Understanding Prescription Drug Charges in South Carolina

jul 01, 2022 Drug Crimes
Understanding Prescription Drug Charges in South Carolina

Most people don’t understand the severity of possessing prescription drugs without a prescription until they're arrested and charged with a criminal offense. For many, it's their first contact with the criminal justice system. At Touma Law Group, in Greenville, South Carolina, our criminal defense attorneys are here to help.

The legal consequences of a drug arrest are severe: potential jail term, hefty fines, and a permanent criminal record. A drug conviction can impact your life negatively, including employment and the ability to get a professional license. You could miss out on opportunities just because you have a drug conviction on your public criminal record. To protect your legal rights and your future, you should consult a skilled Greenville defense attorney immediately. To schedule a no-cost initial consultation, contact our Greenville law offices today at 864-618-2323.

Greenville drug lawyer Adam Touma

Protecting Your Rights And Your Future

Our experienced illegal drugs attorneys have extensive experience and so they understand how the criminal justice system in South Carolina handles prescription drug cases. As your defense lawyer, we can negotiate with the other parties to reduce the potential consequences you face — and if possible, avoid a damaging criminal conviction. We're prepared to handle cases involving all types of prescription drugs, including:

  • OxyContin
  • Xanax XR (alprazolam)
  • Fentanyl (Duragesic)
  • Percocet (oxycodone)
  • Vicodin (hydrocodone and acetaminophen)
  • Ambien (zolpidem)
  • Adderall (amphetamine and dextroamphetamine)
  • Phenobarbital
  • Ativan (lorazepam)
  • Fentora (fentanyl citrate)
  • Valium (diazepam)
  • Soma (carisoprodol)
  • Promethazine/codeine syrup

Each dangerous drug case is unique and might involve issues such as addiction, medication abuse, fake prescriptions, and prescription fraud. As your defense attorneys, we'll create and build the best possible defense based on the mitigating factors, your background, and whether law enforcement agencies acted properly in the search and drug seizure.

What are the Criminal Penalties for Possession of Prescription Drugs in South Carolina?

It's against the law in South Carolina to possess controlled dangerous substances (CDS) without a valid medical prescription.

Possessing a Schedule I or II lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD) and narcotic CDS is a misdemeanor offense. Criminal penalties for a first criminal offense include a monetary fine of up to $5,000, a maximum jail sentence of two years in prison, or both. Second offenses are felony offenses, and incur a monetary fine of up to $5,000, up to five years in jail, or both. Third and subsequent criminal offenses carry a monetary fine of up to $10,000, up to five years in jail, or both.

Possessing any other Schedule I, II, III, IV, or V controlled dangerous drugs is a misdemeanor possession offense (excluding cocaine). Criminal penalties for a first criminal offense include a monetary fine of up to $1,000, up to six months in prison, or both. Second or subsequent criminal charges carry a monetary fine of up to $2,000, up to one year in prison, or both.

Understanding Prescription Drug Charges in South Carolina

Possessing cocaine is a misdemeanor offense, and a first offense carries a heavy fine of up to $5,000, up to 3yrs in prison, or both. A second criminal offense is a felony drug offense, and carries a fine of up to $7,500, up to 5 yrs in prison, or both. Third and subsequent offenses carry a monetary fine of up to $12,500, up to ten years in jail, or both.

Do Prescription Drugs Have to Be in Original Containers in South Carolina?

Yes, it’s illegal to possess a narcotic or controlled substance without a valid prescription, which essentially means the original containers including the bottle or packaging. This means if you’re carrying your prescription medication without its original container and are stopped by the legal authority, you may be arrested. However, a criminal conviction is unlikely if you can show proof of a valid prescription. The criminal defense attorneys at Touma Law Group can work with you to help you beat your prescription drug charges.

A guilty plea or conviction for a prescription drug charge can affect your life significantly. Besides, the possible jail time and probation, you might have a public criminal record that could follow you forever. Don’t let a one-time mistake hinder you from your constitutional rights to a good education, a job, and other rights in life. We commit ourselves to your defense – working to reduce your charges, avoid jail time, and other criminal penalties.

Learn More: Do I Need a Lawyer For Drug Charges?

How Do You Get a Simple Possession Charge Dropped in SC?

In Greenville, South Carolina, there are many reasons why your drug charges could be dropped. Some of them have to do with the conduct of the law enforcement agencies and officials who made the arrest, or the legality of the evidence in your prescription drug case. Here are the most common reasons why a simple possession charge in South Carolina might be overturned or dropped:

  • Insufficient Evidence. If the prosecution can't fulfill its burden of proof--they don't produce enough evidence against you-- your simple possession charges could be dropped. Thus, it's essential to hire an experienced attorney, even when you don’t think the charges against you are severe. An experienced Greenville criminal defense lawyer can help argue that the prosecution didn’t have sufficient evidence to satisfy their burden to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.
  • Prosecutorial Discretion. Sometimes, the state or local prosecutor’s office will determine that your simple possession case isn’t worth it for them to pursue or circumstances change causing them to reconsider pursuing the charges against you. This is common for charges like simple possession in South Carolina, as the more minor the criminal charges, the less the prosecution has to lose by dropping it.
  • Entrapment. This is a concept that’s often misunderstood. A few high-profile myths, such as “a police officer has to tell you that they’re a law enforcement officer, otherwise, it’s entrapment” blur the lines between what is entrapment. The basic rule is that: if it can be shown that a law enforcement officer went above and beyond to attempt to supply you with a dangerous drug, for instance, any criminal charge of simple possession that arises is entrapment, and the criminal charges against you may be dropped.

At Touma Law Group, our legal team will analyze the facts of your case and build a solid defense strategy that is customized to your particular circumstances and goals. We have decades of experience handling various criminal defense cases in South Carolina. We are committed to offering compassionate and experienced legal representation to anyone facing prescription drug charges in Greenville and throughout South Carolina. Contact our drug charge lawyers in Greenville now to discuss your case in a free and confidential consultation.

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