We are Passionate About Helping Our Clients Fight Drug Charges.
The Summerville drug defense lawyers at Seaton Law Office routinely represent people who are accused of drug crimes, including:
- Drug possession,
- Possession with intent to distribute,
- Drug distribution,
- Drug manufacturing, and
- Drug trafficking.
A drug conviction can result in substantial prison time, fines, and a criminal record that will cause many employers to reject your applications.
Your drug crime attorney at the Seaton Law Office will:
- Investigate the allegations against you,
- Find all potential defenses to your charges,
- Move to suppress evidence based on constitutional violations like illegal searches,
- Gather mitigation materials to show the prosecutor, jury, and judge that you are not just a number,
- Explore all possible pretrial diversion programs that may keep the charges off your criminal record, and
- Try your case to a jury if the State does not dismiss or make an offer you can accept.
Understanding Drug Charges
The Different Types of Drug Charges in South Carolina
There are different types of drug offenses in South Carolina – apart from the different types of controlled substances you could be charged with, the severity of the charges will depend on the weight of the drugs found and whether you intended to sell the drugs.
For example, if you are charged with a marijuana offense, the types of drug charges include:
- Simple possession – if you possess less than one ounce of marijuana,
- Possession of more than once ounce – if you possessed more than once ounce but there is no evidence of an intent to distribute,
- Possession with intent to distribute – if you possessed more than one ounce of marijuana and there is evidence that you intended to sell the drugs,
- Distribution – If you actually sold the drugs or distributed them to another person (typically a CI or undercover officer),
- Manufacturing – if you were growing marijuana, and
- Trafficking – when you possess a pound or more of marijuana or conspired to possess a pound or more of marijuana.
Pretrial Diversion Programs for Drug Offenses in South Carolina
Several pretrial diversion programs may be available depending on the charges and the person’s prior record, including:
- Drug court – a more involved program for more serious offenses that consists of attending drug court meetings and substance abuse counseling, random drug tests, and steady employment or enrollment in school,
- Conditional discharge – for first offense possession of marijuana and other minor drug offenses, or
- Pretrial intervention – for minor drug offenses in the solicitor’s discretion.
Pretrial Motions and Suppression Hearings
In many cases, our investigation of drug charges reveals constitutional violations committed by the officers or others involved in the case.
- When the drugs are found during a search of your vehicle that was not based on probable cause,
- When a search warrant for your home or property 1) doesn’t contain a statement of probable cause in the search warrant affidavit or 2) the officer lied about their probable cause, or
- When police search your home without probable cause and a warrant.
When there is a Fourth Amendment or other constitutional violation, your attorney will file a motion to suppress the evidence that was found (which often results in a dismissal when the prosecution does not have sufficient evidence to go forward).
Potential Sentences for Drug Crimes in South Carolina
The potential sentences for a drug conviction in South Carolina can be harsh – ranging from 30 days for first offense simple possession of marijuana to as much as 40 years for trafficking in heroin.
Sentences are based on:
- The type of controlled substance involved,
- The type of charge (possession, PWID, or distribution for example), and
- The number of prior convictions for certain drug offenses (not all prior convictions will count).
They are very good at what they do! Go see them today and be worry free!
– Kipp Cavadias
Great Lawyer, will definitely use again when needed. Thank You Beau!
– Charles McGee
He truly cares about his clients!! A wonderful lawyer!!
– Lamarr Richardson
* The Rules of Professional Conduct require disclosure that this is a “Testimonial” about the attorney. Please be aware that any result achieved on behalf of one client in one matter does not necessarily indicate similar results can be obtained for other clients.
Four (4) Things to Consider If You’re
Facing a Drug Charge in summerville
1. A Summerville, South Carolina drug crime lawyer may be able to help you keep your record clean.
If you are facing drug charges in South Carolina, your attorney’s priority is keeping them off your record.
You may have defenses that you are unaware of, and there may be pretrial diversion programs that you are eligible for. Your attorney will:
- Investigate your charges and the evidence against you,
- Gather mitigation materials,
- Work to get your case dismissed,
- Look into any pretrial diversion programs that you may be eligible for, and
- Try your case to a jury when it cannot be resolved through negotiations.
3. If you have a drug conviction on your record, you may be eligible to have it expunged.
Some drug convictions in South Carolina can be expunged, including:
- First offense simple possession of any drug – not just marijuana – after three years,
- First offense possession of prescription drugs after three years, and
- First offense possession with intent to distribute convictions after 20 years.
2. You may have multiple court dates for your drug charges in Summerville, South Carolina.
If you miss a court date for your drug charges, you could be found guilty in your absence, you could have a bench warrant for your arrest, or you could lose important rights.
Depending on the charges and court that you are in, your court appearances may include:
- An initial court date in the magistrate or municipal court,
- Roster meetings or pretrial conferences,
- Preliminary hearings,
- Roll call dates (including initial appearance and docket appearance in General Sessions Court),
- Pretrial motion hearings, and
- Trial dates.
Stay in touch with your attorney, and do not miss any court appearances unless your attorney confirms that you have been excused.
4. Marijuana is not legal in South Carolina.
Be aware that marijuana is not legal in South Carolina, and many cops, prosecutors, and judges like it that way.
We have spoken to people from other states who cannot wrap their heads around the notion that marijuana is actually illegal here, they actually put people in jail for it, and they will actually prosecute you to get a conviction.
Although many people in South Carolina believe that marijuana should be legalized, it doesn’t look like that will happen any time soon.
In the meantime, yes, you are being prosecuted for marijuana, and yes, they are going to get a conviction unless we get your case dismissed, get you into a pretrial diversion program, or win your case at trial.
Ready To Speak With An Attorney?
Let’s discuss the details of your case and see if we can help.