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1720 Main St, #301 | Columbia, South Carolina 29201-2850
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Drug Trafficking

Trusted South Carolina Drug Trafficking Defense Attorney Fights Serious Charges

Established Columbia lawyer handles state and federal drug allegations

With more than 40 years of experience as a criminal defense attorney, Jack B. Swerling, Attorney at Law, delivers skilled and devoted representation to people facing drug trafficking allegations in South Carolina. Drug trafficking involves knowingly possessing, selling, manufacturing, cultivating, delivering, purchasing or bringing into the state a large amount of a controlled substance. This felony charge can also be filed against a person who attempts to do any of the above or helps another person commit one of these crimes. From his office in Columbia, Mr. Swerling delivers strong, strategic defenses to clients facing serious trafficking charges across the state.

Seasoned defender responds to charges for marijuana, narcotics and more

Among the drugs most commonly trafficked are methamphetamine, marijuana, powder cocaine, heroin, crack cocaine, fentanyl, oxycodone, MDMA or ecstasy, heroin, Quaaludes, LSD, flunitrazepam (“roofies”) and GHB.

Drug trafficking charges in state court generally include the crime of possession and intent to distribute a large amount of a controlled substance. It is the most serious drug crime and therefore carries severe penalties at sentencing. The amount of a drug required to qualify as trafficking depends on the controlled substance in question:

  • Ten pounds of more of marijuana
  • Ten grams or more of cocaine or any cocaine mixture
  • Ten grams or more of methamphetamine
  • Four grams or more of heroin, morphine, or another opiate
  • 15 grams or more of methaqualone
  • 100 tablets or more of lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD)
  • 100 tablets or more of MDMA or ecstasy
  • One gram or more of flunitrazepam (Rohypnol)
  • 50 milliliters or more of gamma hydroxybutyric acid (GHB)

Unlawful possession of a lesser amount is still a serious crime but does not amount to drug trafficking. If you live in South Carolina and are under investigation or facing charges for drug trafficking or possession, contact a drug crime attorney immediately. Your freedom may be at stake.

Proven advocate goes up against prosecutors in federal court cases

Drug trafficking can also be charged at the federal level, and federal charges often result in significantly harsher penalties than state charges. Drug trafficking charges can be filed at the federal level for the following quantities:

  • 1,000 kg of marijuana, or 1,000+ marijuana plants
  • 500 grams of cocaine or any cocaine mixture
  • Five grams of pure methamphetamine or 50 grams of methamphetamine mixture
  • 100 grams of heroin
  • One gram of LSD mixture
  • One gram or more of flunitrazepam
  • Any amount of methaqualone, GHB, MDMA or ecstasy

Minimum and maximum sentences exist for federal drug trafficking charges. Those convicted of a first offense can face between five and 40 years in prison and fined up to $5 million. A sentence may be increased if the offender possessed a weapon or had a leadership role in the offense. When any person is injured or dies during the commission of a trafficking crime, the defendant can be sentenced from 20 years to life in prison.

If you are accused of distributing or possessing any drug in a way that rises to the level of a federal offense, you need a skilled defense. Jack B. Swerling has federal court experience and can challenge federal prosecutors during tough trafficking cases.

Skilled defense counselor delivers a strong defense of your rights

Though drug trafficking charges can be difficult, a well-prepared defense may result in an acquittal or a charge being dropped, dismissed or reduced to a less serious offense. For a drug trafficking charge to be provable in South Carolina, a person must have “knowingly” committed the offense. If a person possesses or moves drugs without being aware of it, a prosecutor’s claims may be baseless.

Mr. Swerling challenges the prosecutor’s claims and evidence, seeking to save clients from harsh penalties. He is a forceful and respected trial attorney, with a long record of satisfactory outcomes. If the prosecutor presents a strong case, Mr. Swerling may work to reduce sentencing by negotiating a plea deal intended to reduce jail time and other punishments.

Contact a determined Columbia drug trafficking defense attorney for a free consultation

If you are facing drug trafficking charges or learn you are the subject of a drug trafficking investigation in South Carolina or at the federal level, Jack B. Swerling, Attorney at Law, is prepared to help. Call Mr. Swerling’s office in Columbia at 800-701-0599 or contact him online to set up a free initial consultation.

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Our Office
  • Columbia Office
    1720 Main St
    Columbia, South Carolina 29201-2850
    Phone: (803) 765-2626
    Fax: 803-799-4059
  • Highest Level of Professional Excellence Award
    Excellent Client Service Award
  • Best Lawyers Award: Best Criminal Defense Lawyers Columbia SC
    Super Lawyers Award: Top Criminal Defense Attorney in Columba, SC
  • Top 500 Fellows
    Selected As Fellow
  • Selected As Fellow - American Board of Criminal Lawyers
    Member IATL
  • Best Criminal Defense Lawyers Columbia South Carolina Award

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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