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Understanding Drug Crime Sentencing

Drug Crime Sentencing

Because of the severity of these crimes, it is wise to enlist the help of an experienced Columbia drug crime defense lawyer at the earliest possible opportunity.  Jack B. Swerling is a criminal defense lawyer who can see to it that your rights are protected during the investigation and trial.

South Carolina drug crime sentences

The length of a drug possession sentence generally depends on three things: the drug involved, the amount involved, and whether the offender has previous drug convictions.

  • Marijuana
    • Less than one ounce
      • First offense—up to 30 days
      • Second offense—up to one year
    • One ounce or more—possession with intent to distribute
      • First offense—up to five years
      • Second offense—up to ten years
      • Third offense—five to 20 years
    • Ten pounds or more—trafficking
      • First offense—one to ten years
      • Second offense—five to 20 years
      • Third offense—25 years
    • 100 pounds or more—Minimum sentence of 25 years
  • Cocaine
    • Less than ten grams
      • First offense—up to three years
      • Second offense—up to five years
      • Third offense—up to ten years
    • Ten grams or more—trafficking
      • First offense—three to ten years
      • Second offense—five to 30 years
      • Third offense—25 to 30 years
    • 28 grams of more
      • First offense—seven to 25 years
      • Second offense—seven to 30 years
      • Third offense—25 to 30 years
    • 100 grams or more—minimum 25 years
  • Heroin, morphine, or other opiates
    • Less than four grams
      • First offense—up to two years
      • Second offense—up to five years
    • Four grams or more
      • First offense—seven to 25 years
      • Second offense—minimum 25 years
    • 14 grams or more—minimum 25 years

Federal drug crime sentences

Federal drug sentences are very strict, including mandatory minimum sentences and terms as long as life are possible.  Determining your exposure depends upon prior criminal history, drug weight and your role in the crime.  There are advisory sentencing guidelines.  Therefore, you need a drug crime lawyer in Columbia who can effectively represent you.

Contact South Carolina Criminal Defense Lawyer Jack B. Swerling Today

If you are facing drug trafficking charges or learn you are the subject of a drug trafficking investigation, call our law firm 24 hours a day at 800-701-0599.  Our answering service can direct you to Jack Swerling.  You may also contact Jack Swerling online.

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  • Columbia Office
    1720 Main St
    Columbia, South Carolina 29201-2850
    Phone: (803) 765-2626
    Fax: 803-799-4059

Jack Swerling In The News >>

  • 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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