Possession with Intent to Distribute

Distribution, possession with intent to distribute, and the manufacturing of any drug including meth labs, all fall under one of two statutes, although the potential penalties will differ depending on the drug involved.

How is Possession with Intent to Distribute in SC Different than Simple Possession?

Most charges of possession with intent to distribute are based on the weight of the drugs found – if the weight is greater than the “threshold weight” as defined in SC’s drug laws, most police will charge possession with intent even if there is no other evidence of intent to distribute.  

For example, if there is greater than one gram of cocaine or one ounce of marijuana found, you will most likely be charged with possession with intent to distribute instead of simple possession.

Despite this, the government must prove that you had an intent to distribute the drugs. In addition to the weight of the drugs, an intent to distribute can be shown by other circumstantial evidence such as the presence of baggies or scales, the packaging of the drugs, statements made by the Defendant, or conversations that may have been recorded.

Possession is a Lesser Included Offense of Possession with Intent to Distribute (PWID)

Your prosecutor may offer to reduce a PWID charge to simple possession in exchange for a plea, depending on the circumstances of your arrest, your prior record, and whether they can prove intent to distribute.

This also means that, at a jury trial, if the prosecution proves possession but not intent to distribute, the jury can find you guilty of the lesser included offense of simple possession.

What are the Penalties for Possession with Intent to Distribute in SC?

If you are convicted of PWID, the penalty will depend on the type of drug and whether it is your first, second, or third offense. Some PWID charges carry mandatory minimum prison sentences…

Possession with intent to distribute marijuana:
  • First offense - up to five years;
  • Second offense -  up to ten years; and
  • Third offense – a mandatory minimum of five and up to twenty years.
Possession with intent to distribute cocaine, crack cocaine, or heroin:
  • First offense – up to 15 years;
  • Second offense – a mandatory minimum of five and up to thirty years; and
  • Third offense – a mandatory minimum of ten and up to thirty years.
SC Drug Crimes Defense Lawyer in Myrtle Beach, Columbia, and Lexington

Defense attorney Lacey Thompson only accepts criminal defense cases in SC, including all drug crimes.

If you are charged with possession with intent to distribute of prescription drugs, cocaine, crack cocaine, heroin, or any other type of drug in SC, call the Thompson Defense Firm now at 843-444-6122 or contact us online to see if we can help.