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From first-offense misdemeanor charges involving small amounts of marijuana to major trafficking cases, the criminal law attorneys at Morton & Gettys have handled a range of drug offenses for clients.
- Simple Drug Possession: Punishment for these crimes can range from 30 days in jail for a first offense possession of 28 grams or less of marijuana to up to 10 years in prison for some third-offense possession cases. Convictions for simple possession also involve varying fines. In some cases, these convictions never leave a person’s criminal history.
- Manufacturing, Distribution, & Possession with Intent to Distribute: Manufacturing, distributing or possessing drugs with an intent to distribute can carry higher penalties than possessing drugs. Prosecutors have at times successfully argued that a person intends to distribute drugs based simply on the amount involved. As a result, people may face harsher penalties for having large amounts of drugs even though they had no intention of selling or distributing. Convictions on charges of manufacturing, distributing, or possessing with the intent to distribute drugs may result in jail sentences and large fines.
- Trafficking: When the police find large amounts of drugs, a person may be charged with trafficking and face significant jail time, with mandatory minimum sentences if convicted. In some cases, a conviction may constitute a strike that can lead to life imprisonment.
An arrest or charge for a drug offense is not automatically a conviction, though. Sometimes people are charged simply because they’re in close proximity to the drugs under the legal theory of constructive possession. Drug cases also can involve highly technical legal issues, such as whether the search or seizure was lawful.
Because of the potential consequences that come with a drug conviction – fines, jail time and future impact on employment and housing in having a criminal record – those facing even misdemeanor possession charges can benefit from having an experienced criminal law attorney on their side.
At Morton & Gettys, we work to identify any possible defenses. We examine the facts of the case and the circumstances of the arrest, including whether an illegal search and seizure under the Fourth Amendment was involved. We advise our clients about possible outcomes and their future impact, including jury trials and plea agreements.
If you are facing a drug charge, contact the experienced criminal law attorneys at Morton & Gettys in Rock Hill today, so we can get started on your defense.