South Carolina’s marijuana laws and penalties can be severe even for a first-time offender. Simple possession of less than 28 grams (approximately 1 ounce) of marijuana can have a severe impact on your future. You can face jail time, a criminal record and stiff fines for even carrying less than 1 ounce of the drug.
While South Carolina was one of first eight states to approve medical marijuana, the state does not provide a framework to obtain it legally. A person who obtains medical marijuana in another state or grows marijuana in their basement for medical use could be charged with a serious crime.
Attorney David W. Farrell understands the law and has the skill and experience to defend you against marijuana and other types of drug crimes. Call 803-807-2205 as soon as possible so we can protect you saying or doing things that could damage your case. We represent clients in Columbia, Lexington and throughout South Carolina.
A Serious Crime in South Carolina
Possession of 28 grams or less of marijuana is a misdemeanor with a penalty of up to 30 days in jail and a fine of $200 plus court costs. Subsequent possession charges can result in up to one year of incarceration with fines up to $1,000. Distribution or trafficking of marijuana carries with it much more severe penalties.
A person caught in possession of less than 10 pounds of marijuana may face felony charges for possession with intent, an offense carrying up to five years of incarceration and a fine up to $5,000. Individuals carrying or possessing amounts of marijuana in excess of 10 pounds, face up to 10 years in jail and a penalty of up to $10,000.
Unfortunately, one does not need to actually be trafficking marijuana in order to be charged with a drug trafficking crime. The state can charge based entirely on the amount of marijuana the individual has in his or her possession when he or she was arrested. Any amount of marijuana exceeding 1 ounce can lead to a charge of possession with intent to distribute in the state of South Carolina, and amounts less than 1 ounce can also under some circumstances.
Penalties may vary widely for first-time drug offenses. Sometimes the difference between 10 years in jail with a permanent criminal record and freedom can be whether you can find an experienced criminal defense lawyer skilled in handling cases pertaining to marijuana.
Protecting Your Future
A criminal defense lawyer experienced in simple possession of marijuana cases can help you defend your rights and help you receive the best possible outcome for your case. Defense lawyer David W. Farrell will take the time to review the details surrounding your case, particularly, how and why you were stopped, how you were searched for the drug, and whether your Miranda warnings were read. Police officers are required to follow specific protocol regarding arrests, searches and seizures.
For instance, if you were found to be in possession of marijuana during a routine police stop, the officer will have to clearly articulate why he or she stopped your vehicle. It is also illegal to search a vehicle without driver’s consent or clear probable cause. Violence, intimidation or any other harassment is also against the law. If you are harassed, threatened with violence or stopped by an officer without due cause, your case may be dropped. An experienced criminal defense attorney can help you navigate the complex legal system and ensure that you receive a fair trial. If you have been charged with simple possession in Columbia, South Carolina, you need a marijuana possession lawyer like David W. Farrell who can protect your rights.
Defending You Aggressively in Court
The reality is that many people who are charged with marijuana possession face severe penalties. Unfortunately, the full facts of the case don’t always come to light, resulting in jail time, fees and a permanent criminal record for those who do not seek representation. You are innocent until proven guilty in South Carolina. The firm of David W. Farrell takes every opportunity it has to defend its clients against marijuana possessions charges. Mr. Farrell’s 28 years of experience afford him the unique ability to defend and represent his clients against marijuana possession charges. David W. Farrell was himself once a state prosecutor and he understands how evidentiary and procedural rules work from the inside out.
Call Now for a Free Initial Consultation
Being charged with marijuana possession can be a confusing and scary time. You need a skilled criminal defense attorney looking out for your interests. Call 803-807-2205 or complete our contact form for a free initial consultation.