Methamphetamine is a highly addictive type of drug that is growing in popularity in the United States. In South Carolina, there has been an increase in methamphetamine use and abuse. As a result, law enforcement has increased drug charges for meth distribution charges in South Carolina.
According to the South Carolina Department of Public Safety, there were 1,362 methamphetamine-related drug offense arrests in 2018, which is a significant increase from the previous year. 38% of these arrests were for simple possession, while 62% were for distribution or trafficking.
The Midlands and Upstate regions of South Carolina had the highest number of distribution-related arrests. Male suspects accounted for 74% of these arrests, while female suspects accounted for 26%. The majority of distribution-related arrests involved individuals between the ages of 18-39.
Touma Law Group can help if you are facing criminal charges for constructive possession or distribution of methamphetamine. Call us at 864-618-2323 to schedule a free consultation with a Columbia drug charge attorney.
Possession With Intent to Distribute or Manufacturing
Possessing or manufacturing methamphetamine in South Carolina is a narcotic drug felony charge. South Carolina law states that those who manufacture, deliver, or possess methamphetamine with the intent to distribute can receive up to a 25-year jail sentence and/or a fine of up to $50,000.
Subsequent offenses result in even harsher drug crime punishments. The severity of punishment for methamphetamine distribution in South Carolina reflects the state's dedication to addressing this significant illegal substance issue.
If you have been arrested for a methamphetamine-related felony offense, it is crucial to seek guidance from a knowledgeable criminal defense attorney to understand your legal options.
SC Meth Manufacturing and Distribution Laws
Methamphetamine manufacturing and distribution is a serious problem in South Carolina. According to the South Carolina Code of Laws, Section 4453-375(B), anyone found guilty of manufacturing or distributing methamphetamine can face up to thirty years in prison and up to a $250,000 fine.
Methamphetamine drug manufacturing charges and drug distribution depend on the quantity of drugs involved. If an individual is found in possession of more than ten grams of meth, they face a minimum sentence of five years in prison and a $10,000 fine.
The maximum potential sentence for this offense is thirty years in prison and a $250,000 fine. In addition to jail time and fines, individuals convicted of methamphetamine manufacturing or distribution can also be ordered to pay the costs associated with their prosecution.
What is “Intent to Distribute” and How Do They Prove It?
Intent to distribute is an element of a methamphetamine charge that must be proven for the state to find someone guilty of drug trafficking. This charge is based upon the number of drugs found, household ingredients, any digital scales or baggies with residue, possession of drug paraphernalia, and any other circumstantial evidence that suggests a person was not only possessing the drugs but intending to sell them as well.
In South Carolina, it is a felony to possess with intent to distribute methamphetamine and is punishable by up to 25 years in prison and/or a $50,000 fine.
What are the Penalties for the Distribution of Meth in South Carolina?
In South Carolina, the distribution of methamphetamine is a serious criminal offense that carries harsh penalties. If convicted of a meth distribution charge, the offender can face fines, imprisonment, and in some cases, forfeiture of property.
If convicted of the distribution of meth (under 10 grams of methamphetamine), the offender faces potential penalties of up to 15 years in prison and/or up to $25,000 in fines.
A conviction for distribution of more than 10 grams carries harsher penalties and a maximum sentence of 25 years in prison and/or up to $50,000 in fines.
1st Offense Distribution or PWID of Methamphetamine
Methamphetamine is a powerful and highly addictive stimulant drug. In South Carolina, it is illegal to possess, manufacture, distribute, or sell methamphetamine. The consequences for breaking these laws are severe and depend on the amount of drugs involved and the offender’s criminal record.
First-time offenses for possession of meth and unlawful conduct are charged with physical possession of methamphetamine (PWID) and face up to 10 years in prison and/or a fine of up to $10,000.
If the drugs are distributed or sold, first-time offenders face additional charges and a sentence of up to 25 years in prison and/or a fine of up to $50,000.
2nd Offense Distribution or PWID of Methamphetamine
When it comes to methamphetamine charges in South Carolina, the second offense is a serious crime that carries stiff penalties. In South Carolina, the charge of Possession with Intent to Distribute (PWID) Methamphetamine is a felony and can be punished by up to 10 years in prison and/or a fine of up to $10,000.
A PWID of methamphetamine charge does not depend on the amount of drugs involved, but rather on the intent to distribute them. If an individual is caught in possession of methamphetamine to distribute it, they face up to 25 years in prison and/or a fine of up to $50,000.
3rd Offense and Greater Distribution or PWID of Methamphetamine
Methamphetamine abuse is on the rise in South Carolina, and state law enforcement officials are cracking down on those caught distributing or possessing with intent to distribute the illegal drug. Those convicted of a third or subsequent offense of distribution or possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine in South Carolina face severe penalties, including lengthy prison sentences, heavy fines, and mandatory drug treatment programs.
Under South Carolina law, third or subsequent offenses of possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine are punishable by a minimum prison sentence of 25 years and/or a fine up to $50,000.
Additionally, the court may require offenders to participate in an approved substance abuse treatment program.
Defending Yourself against PWID Charges in SC
If you are charged with PWID Methamphetamine in South Carolina, there are defenses you can use. You can try getting the charges dropped or reduced.
The first defense is showing no intent for distribution. You can also provide additional evidence that you didn't possess enough drugs for dealing. Witnesses can testify that no money was exchanged for the drugs.
Another defense is arguing entrapment or lack of knowledge. Law enforcement may use deceptive tactics. You may not have known the drugs were methamphetamine. Seek legal counsel if facing PWID charges in South Carolina.
Call Touma Law Group Today!
If you or someone you know has been charged with the distribution of methamphetamine in South Carolina, it is important to contact an experienced criminal defense lawyer right away. The consequences of a conviction for this charge can be severe and may include long prison sentences and steep fines. The Touma Law Group is here to help anyone facing these serious charges.
The Touma Law Group has extensive experience defending clients against charges of distribution or possession with intent to distribute different types of synthetic drugs such as meth in South Carolina. Our Columbia defense attorneys will work tirelessly to protect your rights and fight for a favorable outcome in your case.