Many people in South Carolina believe that criminal marijuana charges are not serious. Marijuana is still illegal and charges related to the use and sale of the substance have consequences. You should know the common marijuana-related charges and potential punishments for a criminal conviction. We will review common marijuana charges that our clients face and their consequences.
What are common South Carolina marijuana charges?
There are many types of marijuana charges in South Carolina but the most common ones include:
- Simple possession: If a person is arrested with one ounce or less of marijuana he or she will face simple possession charges. Simple possession is a misdemeanor and the penalties for a first-time conviction are up to 30 days in jail and $200 in fines. Multiple convictions call for higher fines and up to a year in jail.
- Possession with intent to distribute (PWID): A person who has more than one ounce (28 grams) of marijuana can face PWID charges. PWID is a felony and a first offense carries up to five years of jail time and $5,000 in fines. If the police believe a person possess marijuana has intent to sell, they can charge that person regardless of the amount in their possession.
- Trafficking: A person who has more than 10 pounds of marijuana will face felony marijuana trafficking charges. A first-time conviction for up to 100 pounds of marijuana can result in up to 10 years in prison and $10,000 in fines. The penalties become more serious with larger amounts of marijuana
South Carolina has many types of drug crimes that we did not cover in this post. These charges can vary depending on the amount of marijuana in a person's possession and their alleged plans for the substance. A person can face additional penalties if they sell marijuana within half a mile of a school, playground or public park.
What should I do if I am facing criminal charges?
Because drug charges can involve state and federal law, you should speak to a knowledgeable criminal defense attorney as soon as possible. Do not say anything about your case to law enforcement without having a lawyer by your side. An attorney can speak on your behalf and prevent future issues with your case.