Aggressive defense for clients in York, Lancaster, and Chester Counties.
Being charged with a drug related crime leaves your future on shaky ground. The seriousness of the crime will dictate whether you will lose your reputation, your job, valuable opportunities, family, friends, and even your freedoms.
Because your entire life could change based on the outcome of your case, having a highly trained criminal defense attorney in your corner should be your first priority. If you've just been arrested, protect your legal rights by making Holland Law in Fort Mill and Rock Hill your first call.
Professionals stand to lose a lot with a drug charge
The professional repercussions for those who have settled into their careers can be disastrous when staring down a drug charge. Your company may choose to distance itself from you by firing you. If you own your own business it can mean loss of patients, clients, business ties and contracts. Your opportunities down the road may be limited, especially if your career relies on maintaining professional licensing or the right to carry a firearm.
How a drug charge can affect students of all ages
A drug charge can ruin a student's future. High school students have their entire lives ahead of them. You may be planning for college, trade school, starting your own business, or are planning to enter the workforce. The only thing potential employers, educational institutions, and licensing authorities have to go by is your background history.
If you are already a college student, a conviction or guilty plea can result in expulsion, or loss of scholarships and other sources of financial aid. This can cause costly delays in completing your education, if you're able to complete it at all. Some career tracks require professional licensing and character and fitness boards that need to approve your entry into the field. Drug charges can derail your future forcing you to change paths out of necessity.
A felony conviction has the potential to alter the course of your life. Regardless of the severity of the crime, you can't afford to take a chance by handling it yourself. Reach out to me as soon as possible to begin exploring your options.
Common drug charges in Fort Mill and Rock Hill
When being charged with a drug offense, the type of drug and activity resulting in the arrest make a vast difference in possible sentences you could face. Whether it's a misdemeanor or felony, you need a trusted attorney to guide you through all legal options available to you. South Carolina law gives a good roadmap to drug-related charges and sentences you may face, including possession, manufacturing and distribution, and trafficking. Here's a look at just some of the charges and sentences you could be looking at should you be convicted.
Simple possession of marijuana is a misdemeanor offense under S.C. Code § 44-53-370 (d)(4).
- First offense: up to $1,000 and/or 30 days in jail, in addition to court costs.
- Second offense: fines between $200 and $1,000 and/or up to 1 year in prison.
Manufacturing, distribution and possession with intent to sell is a felony offense under S.C. Code § 44-53-370(b)(2). Anyone can be charged with this offense with even one plant in his or her possession, however the severity of the sentencing will be based upon quantity of plants you possess.
- First offense: up to $5,000 and/or up to 5 years in prison.
- Second offense: up to $10,000 and/or up to 10 years in prison, with a 5-year disqualification for federal benefits.
- Third offense: up to $20,000 and/or 5 to 20 years in prison, with permanent disqualification for all federal benefits.
Simple possession of heroin may be a misdemeanor or felony under S.C. Code § 44-53-370 (d)(1).
- First offense, misdemeanor: up to a $5,000 fine and/or 2 years in prison.
- Second offense, felony: up to $5,000 and/or 5 years in prison.
- third and subsequent offenses, felony: up to $10,000 and/or 5 years in prison.
Manufacturing and distribution is a felony crime under S.C. Code § 44-53-370 (b)(3).
- First offense: up to $25,000 and/or incarceration for 15 years.
- Second offense: up to $50,000 and/or incarceration between 5 and 30 years.
- Third or subsequent offense: up to $50,000 and/or incarceration between 10 to 30 years.
Simple possession of methamphetamine under S.C. Code § 44-53-375(A) can be charged as a misdemeanor or felony depending upon the number of offense and quantity involved.
- First offense: up to $5,000 and up to 3 years in prison.
- Second offense: up to $7,000 and up to 5 years in prison.
- Third offense: up to $12,500 and up to 10 years in prison.
Manufacturing and distribution is a felony crime under S.C. Code § 44-53-375(B)
- First offense: up to $25,000 and up to 15 years in prison.
- Second offense: up to $50,000 and between 5 to 30 years in prison.
- Third or subsequent offense: up to $50,000 and between 10 to 30 years in prison, with no chance of a suspended sentence or offer of probation.
Simple possession under S.C. Code § 44-53-375 (A) includes crack cocaine and the penalties can be devastating for even the lowest offense.
- First offense: up to $5,000 and/or 3 years in prison.
- Second offense: up to $7,500 and/or 5 years in prison.
- Third or subsequent offense: up to $12,500 and/or 10 years in prison.
Manufacturing and distribution carries even harsher sentences, including:
- First offense: up to $25,000 and/or 15 years in prison.
- Second offense: up to $50,000 and/or between 5 and 10 years in prison.
- Third or subsequent offense: up to $50,000 and/or between 10 and 30 years in prison.
The stakes are high whether you are looking at a misdemeanor or felony conviction. In either case, there will be reputational damage, which directly affects your career prospects. You could even face divorce, or lose custody or visitation with your children. The impact on your life can be devastating and difficult to reverse. Give yourself a fighting chance by retaining a trusted and experienced criminal defense attorney.
Prescription opioid drug crimes
Prescription drug addiction has been headlining news for years. States are cracking down on opioid-related crimes as a means to stalling the deadly consequences of this class of drugs. It takes as little as 3 days to become addicted to opioids, which leads to a host of crimes ranging from physicians writing unnecessary prescriptions to addicts seeking out illegal sales to calm their cravings.
No matter which end of this epidemic you land on, you may be facing serious legal repercussions as a result. S.C. Code § 44-53-370 delineates the crimes and potential sentences related to controlled substances.
Possession of a schedule I or II narcotic can mean a misdemeanor or felony charge.
- For a first offense (misdemeanor), you face a fine of up to $5,000 and/or two years in prison.
- For a second offense (felony), you face a fine up to a $5,000 and/or incarceration for 5 years.
- For a third or subsequent offense (felony), you face a fine of up to $10,000 and/or 5 years in prison.
Manufacturing and distribution sentences are based on specific drug class schedules. Look at some examples of what you may be looking at upon a felony conviction of schedule I or II narcotics:
- For a first offense, you face a fine up to $25,000 and/or 15 years in prison.
- For a second offense, you face a fine up to $50,000 and/or 5 to 30 years in prison.
- For a third or subsequent offense, you could be fined up to $50,000 and/or spend 10 to 30 years in prison.
To discuss your specific drug charges, schedule your consultation in Fort Mill or Rock Hill today.
Insightful legal defense when you face harsh penalties
Being arrested for a crime sets off a chain reaction of fear and uncertainty few people successfully handle on their own. You need a veteran attorney who knows the ropes of criminal law to strategize your case.
If you are being questioned about or have been arrested for drug charges in York, Lancaster, or Chester County, give yourself a fighting chance. Schedule a consultation with Holland Law at my Fort Mill office on Gold Hill Road, or in my Rock Hill office on Oakland Avenue, by calling 803-590-6665, or reaching out to me through my contact page.