Aiken Drug Crimes Lawyer

//

Are you or a loved one facing drug offense charges in Aiken, South Carolina?

Have you or a loved one been charged with possession, trafficking, distribution, and or possession with intent to distribute marijuana, cocaine, crack, LSD, PCP, meth, ice, crank, heroin, fentanyl, mushrooms, or any other narcotics?

We appreciate the seriousness of these charges and what it means for your long-term liberty. Nonetheless, do not fret. The Aiken drug crimes lawyers at Johnson, Johnson, Whittle, Lancer & Staggs is here to ensure you receive a fair trial before a judge or jury.

We go above and beyond to defend your constitutionally guaranteed rights while exploring all avenues through which we can positively affect your case. Call us today at (803) 649-5338 and secure the services of an experienced Aiken criminal defense lawyer!

Table of Contents

Understanding Drug Crimes Charges

Drug crimes charges are charges leveled against an individual for crimes related to controlled substances. These are crimes committed in contravention of Title 44 Chapter 53 of the South Carolina Code of Laws, which prohibits the possession, distribution, trafficking, manufacturing, and unlawful disposal of controlled substances.

Drug crimes encompass a broad spectrum of offenses related to the possession, distribution, trafficking, manufacturing, and cultivation of controlled substances.

These crimes are taken seriously and can carry severe penalties, including lengthy prison sentences and substantial fines. Drug crimes are categorized based on the type and quantity of controlled substances involved, as well as the specific actions alleged to have been committed.

Common examples of drug crimes include possession of illegal drugs, possession with intent to distribute, drug trafficking, drug manufacturing, and drug cultivation.

The severity of the charges and potential penalties can vary depending on factors such as the type and quantity of drugs involved, the defendant’s criminal history, and whether the offense occurred near a school or other protected area.

Our trusted Aiken drug crimes lawyers are dedicated to providing comprehensive legal representation to individuals facing drug-related charges. We understand the complexities of drug laws and employ a proactive approach to defend our clients’ rights and interests.

Whether negotiating plea agreements, challenging evidence, or advocating in court, we leverage our knowledge and experience to achieve the best possible outcome for our clients facing drug crimes in Aiken and the surrounding areas.

If you or a loved one is facing drug charges, don’t hesitate to contact our Aiken drug crimes lawyers for skilled and compassionate legal representation.

Image is of a young male holding money in one hand and accepting a bag of drugs from another young male. Concept of Aiken drug crimes lawyer
 

What Are the Types of Drug Crimes Offenses?

There is a wide range of drug crimes prosecuted in the South Carolina courts with varying degrees of penalty severity.

They include:

Possession of Drug Paraphernalia

It is illegal to possess paraphernalia that helps you manufacture, prepare, or ingest controlled substances. Being caught with items such as bongs, roach clips, cocaine freebase kits, pipes, and smoking masks will expose you to possession of drug paraphernalia charges.

Possession

A possession charge is among the lowest drug crime charges one might receive if caught in possession of drugs.

The possession charge can be an actual possession charge (in cases where you have physical control or custody of the controlled substance) or a constructive possession charge (where the drugs are found in your car or home).

Possession With Intent to Distribute

The possession with intent to distribute crime is a felony that’s prosecuted in General Sessions Court. This charge is levied on individuals caught with drug quantities that exceed what is deemed for personal consumption or drugs packaged with the clear intention to distribute.

Evidence of efforts to distribute the drugs, such as scales, large quantities of cash, and packaging baggies, also increases the odds of possession with intent charge.

Manufacturing

A drug manufacturing charge is covered under the same statute as the possession with intent to distribute and carries similar penalties.

Drug Trafficking

This is the most severe drug crime offense charge you might face. It is treated as a felony offense, and it’s typically prosecuted in general sessions court. Under South Carolina law, many of the drug trafficking cases are treated as considered violent crimes.

What Qualifies as a Drug Crime, and How is it Different From Other Offenses?

