Facing Marijuana Charges in Lexington, SC?
Marijuana is one of the most common drugs used. Therefore, there are many
criminal charges that can arise from the possession or use of this drug.
It is also known as pot, weed, bud, chronic, or hash. At Law Office of
James R. Snell, Jr., LLC, our Lexington
criminal defense attorney, James R. Snell, represents those who are charged with
simple possession of marijuana and
serious drug crimes. Whether you are facing charges in Lexington, Columbia or another area
within the state of South Carolina, we can provide you with the top-quality
representation you need.
Penalties in South Carolina
First-time offenders charged with up to one ounce are prosecuted in the
magistrate or municipal court. Second and subsequent offenders are prosecuted
in general sessions court. Although most individuals charged with marijuana
possession are arrested and taken to jail, at the officer's discretion
you can be given a traffic ticket and asked to appear in court. Whether
or not you were taken to jail, all marijuana charges are criminal in nature
and can result in severe penalties. If you are convicted of any marijuana
charge, you face the possibility of high fines, jail time, and a permanent
This includes marijuana possession, possession with intent to distribute,
distribution of marijuana,
marijuana trafficking or manufacturing. The judge will have no discretion or authority regarding
the creation of a criminal record, license suspension (for repeat offenders)
or how the conviction may impact your ability to obtain a college scholarship.
Under South Carolina law, in order to be convicted, the State must prove
that you were in either actual or constructive possession of marijuana.
There is no minimum amount of marijuana that must be present to be criminally
convicted. If it is enough to be tested, it is enough to be charged.
PTI for Marijuana
Every county in South Carolina operates a pre-trial intervention (PTI)
office. PTI is a diversion program designed for first-time non-violent
offenders. PTI is not a sentence; instead, defendants are referred into
the program upon the agreement of the police and the court. To complete
PTI for a marijuana charge a defendant will have to complete 30-50 hours
of community service, counseling, pass at least two drug tests, and prepare
a two-to-three page report. Generally it takes six to nine months to enroll
and complete all of the program's requirements. Once PTI is complete
the simple possession of marijuana charge will be dismissed and the defendant's
arrest record will be expunged.
Conditional discharge is a special program for individuals charged with
simple possession of marijuana and certain other drug offenses. Upon completion
of the program, the charge will be dismissed and the arrest record
expunged. To complete a conditional discharge program, a defendant must follow
all instructions of the court. The program is directly supervised by the
court. Typical requirements are random drug testing, community service,
and drug counseling. The typical length of time to complete the program
is three to six months.
Whether it is contesting your case in court, or pursuing PTI or a conditional
discharge, we are available to discuss all of the available options in
your case. Our lawyers regularly represent clients charged with marijuana
possession. Our clients include students, out of town motorists (usually
arrested or ticketed on the interstate) and anyone else wishing to avoid
a criminal conviction. For more information on marijuana charges,
contact one of our Lexington criminal attorneys today!