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Defense Against Prescription Drug Charges in SC

Illegal possession or use of prescription drugs is a serious crime in South Carolina. Some people mistakenly believe that prescriptions are just a technicality so they simply do not follow the laws. However, mere possession of commonly used drugs without the required prescription can land someone in prison for two years as a first-time offender. If you are charged with any such offense, you need to assert the strongest defense possible.

State regulation of prescription drugs is strict. The prescription itself must be valid and the issuer must be a licensed medical doctor or other state-authorized medical practitioner. Each prescription limits the number of doses allowed and the time of fulfillment. It can also include time limitations for usage of the drug. Only the person to whom the prescription is given may use the issued drug. Prescription drugs must also be kept in the original container with the prescription information label attached.

Some people who misuse prescription medications began taking them for legitimate medical reasons but got addicted during the course of their treatment. Some users take advantage of prescription drugs available on the black market. Other drug law violators obtain and use medications illegally just because they like the effects and can easily purchase the drugs on the street.

Prescription drug charges can oftentimes be fought successfully. One of the most common defenses is illegal search and seizure. Law enforcement officers are barred from unreasonable search and seizure of anyone’s person or property. If an officer’s search is not valid, any evidence obtained as a result of the illegal search must be thrown out. However, the specific rules governing searches and seizures are complicated. Many law enforcement officers either do not know the applicable laws or do not follow them carefully.

Drug charges can sometimes be dismissed in the exercise of prosecutorial discretion, typically in cases when the possession was not knowingly illegal. Some laws, such as the requirement of keeping prescription drugs in the original container, are not easy to follow. Those taking multiple prescription drugs while away from home are technically required to carry all of their medicines in the original packaging. However, some people travel with a few doses in a separate container. A prosecutor may dismiss charges when the accused can show that he or she:

  • Has a valid prescription for each medication
  • Is carrying a limited number of doses for necessary medical treatment
  • Has some evidence that the balance of doses under that prescription are secured in another location

There may be other situations when prescription drug charges may be reduced or dismissed. Anyone charged with possession should consult an experienced drug charge defense lawyer.

Columbia attorney Jack B. Swerling is a highly respected criminal defense lawyer in South Carolina. If you are facing a drug possession charge or other criminal matter, feel free to contact us online or call {PHONE} for an initial consultation.

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  • Columbia Office
    1720 Main St
    Columbia, South Carolina 29201-2850
    Phone: (803) 765-2626
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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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