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SC Drug Trafficking: Fines, Penalties & Jail Time
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SC Drug Trafficking: Fines, Penalties & Jail Time

Drug trafficking sounds like the subject of a Hollywood blockbuster, and not something that could ever happen to you. However, drug trafficking is a real and serious charge that affects real people just like you everyday.

If you or a loved one has been charged with drug trafficking, you may be confused by what the term “drug trafficking” means. After all, you may not have sold any drugs–or even intended to do so. A lot of people think drug trafficking is the same as “drug dealing,” but it’s not.

Drug trafficking includes drug dealing, but there’s also a lot of other reasons why you may be charged with drug trafficking.

So, what exactly is drug trafficking?

It’s true that you can be convicted of drug trafficking if you make, transport, sell or distribute illegal drugs. However, there’s also another reason why you can be charged and convicted with drug trafficking, and that’s possession.

As they say, drug trafficking is a crime of weight and measurement. If you’re found with over a certain weight or measurement of any illegal substance, it’s not good news.

In this case, it doesn’t matter whether or not you bought it, made it, transported it or intended to sell it–simply having a specific amount of illegal drugs in your possession means that you can be found guilty of drug trafficking.

What amount of drugs exceed the possession limit?

There are different weight and measurement limits for each type of drug. For example, possession of 28 grams of heroin can mean a 25 year sentence, whereas possession of 28 grams of cocaine for a first offense can mean a sentence of three to 10 years. Check out the table below for specifics.

44-53-370(e)(1) Marijuana

2360 Marijuana (10-100 lbs) First 1-10 years $10k

0402 Marijuana (10-100 lbs) Second 5-20 years $15k

0145 Marijuana (10-100 lbs) Third or subsequent 25 years $25k
44-53-370(e)(2) Cocaine

0278 Cocaine (10-28 grams) First 3-10 years $25k

0387 Cocaine(10-28 grams) Second 5-30 years $50k

0147 Cocaine (10-28 grams) Third or subsequent 25-30 years $50k

2359 Cocaine (28-100 grams) First 7-25 years $50k

0388 Cocaine (28-100 grams) Second 7-30 years $50k

0148 Cocaine (28-100 grams) Third or subsequent 25-30 years $50k

0280 Cocaine (100-200 grams)
25 years $50k

0288 Cocaine (200-400 grams)
25 years $100k

0281 Cocaine (400 or more grams)
25 years $200k
44-53-375(C) Methamphetamine or Cocaine Base

0450 Cocaine Base/Meth (10-28 grams) First 3-10 years $25k

0451 Cocaine Base/Meth (10-28 grams) Second 5-30 years $50k

0452 Cocaine Base/Meth (10-28 grams) Third or subsequent 25-30 years $50k

0392 Cocaine Base/Meth (28-100 grams) First 7-25 years $50k

0389 Cocaine Base/Meth (28-100 grams) Second 7-30 years $50k

0349 Cocaine Base/Meth (28-100 grams) Third or subsequent 25-30 years $50k

0368 Cocaine Base/Meth (100-200 grams)
25 years $50k

0369 Cocaine Base/Meth (200-400 grams)
25 years $100k

0370 Cocaine Base/Meth (400 or more grams)
25-30 years $200k
44-53-370(e)(3) Heroin

2361 Heroin (4-14 grams) First 7-25 years $50k

0156 Heroin (4-14 grams) Second and subsequent 25 years $100k

0287 Heroin (14-28 grams)
25 years $200k

0149 Heroin (28 grams or more)
25-40 years $200k
44-53-375(E)(1) Ephedrine

3023 Ephedrine, etc. (>9, <28 grams) First Up to 10 years $25 k

3024 Ephedrine, etc. (>9, <28 grams). Second 5-30 years $50k

3025 Ephedrine, etc. (>9, <28 grams) Third and subsequent 25-30 years $50k

3026 Ephedrine, etc. (>28, <100 grams) First 7-25 years $50k

3027 Ephedrine, etc. (>28, <100 grams) Second 7-30 years $50k

3028 Ephedrine, etc. (>28, <100 grams) Third and subsequent 25-30 years $50k

3029 Ephedrine, etc. (>100, <200 grams) First 25-30 years $50k

3030 Ephedrine, etc. (>100, <200 grams) Second 25 years $50k

3031 Ephedrine, etc. (>100, <200 grams) Third and subsequent 25 years $50k

3032 Ephedrine, etc. (>200, <400 grams) First 25 years $100k

3033 Ephedrine, etc.(>200, <400 grams) Second 25 years $100k

3034 Ephedrine, etc. (>200, <400 grams) Third 25 years $100k

3035 Ephedrine, etc. (>400 grams) First 25-30 years $200k

3036 Ephedrine, etc. (>400 grams) Second 25-30 years $200k

3037 Ephedrine, etc. (>400 grams) Third and subsequent 25-30 years $200k


Will I have to pay a fine?

If convicted of this felony, you can be fined up to $200,000. For trafficking convictions in South Carolina, expect to pay a minimum of $10,000.

How much prison time will I face if convicted of drug trafficking?

Because all trafficking offenses are considered violent and serious, you can have a possible sentence of up to 30 years or more. By statute, these sentences are considered “no-parole” offenses.

Will I have to face prison time?

In South Carolina, it’s highly likely that you will face prison time if convicted of drug trafficking. Even for first time offenders, you’re looking at no less than a one year minimum sentence and a $10,000 fine for 10 to 100 lbs of marijuana.

Trafficking of 10 to 28 grams of heroin for a first time offender can carry a minimum sentence of no less than three years, and a fine of $25,000.

What about probation?

Probation is possible but only as part of a negotiated plea bargain, where you agree to plead guilty to a lesser charge.

If you’ve been charged…

If you find yourself facing a drug trafficking charges in South Carolina, you need an experienced drug trafficking attorney to advise you on the best course of action. You can find out your options and understand more about your charges, in plain English. You can also get the support you need to protect your rights and fight these charges.

Ready to Speak with an Attorney?

Contact Lori Murray to discuss your situation.

Get in Touch
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