The Different Drug Classes and Drug Possession Penalties

drug possession penalties

Almost 1,600,000 people were arrested for drug violations in the U.S. in 2016. More than 84% of the arrests were for possession of a controlled substance.

Were you charged with possession of a controlled substance in South Carolina? Drug possession penalties vary depending on the drug classification.

Read on to learn more about drug classifications and drug possession penalties.

Drug Regulation by State

The regulation of controlled dangerous substances (CDS) varies by state. Each state has its own definition of CDS. Each state also imposes different penalties based on the amount and type of drug.

South Carolina (SC) also classifies as CDS the substances used in making illegal drugs.

Drug Classifications

There are five schedules in classifying CDS in SC. It is legal to have and use some of the drugs in these classes, but only with a prescription. The prescription must come from a doctor in SC. The classifications are:

  • Schedule I
  • Schedule II
  • Schedule III
  • Schedule IV
  • Schedule V

In SC, marijuana is a schedule-I drug. You’ll be prosecuted for possession of marijuana, even if you live in a state where it’s legal. Though it’s possible to have it expunged from your record, don’t take the chance.

Schedule I and II Narcotics

It’s a misdemeanor to possess lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD) or a Schedule I or II narcotic CSC in SC. Penalties differ depending on the number of offenses. If this is your first offense, a fine of up to $5,000 or two years in jail or both is the penalty.

A second offense is a felony. The fine is as much as $5,000 or up to five years in prison or both.

Each successive offense raises the fine, though not the jail time. Three offenses or more is a fine of up to $10,000, and up to five years in prison or both.

Schedule I, II, III, IV, or V

Other Schedule I, II, III, IV, or V CDS is a misdemeanor for possession, with the exception of cocaine. A first offense penalty is a fine of up to $1,000 or up to six months in jail or both.

A second offense or more incurs fines of up to $2,000 or up to one year in jail or both.

Cocaine Possession

A first offense of cocaine possession is a misdemeanor. The fine is up to $5,000 or up to three years in prison or both. As with the other narcotics, a second offense is a felony.

The penalty carries a fine of up to $7,500, as much as three years in prison or both. A third offense or more of cocaine possession has a penalty of up to $12,500 or up to 10 years in prison or both.

If you’re caught in possession of more than one gram of cocaine, judges presume intent to sell. This carries harsher penalties.

Drug Possession Penalties

Before you travel, know the laws of the states you’ll be in. Every state has different drug possession penalties. Medical marijuana is not legal in SC, even if you have a prescription in another state.

If you’ve been charged with possession of drugs, get good legal representation.

Need a good lawyer? Contact Attorney David Tarr now.

Other Recent Posts

What clients say...

David is an awesome defense attorney! He's also a genuinely nice guy.

P.M.

He made the process quick and easy.

A.T.

Super professional, gets things done timely.

E.D.

The results were nothing less than superb. I have and will continue to recommend him as the man to go to for legal counsel.

P.M.

During the entire process, David was considerate, accessible, knowledgeable, and on top of the situation.

T.L.

Mr. Tarr was very knowledgeable of the legal system and that allowed us to navigate through hearings, sentencing and programs for a favorable outcome.

C.W.

He was knowledgeable of the law and was very prepared for court. He met me at a location near me because i did not have a ride available.

J.C.

He has exceptional communication a clear understanding of the laws, and knows how to get things done in Columbia.

D.S.

He is professional but genuinely cared about the outcome.

Z.E.

He is diligent in putting in whatever work is necessary to obtain the best possible outcome for you.

R.O.

CONTACT OUR OFFICE

Attorney David Tarr has remained committed to the rights of South Carolina's criminally accused since 1995.
Contact our office today for a free consultation.

Columbia Criminal Defense Lawyer David Tarr
    The use of the Internet or this form for communication with the firm or any individual member of the firm does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Confidential or time-sensitive information should not be sent through this form.
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.