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What You Should Know About Drug Trafficking Charges in South Carolina

Drug trafficking is a serious crime that can carry heavy fines and years behind bars if you’re convicted. However, many people have the wrong idea about what qualifies as drug trafficking. They may imagine a sprawling criminal enterprise that spans multiple states or involves a large distribution network. While drug trafficking can look like this scenario, it can also encompass many other situations.

What You Should Know About Drug Trafficking Charges in South Carolina

Under South Carolina law, you can be charged with drug trafficking for possessing a specific quantity or weight of a prohibited substance. You need not be

physically moving the drugs from one location to another to be charged with trafficking, nor do you need to have an intention to sell or otherwise distribute the drugs.

The quantities or weights required for a crime to qualify as trafficking vary with the type of illegal drug involved. Here are common examples:

  • Marijuana — 10 pounds
  • Cocaine or cocaine mixture — 10 grams
  • Methamphetamine — 10 grams
  • Methaqualone — 15 grams
  • LSD — 100 tablets
  • Ecstasy or MDMA — 100 tablets
  • Flunitrazepam (Rohypnol) — 1 gram
  • Gamma hydroxybutyric acid (GHB) — 50 milliliters or more

In some cases, you can be charged with trafficking even for a lesser amount of drugs if you also have certain drug paraphernalia in your possession.

Fortunately, it is possible to fight back against a South Carolina drug trafficking charge. It’s important to get in touch with a South Carolina drug trafficking defense lawyer immediately after being arrested. There may be several defenses available to you. For example, you may be able to argue that the police failed to adhere to the proper procedures for stopping you or conducting a search. If the search violated your legal or constitutional rights, the court may suppress any evidence the police discovered as a result. It is also possible to lodge a defense based on your lack of actual, knowing possession of the drugs or their illegal status.

For quantities less than the amount needed for a drug trafficking charge, you could still be charged with drug possession, which carries significant fines and jail time, and so an effective defense is required.

Jack B. Swerling, Attorney at Law, in Columbia offers experienced criminal defense representation to individuals throughout South Carolina. If you or a loved one is facing drug charges of any type or degree, call us at 800-701-0599 or contact us online to schedule your initial consultation.

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Jack Swerling In The News >>

  • Jack Swerling, Derrick Mobley and Alissa Wilson were successful in having a Judge rule after an extensive hearing, that the defendant was immune from prosecution based on the “Stand Your Ground” law in a murder prosecution. The Judgment was handed down on March 29, 2021.
  • Jack Swerling, Gregory Harris and Alissa Wilson obtained a Not Guilty Verdict in Lexington County on March 3, 2022. An Orthopedic Surgeon was charged with Involuntary Manslaughter in the accidental shooting death of a friend.
  • “When Jack is on my docket, I tell my law clerks, ‘You do not want to miss this. You are seeing one of the greatest trial lawyers in the state’s history.'” -South Carolina Circuit Court Judge
  • Jack was selected to Super Lawyers Magazine Top Ten List for 2019. Each year Super Lawyers recognizes the top lawyers in South Carolina via a selection process involving peer evaluations, independent research and professional achievement. The South Carolina lawyers who receive the highest points during this selection process are further recognized in the South Carolina Super Lawyers Top Ten List.
  • USA v. FRANK*: In a child pornography case, Swerling was successful in obtaining a 22 level variance reducing the defendant’s sentence from 8 years to 6 months.
  • STATE v. BORIS: The defendant was found not guilty by reason of insanity in a case where the defendant was involved in a shoot-out with 3 police officers.
  • STATE v. TYGER: Jack Swerling obtains a not guilty verdict in a criminal sexual conduct case in Beaufort County.
  • Pre Trial Dispositions: STATE v. DWAYNE: Mr. Swerling successfully argued for the dismissal of stalking and unlawful use of telephone charges brought against a prominent businessman in Florence County.
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