Trafficking in Cocaine, Marijuana, Heroin

Trafficking charges in South Carolina are usually based on the weight of the drug - possession of greater than ten grams of cocaine or cocaine base, four grams of heroin, or ten pounds of marijuana is considered trafficking under South Carolina law.

SC’s trafficking laws also allow a conviction for trafficking based on conspiracy alone – although most trafficking cases are based on the drug weight, you can be found guilty of trafficking drugs even if you were not found with the drugs in your possession…

What is Drug Trafficking in SC?

Trafficking does not mean moving drugs over state lines. It means you possessed a quantity of drugs in excess of the threshold weight – or –you conspired to possess an amount of drugs in excess of the threshold weight.

Trafficking can be based on possession, constructive possession, or conspiracy. SC’s drug trafficking laws contain the most severe penalties of any drug crimes in the state, and usually require a mandatory minimum prison sentence.

What are the Penalties for Drug Trafficking in SC?

The penalties for drug trafficking offenses can be severe, including mandatory minimum sentences of 25 years for some trafficking charges.

Trafficking and distribution offenses are often categorized as violent, 85%, and no-parole offenses, which means if you are convicted you will serve nearly all the time that you are sentenced to.

Penalties for drug trafficking in SC increase based on 1) the weight of the drugs and 2) whether you have prior drug convictions. Although I don’t list them below, there are also substantial fines that increase based on the drug weight and prior convictions – some convictions carry a fine of as much as $200,000.

What are the penalties?

Trafficking in Marijuana:
  • 1 – 100 pounds:
    • First offense: A mandatory minimum sentence of one year and up to ten years;
    • Second offense: A mandatory minimum sentence of five years and up to 20 years;
    • Third offense: A mandatory sentence of 25 years.
  • 100 – 2000 pounds: A mandatory minimum sentence of 25 years.
  • 2000 – 10,000 pounds: A mandatory minimum sentence of 25 years.
  • 10,000 pounds or more: A mandatory minimum sentence of 25 years and up to 30 years.
Trafficking in Cocaine, Crack Cocaine, or Meth:
  • 10 – 28 grams:
    • First offense: A mandatory minimum sentence of three years and up to 10 years.
    • Second offense: A mandatory minimum sentence of five years and up to 30 years.
    • Third offense: A mandatory minimum sentence of 25 years and up to 30 years.
  • 28 – 100 grams:
    • First offense: A mandatory minimum sentence of seven years and up to 25 years.
    • Second offense: A mandatory minimum sentence of 7 years and up to 30 years.
    • Third offense: A mandatory minimum sentence of 25 years and up to 30 years.
  • 100 -  200 grams: A mandatory sentence of 25 years.
  • 200 – 400 grams: A mandatory sentence of 25 years.
  • Greater than 400 grams: A mandatory minimum sentence of 25 years and up to 30 years. 
Trafficking in Heroin:

  • 4 – 14 grams:
    • First offense: A mandatory minimum sentence of seven years and up to 25 years;
    • Second offense or greater: A mandatory sentence of 25 years;
  • 14 – 28 grams: A mandatory sentence of 25 years.
  • 28 grams or more: A mandatory minimum sentence of 25 years and up to 40 years in prison.
SC Drug Crimes Trafficking Defense Lawyer in Myrtle Beach, Columbia, and Lexington

South Carolina has extremely harsh drug laws compared to some other states – for example, trafficking heroin in SC can be punished by a sentence of 40 years in prison, 85% and no-parole.

If you are charged with trafficking in drugs in SC, you need an aggressive and experienced criminal defense lawyer on your side. Call the Thompson Defense Firm now at 843-444-6122 or contact us online for a free consultation, to see how we can help.