Cocaine laws in South Carolina

On Behalf of | Jan 10, 2022 | Criminal Defense |

Cocaine is a substance derived from the South American coca plant. Since it can cause serious health issues, it is highly regulated by the Controlled Substances Act. A person in Greenville, South Carolina, may face several penalties for possession, cultivation, manufacturing, and sale of cocaine.

South Carolina drug law overview

South Carolina classifies drug charges based on Schedule I to IV, with Schedule I drugs having the highest penalty. Schedule I substances have no established medical or clinical use and have the highest addiction risk.

South Carolina lists cocaine under Schedule II substances, which means it is addictive but has some accepted medical use. The Federal Controlled substances Act also lists it under Schedule II, but the Schedules and substances vary in each state. South Carolina makes driving under the influence of controlled substances illegal, even with a prescription, if it decreases mental and physical capacities.

Penalties

A first offense possession of one gram or less commonly includes penalties of a maximum $5,000 fine and a three-year jail term. For the second offense, it counts as a felony charge with penalties of up to a $7,500 fine and a five-year jail term. In some cases, a first offender may be eligible for drug treatment, suspended jail sentences or early release, for simple possession.

The trafficking of any amount of cocaine includes penalties of a $25,000 fine and up to fifteen years of jail. Trafficking 28 grams or more of cocaine commonly includes penalties of a $50,000 fine and up to 10 years of jail without probations.

Drug charges can make life more difficult and remain on a permanent criminal record. However, the prosecution must prove the defendant committed the offense, which can be challenged.

FindLaw Network
contextual image