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Major Drug Crimes

South Carolina Major Drug Crimes

The South Carolina criminal defense lawyers at Lofton & Lofton have decades of experience defending individuals charged with major drug offenses and other crimes. Since 1984, we have built upon founding attorney Lionel Lofton’s extensive work as a federal prosecutor and a 30-year track record of successfully challenging drug charges across the state. Located in Charleston, our firm combines award-winning advocacy with a down-to-earth approach to serving our clients.

Major Drug Violations

Drugs crimes are governed by federal, state, and local laws. While most drug offenses are punishable at the state or local level, major drug crimes generally involve greater quantities of a controlled substance, more “dangerous” classes of drugs, a wider distribution chain, and higher stakes at the federal level. Serious violations of state and federal drug laws may include:

  • Trafficking and smuggling
  • Attempt, conspiracy crimes
  • Money laundering, racketeering
  • Foreign deals and narco-terrorism
  • Firearms, weapons-related charges
  • Drug use, possession
  • Possession with intent
  • Growth, manufacturing
  • Synthetic narcotic drugs
  • Sales to pregnant women
  • Distribution in school zones
  • Dispensing prescription drugs
  • Substance-related violent crimes

South Carolina has the harshest law in the nation prohibiting illegal drugs for pregnant women. Further, in 2010 the state approved a massive overhaul of sentencing and corrections policy involving drug crimes. The amendment separates low-risk, nonviolent prisoners from major drug offenders facing maximum fines and imprisonment for violations of the federal Controlled Substances Act.

Major Drug-Related Crimes

Federal sentencing guidelines govern the maximum terms imposed for major drug crimes. Penalties depend on the quantity and danger associated with controlled substances, which are divided according to schedules. The law punishes “bulk” possession of lower-schedule drugs and smaller quantities of more addictive, heavily restricted drugs, including:

  • Crack cocaine
  • Ecstasy, opiates
  • Heroin, coca leaf
  • Methamphetamine
  • Marijuana, hashish
  • Chemical precursors

Harsher punishment is imposed when drugs give rise to other criminal acts or felonies. These drug-related offenses often involve:

  • Internet sales
  • Theft, transport
  • Endangering life
  • Aiding or abetting
  • Robbery, burglary
  • Deception offenses
  • Sales near truck stops
  • Wrongful distribution
  • Environmental damage
  • Use of an interstate facility
  • Cultivation on federal land

Drug offenses are subject to the three strikes law, which imposes higher penalties for subsequent offenses. Federal statutes also impose minimum prison terms for commission of violent felonies by individuals with a prior serious controlled substance conviction. Major drug felonies are defined as crimes punishable by imprisonment for 10 years or more.

Major Drug Crime Penalties

Convictions for major drug crimes have life-altering effects, and can permanently undermine an individual’s basic rights through punishments involving:

  • Mandatory minimum sentences
  • Up to life in prison
  • Loss of business and profits
  • Loss of voting rights and civil liberties
  • Disqualification from firearms ownership
  • Sentence enhancements for prior drug convictions
  • Loss of employment, education, and other future opportunities

Fighting major drug crime charges requires an experienced attorney. A successful defense may involve expert testimony, mitigating factors, and persuasive advocacy to defend felony charges.

Preserving Your Future

If you are facing charges involving a major drug crime, the South Carolina drug offense attorneys at Lofton & Lofton can help. For over 30 years, we have used an in-depth understanding of drug laws to successfully challenge criminal charges and overly-stringent penalties. At Lofton & Lofton, we dissect the complex nature of major drug crimes to ensure that you receive the experienced representation upon which your well being depends. Do not entrust your future to an inexperienced legal representative. Call (843) 722-6319 to consult one of our dedicated lawyers or contact us online.