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What to Do If You’re Charged With Marijuana Possession in SC

February 21, 2023

: Criminal Defense

marijuana possession

If you’re charged with marijuana possession in SC, knowing what to expect is important. This article will explore the charges and penalties associated with this crime and why it’s crucial to hire an attorney familiar with and experienced in handling these cases.

Crimes For Marijuana Possession in South Carolina

Compared to other states, South Carolina holds restrictive drug statutes. While other areas have de-criminalized or legalized the possession of marijuana, SC still prosecutes these charges. 

Also, federal law prohibits the possession of marijuana under the Controlled Substances Act. Unfortunately, the state of South Carolina has no plans to legalize marijuana anytime soon. 

Why You Should Hire a Lawyer After Marijuana Possession Arrest

If you are arrested for marijuana possession in SC, a lawyer can help you understand the laws and processes relevant to your case. They will also be able to explain your rights to you and help you decide on which options are best for your unique situation. Having an experienced lawyer on your side can make all the difference in getting charges dismissed or penalties reduced.

Some of the ways that attorneys can help you avoid conviction include:

  • Determine if there was probable cause for stop and search 
  • Find defects in the search warrant or how it was executed
  • Analyze the chain of custody and the lab report

Overall, your attorney’s primary goal will be to keep you out of jail and keep your record as clean as possible. They’ll explore every viable option and try to get your charges dismissed or negotiate a favorable deal.

What Happens if You’re Convicted?

If your marijuana possession case goes to court in South Carolina, you can receive an array of penalties if you’re convicted.

  • A marijuana possession conviction in SC can result in between 30 days to six months in jail. The length will vary depending on the total weight of the drugs in your possession. 
  • Your fine could cost up to $1,000. 
  • If you’ve committed subsequent drug offenses, it can result in one year in jail and a fine of $2,000. 
  • If you possessed under one ounce of marijuana, your maximum penalty would be 30 days in jail and/or a fine between $100 to $200. 
  • If you’ve committed subsequent drug offenses of carrying under one ounce of marijuana, this can result in one year in jail and/or a fine between $200 and $1000. 
  • If you’re carrying between one once and less than ten pounds of marijuana, you can be charged with Possession With Intent to Distribute (PWID). PWID in South Carolina is a felony and includes fines of up to $5,000 and/or up to five years in prison. 
  • If you possess more than 10 pounds of marijuana, you can be charged with trafficking. This is a felony offense punishable by 1-10 years in prison and a fine of $10,000. The potential punishment increases depending on weight and prior offenses.

In certain situations, the judge, prosecutor and/or arresting officer may dismiss the charge or offer options instead of proceeding to trial. Some of the choices that can be offered include:

  • The defendant will be placed on probation
  • Pre-trial intervention
  • Complete a rehab or outpatient program
  • Drug court

Need Help Fighting a Marijuana Possession Charge? Contact Bernstein & Bernstein

The best thing you can do if you’re arrested for marijuana possession in South Carolina is to hire a lawyer as soon as possible. Legal help is critical because there are many factors at play when it comes to your case. You need someone who knows the ins and outs of these laws and the court system to protect your rights. An experienced lawyer will help you understand what could happen with each possible outcome so that they can help shape their defense strategy accordingly.

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