Drug trafficking charges in South Carolina
Drug trafficking charges can often be misunderstood by the general public. Because of the name, people often assume it covers the movement of narcotic. This is a misconception, however, In fact, generally speaking, it is the quantity of drugs in question that cause a drug crime to be label as trafficking – not the activity itself. Drug trafficking charges carry serious consequences, including mandatory prison and hefty fines.
In general, drug crimes are state specific. This means that South Carolina, for example, would have its own standards with regard to drug possession and the sale of drugs. In this Blog, we will discuss the standards of trafficking when it comes to South Carolina Criminal Law.
Drugs that are Covered Under Trafficking Statutes
South Carolina classifies controlled substances (drugs) into six schedules. The schedule ranges from schedule one drugs (for the most severely punished) to schedule six drugs (for the least severely punished). The state uses several factors in determining which schedule a drug falls under. The state will consider whether there is a proper medical use for the drug, how addictive the drug is, and other factors. People often don’t realize that for purposes of trafficking, “drugs” can include not only prescription drugs, but over the counter drugs as well.
Examples of Drugs by Schedules
- Schedule 1 – Heroine
- Schedule 2 – Cocaine
- Schedule 3 – Certain sedatives
- Schedule 4 – Certain depressants
- Schedule 5 – Tylenol
- Schedule 6 – Marijuana
Activities that constitute South Carolina Drug Trafficking
- As previously stated, trafficking is about the amount of the drug and not the activity. Therefore, trafficking in South Carolina charges can come about by the possession, sale, or transport of controlled substances based on the amount of that substance in question.
Amounts and Punishment for South Carolina Drug Trafficking
Trafficking charges can come about with the large-scale possession or distribution of any drugs on the controlled substances schedules. The quantity that is needed for this to constitute trafficking depends on the drug. The punishment will be different based on the type of the drug and the amount. The following are just two examples:
Trafficking in Marijuana
- 10-100 Pounds – 1-10 years Imprisonment for a first offense (additional prison time would be required for subsequent offenses), and a $10,000 fine
- 100-2000 Pounds – 25 years imprisonment – $25,000 fine
- 2000-10,000 Pounds – 25 years imprisonment – $50,000 fine
- More than 10,000 pounds – 25-35 Years imprisonment – $200,000 fine
Trafficking in Cocaine
Cocaine includes both the powdered form, and the rock form, which is commonly referred to as “crack”
- 10-28 grams – 3-10 years imprisonment for a first appearance (additional prison time would be required for subsequent offenses), and a $25,000 fine
- 28-100 grams – 7-28 years imprisonment (additional prison time would be required for subsequent offenses), and a $50,000 fine
- 100-200 grams – 25 years imprisonment, and a $50,000 fine
- 200-400 grams – 25 years imprisonment, and a $100,000 fine
- 400 grams or more – 25-35 years imprisonment, and a $200,000 fine
As you can see, drug trafficking is very serious and carries very serious consequences. South Carolina criminal law in general can be very complicated. If you have been charged with a crime in South Carolina, you should contact a criminal defense attorney as soon as possible. At Gilles Law, we handle Criminal cases in North Carolina and South Carolina. Contact us for all your criminal law needs.