Meth trafficking charges in South Carolina are complex and can seem overwhelming to the average citizen. Depending on the amount of illegal substances you have in your possession, you may be charged with drug trafficking. This could include anything from recreational use levels all the way up to detailed networks involved in dealing large amounts of drugs. Similarly, regardless of whether or not drugs were actually found in your possession, if it is determined that you were conspiring to transport or sell drugs illegally you can still be charged with drug trafficking.
Drug trafficking is a serious offense in South Carolina and those convicted may face harsh consequences and severe penalties. If you are facing drug trafficking allegations, it is advisable to seek the guidance of a knowledgeable drug crime attorney in order to understand your rights and explore alternative penalties.
Call Touma Law Group today at 864-618-2323 to receive a free consultation and one of our drug trafficking defense attorneys will help create a meth charge defense for your case in order to ensure fair treatment under the law.
What is Meth?
Crystal meth, often referred to simply as “meth”, is a powerful synthetic drug that has become increasingly popular in various parts of South Carolina. It is chemically similar to certain drugs used to treat attention deficit disorders because they are both part of the amphetamine family. However, while valid prescription amphetamines are legal and safe for use when taken under doctors’ directions, methamphetamine is a dangerous substance and is illegal under all circumstances.
The manufacture, sale, and possession of methamphetamine in South Carolina are all deemed crimes punishable by law in the state’s Code Section 44-53-375. Unfortunately, crystal meth has become so easy to create using only household items, that in many parts of the state residential homes have been adopted as makeshift drug laboratories.
Simple Possession of Meth
According to the South Carolina Code Section 44-53-375 (A), individuals found in possession of crystal meth are subject to the "simple possession" section of the law, at minimum. Additional charges may be imposed if the user is found to have the intention to distribute or traffic the drug. The concept of simple possession typically pertains to quantities of methamphetamine that are less than one gram.
A first offense can result in a misdemeanor with potential penalties of up to three years of jail time and a fine of up to $5,000. A second offense may result in a felony offense, which carries potential penalties of up to 5 years in prison and a fine of up to $7,500. Committing three or more offenses can result in a felony charge, which carries potential criminal penalties of up to 10 years in prison and a fine of $12,500.
Trafficking Meth Charge
Trafficking methamphetamine is considered a serious criminal offense and is associated with severe legal consequences in South Carolina. If an individual is discovered with over 1g of meth, the state of South Carolina will infer the intention to distribute or traffic the substance. Individuals may face charges of trafficking methamphetamine if they are involved in the production of meth or are under suspicion of manufacturing meth. All of the penalties for drug trafficking meth are classified as felony charges.
In South Carolina, convictions for drug trafficking do not qualify for parole or probation, resulting in more severe sentencing compared to other drug offenses. Punishments for varying weight thresholds range from felony offenses with a minimum of 5 years in prison without parole, to life imprisonment with no possibility of parole for amounts exceeding 400 grams.
Amount of Meth to be Considered Trafficking
In South Carolina, 10 grams of meth is considered to be prima facie evidence of intent to traffic. This means that even if the amount is just under that threshold, you could still face charges due to circumstantial evidence of your intended use.
Penalties for Meth Trafficking Charges in South Carolina
For methamphetamine, the length of a jail sentence and severity of fines for drug trafficking varies depending on the drug's weight and the amount you have in your possession.
1st Offense Meth Trafficking Charge for Possessing Less Than 100g of Meth
In South Carolina, a first offense of carrying 10-28 grams will result in a jail sentence of 3-10 years and a fine of $25,000. Possession charges of 29-100 grams of meth on a first offense can result in a jail sentence of 7-25 years and a fine of $50,000.
2nd Offense Meth Trafficking Charge for Possessing Less Than 100g of Meth
In the state of South Carolina, if you are caught in unlawful possession of 10-28 g of meth and it's your second offense, the penalty will include a jail sentence ranging from 5-30 years and a fine of $50,000. For a second offense involving possession of 29-100 grams of meth, the penalty includes a jail sentence of 7-30 years and a fine of $50,000.
3rd and Subsequent Meth Trafficking Charge for Possessing Less Than 100g of Meth
Being charged three or more times with 10-28 g of meth can result in a sentence of 25-30 years of jail time and a fine of $50,000. If you are found in possession of 29-100 g of methamphetamine and it's your third or subsequent offense, the prescribed punishment includes a prison sentence of 25-30 years and a fine of $50,000.
South Carolina Meth Trafficking Charges for Over 100 g of Meth
Regardless of your prior offenses, if you are found with over 200 grams of meth, the consequences remain the same. The consequences are severe and stringent. Possessing 201-400 grams of methamphetamine carries a 25-year prison sentence and a $100,000 fine. Possession of over 400 g of methamphetamine in South Carolina can result in a prison sentence of 25-30 years or more, along with a fine of $200,000. Trafficking charges for meth do not qualify for parole or probation which makes this type of drug charge very serious.
Call Touma Law Group Today for a Free Consultation!
If you or someone you know has been charged with a meth-related crime in South Carolina, it is important to contact a dedicated criminal defense attorney right away. At Touma Law Group, we understand the harsh consequences that come with a conviction of methamphetamine trafficking and we are dedicated to helping our clients fight for the best possible outcome in their cases.
With years of experience defending clients against these drug convictions, our criminal defense lawyers have the knowledge and skills to create a strong meth charge defense for your case. Contact us today for a free consultation!