Drug crimes, as the name suggests, involve the illegal handling of controlled substances.

While drug crimes can be prosecuted as simple misdemeanors for possession to criminal felonies, they are different from other misdemeanors and felonies by the fact that the crimes involve knowingly and intentionally possessing, distributing, manufacturing, and/or trafficking of drugs.

How Can an Aiken Drug Crimes Lawyer Help in a Drug Crimes Case?

Being convicted in a drug crime case, even when the charge is a misdemeanor, can have severe consequences for you in the near and long-term future.

Unfortunately, prosecutors can be fond of overreaching in the prosecution. For instance, they charge people with felony drug charges, even when they were not involved in manufacturing, distribution, or trafficking.

You need a knowledgeable and experienced Aiken drug crimes lawyer in your corner to challenge the evidence presented, analyze search and seizure procedures, and develop legal strategies specific to your drug crime cases, even if it’s a misdemeanor charge.

What Are Some Common Defenses Against Drug Crimes Charges?

We have a wide range of defense strategies for drug crimes. The direction and strategy we take are usually guided by the circumstances and facts of your case and the type of drug charges you face.

Some common defense strategies of a good Aiken drug crimes lawyer include:

Challenging the Legality of a Search (4th Amendment Violations)

In such cases, there is a potential for Fourth Amendment violations, such as searching your home without a warrant and detaining by the roadside without reasonable suspicion or probable cause to search your car.

Most drug arrests occur either during a traffic stop or a search of a person’s home. Knowledgeable and experienced Aiken drug crimes lawyers know the 4th amendment rights and how to protect them.

Disputing Possession

We can also go the route of disputing evidence, especially in the case of a drug crime charge based on constructive possession.

If the drugs were not on your person, the prosecutor must prove that you knew where the drugs were and you had control over them, something we can dispute.

Raising Issues With Evidence Handling

Depending on the circumstance, our Aiken drug crimes lawyers can challenge the veracity of the evidence presented, siting faulty evidence handling.

Image is of a young male with his hands cuffed behind his back, and a police officer's hand hold a bag of drugs, concept of Aiken drug crimes lawyer

Presenting Alternative Explanations for the Presence of Drugs

Whether it is someone else responsible for the drugs or any other explanation for the presence of the drugs, we can present an alternative explanation that vindicates you.

It’s also important to note that the defense strategies that help one client achieve a positive outcome will not guarantee a positive result in other cases. That’s why our Aiken drug crimes lawyers customize defense strategies on an individual case basis.

What Are Some Potential Consequences of a Drug Crimes Conviction?

Drug charges in South Carolina carry some of the stiffest penalties for drug crimes in the country.

Right from the lowest of drug charges (a misdemeanor possession of drugs) to the most serious of drug crimes (trafficking of drugs), the penalties are severe as you face fines, mandatory rehabilitation programs, jail times, and probations.

The penalties also increase in severity for repeat offenders.

Penalty for possession charges will typically depend on the amount of drugs in question (for instance, when it’s less than an ounce, such as is  the case for marijuana) and whether it is the first or second time you’re being charged with the crime.

Generally, possession of drugs is charged as a misdemeanor in the Magistrate Court or Municipal Court, and you can fined and jail terms (up to 30 days in jail).

While possession of drug charges are misdemeanors, they can still affect your life by limiting your employment, educational, and housing opportunities.

A possession with intent to distribute charge attracts a more severe punishment than a possession charge, including higher fines that increase with successive convictions and a mandatory jail term (up to 5 years).

The actual penalty will depend on the quality of the drugs and whether it is your first, second, or third offense. Drug trafficking charges attract the most severe penalties.

For instance, they carry a mandatory minimum prison sentence depending on the type of drug, its weight, and whether it is the first, second, or third offense. First-time offenders face up to 15 years in prison.

Whether you are a first time offender or have several past drug offenses on your record, our Aiken drug crimes lawyers are your best bet to lessening the penalties.

