South Carolina Drug Charge Defense Lawyer Vigorously Fights for Clients
Columbia attorney represents accused in controlled substance prosecutions
If you are accused of any crime involving illegal drugs, also known as controlled substances, you face the prospect of jail time and hefty fines. Jack B. Swerling, Attorney at Law will employ his skill and experience defending drug charges in South Carolina to provide you with effective representation.
Types of drug charges
South Carolina recognizes several kinds of drug offenses, including:
- Possession — It is illegal to possess any controlled substance without a valid medical prescription.
- Possession with intent to distribute — The intent to distribute may be actual or implied by the amount possessed.
- Manufacturing — This includes the production or processing of a controlled substance, either by extracting it from natural sources or chemical synthesis, for other than one’s own use.
- Trafficking — It is illegal to distribute or otherwise to engage in drug trafficking, which includes cultivation, manufacture, transportation and sale of controlled substances.
- Conspiracy — It is also illegal to enter a common scheme or plan that involves violation of drug laws.
If you are accused of any drug crime, you face the possibility of jail time and a substantial fine. Mr. Swerling can present the strongest defense possible given the facts of your case.
Defense strategies for beating drug charges
There are multiple defenses available to prosecutions over controlled substances. Common strategies include:
- Challenging illegal searches and seizures — The police might have obtained evidence through an improper search of your property, such as by conducting the search without a proper warrant, without probable cause or both or by searching an area not covered by the warrant. Evidence obtained illegally can be suppressed, which means it can’t be used against you in court.
- Challenging an illegal arrest — Your arrest might be illegal if the police arrested you without probable cause or without a proper warrant when one is required. Any evidence acquired as the result of an illegal arrest can be excluded.
- Abusive police conduct — In addition to illegal searches and arrests, overzealous police may engage in other misconduct that can prejudice your rights, such as coercive interrogations or use of physical force. Any evidence the police obtained as the result of abusive conduct may be excluded.
- Improper testing — If alleged drugs were improperly identified or measured or other evidence, such as fingerprints, was improperly analyzed, they can be retested by a defense expert.
- Lack of evidence — An unsupported case, or one that becomes flimsy as a result of the exclusion of illegal evidence, can be dismissed by a judge.
- Legal possession — A drug may be legal if you have a valid prescription for it, including medical marijuana. Proof of legal use can lead to dismissal of charges.
The foregoing defenses can apply to felony drug charges as well as to misdemeanors. Mr. Swerling works hard to build as strong a defense as possible.
Sentencing for drug crimes in South Carolina
Drug crimes are punishable by imprisonment, fines or both. The length of a prison sentence and the amount of a fine depends on the type of crime, the controlled substance involved and your record of prior drug convictions, if any. The punishments increase for additional offenses and for possession with intent to distribute, manufacturing and trafficking in drugs. Even first-time offenders face prison or fines, although it might be possible to get probation in certain circumstances. Juveniles found to have committed drug offenses might go to a juvenile detention center or a treatment program. An experienced Columbia SC drug crimes attorney can help you seek the most lenient sentence possible.
Contact a dedicated South Carolina drug charge defense attorney
Jack B. Swerling, Attorney at Law in Columbia, is experienced in effective defense and sentence reduction in drug crime cases. Call 800-701-0599 or contact him online for a consultation.