In South Carolina, the “War on Drugs” continues. Police and prosecutors in Rock Hill and throughout the state take drug offenses of any kind seriously, and they often seek to impose the harshest possible punishment on those who are arrested for these crimes. Regardless of whether your case involves marijuana, cocaine, opioids, methamphetamine or any other controlled substance, you need to be prepared to protect your rights and fight for your future. At McKinney, Tucker & Lemel, LLC, our criminal defense attorneys are here to help.

Our attorneys have deep ties in Rock Hill and surrounding communities in York and Lancaster counties. For decades, we have helped clients to deal with the trauma and consequences of charges involving drug use, possession and distribution. We have handled cases ranging from simple possession to the trafficking of large amounts of drugs. Most importantly, we have worked with clients suffering from real substance abuse issues who needed assistance with rebuilding their lives. We are ready to put that compassion, knowledge and experience to work for you.

If you were charged with a drug crime, you can count on us to work closely with you, develop an effective strategy and pursue the best possible outcome in your case. To learn more about how we can help, call or reach us online today. We will review your case in a free consultation.

What Should You Know About South Carolina Drug Charges?

When you come to us after you have been charged with a drug crime in Rock Hill, the attorneys of McKinney, Tucker & Lemel, LLC, will examine every aspect of your case. Based on our in-depth investigation and analysis, we will provide you with honest, straightforward advice about what steps you should take next. Some of the factors that we will look at in your case include:

  • Type of drug – The severity of the potential consequences that you face will depend on the type of drug. South Carolina places drugs in five schedules. Drugs with no acceptable medical use and a high potential for abuse fall in Schedule I, including drugs such as marijuana, cocaine, heroin and LSD. Most prescription drugs and “pain pills” such as codeine, hydrocodone and oxycodone fall within Schedules II and III.
  • Amount of drug – The amount of controlled substance involved in the offense can mean the difference between a misdemeanor simple possession charge or a more serious felony offense such as possession with intent to distribute or trafficking.
  • Location – Where you allegedly possessed, sold or manufactured the drug could be a factor as well. For instance, if you sell marijuana within a half-mile of a school, public park or playground in Rock Hill, you could be charged with a felony that carries a sentence of up to 10 years and a maximum fine of $10,000.
  • Prior record – Repeat offenses carry much greater consequences than first-time drug offenses. Keep in mind: Convictions from other states can be used to establish your prior record.

Additionally, prosecutors often bring related charges against people who are accused of drug crimes. For instance, if you are caught with a plastic baggie containing a substance that is alleged to be cocaine, you could face a possession charge for the substance as well as a drug paraphernalia charge for the baggie. At McKinney, Tucker & Lemel, LLC, we will take all of these factors into account as we assess your case.

What are the Marijuana Charges in Rock Hill?

South Carolina is not among the many states throughout the country which have relaxed their marijuana laws. In our state, marijuana and derivatives such as hashish remain illegal. If you are caught using, possessing, growing or selling marijuana, you could face stiff penalties. For example, the possession of one ounce or less of marijuana is a misdemeanor that carries a fine of up to $200 and a sentence of up to 30 days. If you are found to possess a greater amount, you could be hit with a sale or trafficking charge. With that said, many first-time offenders who are charged with possession of a small amount of marijuana may be able to avoid prosecution by enrolling in a  diversion program.

Prescription Drugs/Opioid Charges in Rock Hill

Like many states, opioid addiction has reached crisis levels in South Carolina. It is no wonder that crimes involving commonly abused opioids such codeine, hydrocodone, oxycodone, fentanyl and methadone carry stiff penalties. Even charges for a first offense for opioid possession are serious. A conviction could result in up to two years in prison and a $5,000 fine. When a person is found in possession of large amounts of opioids, they could be charged with intent to sell. In fact, this charge may apply when a person is found with as little as two grams of unlawful opioids, or opioids for which they do not have a valid prescription.

Theft of Drugs in South Carolina

Our drug crime attorney is here to help you if you have been charged with a crime.Under South Carolina law, it is illegal for anyone to steal a controlled substance from another person. A first offense for theft of a controlled substance is a felony. The penalty includes up to five years in prison and a maximum fine of $5,000. A conviction for a second offense will double those penalties.

Additionally, it is illegal to obtain drugs by deceit or fraud such as by forging a prescription. A first offense could put you in prison for up to two years and result in a $500 fine. A repeat offense is a felony, which could carry a sentence of up to five years and a fine of up to $2,000.

How Can Our Rock Hill Drug Crimes Defense Lawyers Help You?

At McKinney, Tucker & Lemel, LLC, we know how a drug charge can change your life. In addition to criminal penalties, you could face devastating collateral consequences such as suspension of your driver’s license, confiscation of your assets and loss of employment. If you are a college student, you could be disciplined at school or lose your financial aid.

We will work tirelessly to protect you and your future by examining all of your options, which could include enrolling in a diversion program, entering a plea that carries minimal consequences for you or fight your case at trial. Additionally, we will investigate your case and explore possible defenses such as:

  • The police conducted a search or seizure of your car, home or person that violated your constitutional rights.
  • The police failed to advise you of your Miranda rights before you gave incriminating statements.
  • The police relied on information from an unreliable confidential informant.
  • The lab failed to follow proper testing protocol when analyzing the substances in your case.
  • You did not knowingly possess the controlled substance, or someone else other than you clearly had exclusive possession of it.

Get Help from Our Rock Hill Criminal Defense Attorneys Today

a drug crime lawyer reads over a caseIf you are facing a drug charge in Rock Hill, Fort Mill, York County, Lancaster County or surrounding areas of South Carolina, the experienced criminal defense lawyers of McKinney, Tucker & Lemel, LLC, can provide the legal representation that you need to present your best defense. Contact us now for an evaluation of your drug crime case.