Is it Possible to Have Drug Crimes Charges Reduced or Dismissed?

We aim to help our clients achieve the best outcomes possible in the face of drug crime charges. By default, this means mounting a strong legal defense that utilizes legal defense strategies that result in the case being dismissed or the charges reduced.

However, in cases where negotiating a plea deal is the best option for getting the best outcome, our Aiken drug crimes lawyers work to get the deal possible for our clients.

Our Approach to Drug Crimes Defense

At JJWLS, we believe that the foundation of any successful defense is focusing on the details. Our Aiken drug crimes lawyers are thorough in our approach.

We analyze search and seizure procedures, question the evidence produced in court, and, importantly, identify potential weaknesses in the prosecution’s case.

In a nutshell, we look at every nook and cranny in your case to fight for you and protect your rights.

Strategic Defense Strategies

We have provided clients with strong and vigorous defense strategies against drug crime charges for nearly half a century. Our Aiken drug crimes lawyers go above and beyond to ensure every strategy we develop is bespoke to our client’s needs.

We pursue the strategies that guarantee our clients the best outcome possible. Whether it is pleading our client’s case in front of the jury or negotiating a plea deal, we will fight for you.

What Should I Do if I Have Been Arrested for a Drug Crime in South Carolina?

Given how stiff penalties for drug charges can be, we advise our clients to seek legal representation immediately after the arrest. When arrested, tell the investigator or police officer you want your lawyer and call our Aiken drug crimes lawyers immediately.

Additionally, do not reply to questions in the absence of your attorney. Make it clear in no uncertain terms that you also need your attorney present for questioning.

At this point, you need an attorney with an intricate understanding of drug laws in South Carolina and vast experience in protecting the rights of individuals accused of drug crimes, both of which our Aiken drug crimes lawyers offer in abundance.

Why Choose JJWLS for Your Drug Crimes Defense?

Choosing the right law firm to handle your legal needs is crucial. JJWLS pride ourselves on our commitment to excellence, dedication to our clients, and track record of success.

With our extensive experience and personalized approach, Our Aiken drug crimes lawyers strive to provide the highest level of legal representation and achieve the best possible outcomes for our clients.

Specialized Drug Crimes Defense

Since the inception of JJWLS in 1980, the firm has had a team of lawyers who are vastly experienced in criminal defense. That quality still reigns supreme even today. JJWLS has a team of lawyers who specialize in drug crimes, including Brett H. Lancer and Eric M. Staggs.

Our Aiken drug crimes lawyers are experienced in handling drug crime cases in and out of court and understand how to craft a winning strategy in South Carolina.

Experienced Aiken Drug Crimes Lawyers

JJWLS has rendered countless defenses against drug crime charges in the last 44 years of the firm’s practice. We’ve helped people from all walks of life in Aiken, including students, defend against drug crime charges.

Importantly, our Aiken drug crimes lawyers bring our vast experience and unmatched tenacity in every case.

Client-Centered Approach

Every case is different. As such, we do not apply a cookie-cutter approach to cases our clients bring to us. Our Aiken drug crimes lawyers work diligently to understand the intricacies and nuances of every case.

You can expect a personalized approach, clear communication, and unmatched collaboration throughout this challenging time.

Image is of a judge's gavel, scales of justice, and an Aiken drug crimes lawyer shaking hands with his happy client

JJWLS: Your Go-To Aiken Drug Crimes Lawyer

Drug crime charges are serious charges that can upend your life permanently. The last thing you’d want is to look back on your life and regret how much a drug crime charge that you could have fought has impacted your life.

Johnson, Johnson, Whittle, Lancer & Staggs is here to fight for your rights. We pull all stops to ensure the drug charges have as little of a negative impact on life, if any, as possible.

Contact our specialized and experienced Aiken drug crimes lawyer by calling (803) 649-5338 today and have a fighting chance in the face of life-altering charges.