets them, has enrolled in a rehabilitation program, and should remain free in order to support their family, care for a sick relative, and other similar reasons.

There are many strategies drug defense lawyers in Greenville use to prove their clients’ innocence or at least obtain a lower sentence for them. If you face any type of drug-related charges, the first step to protecting your freedom and your interest is to discuss your case with an attorney. Depending on the circumstances, they will decide which of the following defense strategies would be more effective in your case and implement them.

Common Defense Strategies a Greenville Drug Charge Lawyer May Use

In order to understand the importance of working with an experienced drug possession lawyer in Greenville and their ability to help in a particular case, it is important to keep in mind that the verdict of the court will depend not so much on how things happened, but on what the parties can prove.

Depending on the specifics of your case, your drug possession attorney may be able to prove that:

  • The search and seizure that lead to your arrest and accusation were unlawful – Perhaps the law enforcement officers did not follow procedure and they obtained the evidence against you by violating your rights under the Fourth Amendment.
  • The drugs belonged to someone else or they were planted there – Depending on where the drugs were found, your drug charge lawyer may claim that you weren’t the one to place them there and you had no knowledge of their existence. In order to obtain your conviction, the prosecutors will have to show that the drugs were yours or you were aware of their existence, and it will not be easy.
  • The prosecution did not identify the drugs properly – If the police officers never sent the drugs they found on you for testing in a crime lab, your attorney may be able to prove that those drugs were less dangerous than the prosecution assumed, and will also make the court doubt the credibility of some evidence. Sometimes, seized drugs are transferred between several institutions and the prosecution loses their trace. When that happens, all the drug possession lawyer has to do is to request the court to dismiss the case for lack of evidence.
  • The police officers induced the crime – Although police officers have the right to conduct sting operations, they cannot induce, entice, or pressure their suspects to commit crimes. For example, in a case of drug possession or trafficking, entrapment would be easy to prove if an undercover officer had provided the drugs.
  • The drugs were for medical use – In some cases, it is possible to connect the drugs that lead to the accusation with a disease or affection of the accused or someone close to them, and to justify their presence or existence. This will only work if the drugs were approved to treat the respective disease or affection, or if there is solid evidence supporting their efficacy.

The list could continue, but the conclusion would be the same: no matter what type and quantity of drugs you are accused of possessing with or without intent to distribute and whether this is your first offense of the type or just another one on a long list, a Greenville drug possession attorney can help you, so contact one as soon as possible.

Schedule a Consultation with a Kendrick & Leonard Drug Charge Lawyer in Greenville, SC, Now!

Would you like to know how serious the charges against you are, how you can fight them, and what penalties you risk? Would you like a dedicated and experienced drug charge lawyer to defend your interests and represent you in court?

All you have to do is call 803.667.3186 and schedule a consultation with a Kendrick & Leonard drug possession lawyer in Greenville, SC. The preliminary consultation is FREE and an experienced drug possession lawyer will provide all the answers you need!

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