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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 Street
    Suite 301
    Columbia, South Carolina 29201-2850
    Phone: 800-701-0599
    Fax: 803-799-4059