It seems like societal attitudes regarding drug use are changing all the time, and generally drug laws tend to follow suit. And while drug laws in some other states might be trending toward more leniency, when it comes to some recreational drug use in the Palmetto State heroin possession and sale remains illegal. Here are the basics of heroin laws in South Carolina.
Heroin Laws in South Carolina
State drug laws can vary, depending on where you live, the type of drug, and the amount involved. The chart below highlights some of South Carolina’s heroin laws.
|Code Section||South Carolina Code of Laws 44-53-110, et seq.: Narcotics and Controlled Substances|
|Possession||Misdemeanor, up to 2 yrs. and/or $5000; Subsequent offense: felony, 5 yrs. and/or $5000; Third offense: felony, 5 yrs. and/or $10,000; Possession of more than 2 grains of heroin is prima facie evidence of intent to sell/distribute|
|Sale||Any amount: felony, 15 yrs. and/or $25,000; Subsequent offense: felony, 5-30 yrs. and $50,000; Third offense: 15-30 yrs. and $50,000; Sale within ?-mile radius of school: up to 10 yrs. and $10,000; Sale to minor: up to 20 yrs. without parole or suspension and $30,000|
|Trafficking||Trafficking in illegal drugs: 4-14 g.: 7-25 yrs. without parole or suspension and $50,000; Subsequent offense: 25 yrs. and $100,000; 14-28 g.: mandatory 25 yrs. without parole or suspension and $200,000; Over 28 g.: mandatory 25-40 yrs. without parole or suspension and $200,000|
Because heroin remains listed as a Schedule I drug, possession and sale are prohibited at the state and federal level. Therefore, everything from simple possession all the way up to manufacturing and cultivation and trafficking and distributioncan result in a criminal conviction, which can carry harsh penalties. For example, in South Carolina just possessing heroin can mean two years in prison, and trafficking can get you 40 years and $200,000 in fines. Some states, including South Carolina, have set up specialized “drug courts” that provide drug treatment services for first- and second-time drug crime defendants instead of lengthy jail sentences.
South Carolina Heroin Laws: Related Resources
Drug laws can be difficult to understand, and drug addiction can be even tougher to deal with. If you or someone you know may have a substance abuse or drug problem, South Carolina’s Department of Alcohol and Other Drug Abuse has online, phone, and in-person resources that can help. For more articles and resources on this topic, you can visit FindLaw’s Drug Charges section. If you would like legal assistance regarding a drug matter, you can contact a South Carolina drug crime attorney.