All criminal charges can be challenging to fight in court. There are some, though, that may be more difficult to handle over others -- such as drug charges. South Carolina courts do not take drug cases lightly. The type of drug one is accused of using, making or distributing, can have a significant impact on the potential penalties one may expect, if a conviction is ultimately achieved by the prosecuting attorney. This week's post will cover what state law is regarding one specific drug -- heroin.
When it comes to heroin, the possession, manufacturing and distributing of this drug is illegal at both state and federal levels. The penalties associated with this drug can be wide-ranging. The circumstances surrounding a person's arrest will determine at what level charges will be filed and, therefore, the potential penalties one may face.
Possession of heroin can result in misdemeanor or felony charges. This is typically determined by the amount heroin allegedly found and the number of offenses on a person's record. If convicted, penalties may include imprisonment of two to five years and/or fines ranging from $5,000 to $10,000.
Manufacturing, sale and trafficking are considered far more serious offenses. Penalties range from seven to 40 years imprisonment -- with or without parole -- and/or fines anywhere from $25,000 to $200,000. Obviously, these punishments will drastically affect the accused and his or her family members.
South Carolina residents who have been accused of heroin-related drug crimes can seek assistance to fight the charges. For those accused of minor offenses, it may be possible to have cases heard in drug court. For offenses that are considered more serious, however, state law regarding heroin may not be very forgiving. A strategic criminal defense may prove invaluable when fighting drug charges. Whether providing a full defense, seeking alternative sentencing or working with prosecuting attorneys with the goal of obtaining a plea agreement, having experienced representation can help the accused through this difficult situation.
Source: FindLaw, "South Carolina Heroin Laws", Accessed on June 14, 2015