In South Carolina all Simple Possession of Marijuana charges are considered criminal drug offenses. At the officer's discretion you may either be arrested and taken to jail or issued a citation. Regardless you are facing a
drug charge and are at risk for severe criminal penalties.
The criminal penalties apply to all those who are convicted of marijuana possession, including first time offenders. The include a fine or even a jail sentence. If you are convicted it will also be reported to the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division (SLED) who will enter the conviction on your permanent criminal record. This is a publicly available record that will appear on nearly any background check.
When you are arrested or ticketed for marijuana in South Carolina you have only been formally charged. You are not convicted until you agree to forfeit your bond, plead guilty, plead no-contest or are found guilty after a trial. You should not make a decision as to how to proceed in your case until you consult with an attorney.
There are several options available to those charged with marijuana in South Carolina. Conditional discharge or PTI programs may allow your charge to be dismissed leaving behind no record. You also have a right to plead not-guilty and fully challenge all aspects of your arrest. This includes the police conduct in searching you or your vehicle and whether or not proper Miranda advisements were given.
It is important that you contact a marijuana defense attorney as soon as possible after any arrest for marijuana possession. By doing so you can ensure that you understand your options and can protect your rights.
James R. Snell, Jr. is a
South Carolina Criminal Defense Attorney representing clients throughout South Carolina facing drug and other criminal charges. To schedule an appointment contact his office located in Lexington by calling 1-866-252-5789.