Heroin: Fines, Penalties, Jail Time in SC

by | Mar 31, 2016 | Criminal Defense, Drug Charges |

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If you or a loved one has fallen victim to heroin, you know how all-encompassing a heroin addiction can be. Aside from the physical and emotional effects of heroin, you may also have to deal with the legal impact if you are arrested with the drug or with paraphernalia.

Heroin is a serious drug with serious penalties. The legal consequences can include jail time and fines. However, if you’re charged with a heroin-related crime, there are other penalties which can affect your entire life.

For example, your arrest for heroin paraphernalia or possession will show up on background checks. This could keep you from getting a good job or from having a lease application approved.

If you’re facing heroin charges in South Carolina, it’s important that you hire an attorney to help with your case.

What can an attorney do for your drug case?

First and foremost, a drug charge attorney can help you fight for your rights. You might not know the ins and outs of the legal system and all the rights you’re entitled to, but your attorney will. And it’s your attorney’s job to learn the facts of your case and to aid you in getting the best possible outcome.

With the support of a lawyer, drug charges may:

  • Get dismissed. That’s because sometimes the police make mistakes or defendants get overcharged for their crime.
  • Get reduced. Plea bargaining enables defense attorneys and prosecutors to make deals on behalf of a defendant.

Whatever you’ve been through in the past and whatever you’re facing now, an attorney is someone in your corner whose entire goal is to help you through this fight so you can get on with your life.

There are a range of heroin charges, from misdemeanors to felonies that can result in varying amounts of fines or jail time or, in some cases, both fines and jail time. The least serious heroin related offense is for paraphernalia.

Possession of Heroin Paraphernalia

Paraphernalia is anything designed for or used to aid in taking drugs. Paraphernalia includes:

  • Spoons
  • Syringes
  • Needles
  • Pipes

There are several other objects which could be considered drug paraphernalia by law enforcement that aren’t included on the list above. If you’re arrested with these types of objects, you’ll be charged with the possession of paraphernalia.

Classification Jail Time Fine
Misdemeanor None $0 to $500

Simple Possession of Heroin

Heroin is considered a dangerous controlled substance by the state of South Carolina. If you purchase or possess a small amount of heroin, that’s considered simple possession. The amount of heroin that can result in an arrest is miniscule–just two grains of heroin, which is about one eighth of a gram.

If this is your first drug offense, you’ll be charged with a misdemeanor. However, if you’ve got any other drug charges on your record, even for a drug other than heroin, you’ll be considered a repeat offender.

Charge Classification Jail Time Fine
First offense Misdemeanor Up to 2 years Up to $5,000
Second offense Felony Up to 5 years Up to $5,000
Third offense Felony Up to 5 years Up to $10,000

PWID Heroin

PWID is short for “Possession with Intent to Distribute.” PWID heroin is the next step up from simple possession in terms of heroin offenses.

A PWID charge means you were likely found with enough heroin that it probably wasn’t just for personal use. Possession of more than two grains of heroin nearly always results in a PWID charge. In that scenario, the police assume you intended to distribute or sell the heroin to other people. Since distributing dangerous narcotics to others can have a serious impact on people’s lives, the penalties for this offense are more serious.

Charge Classification Jail Time Fine
First offense Felony Up to 15 years Up to $25,000
Second offense Felony Between 5 to 30 years Up to $50,000
Third offense Felony Between 10 to 30 years Up to $50,000

Trafficking Heroin

Trafficking in illegal drugs describes several activities including selling, manufacturing, delivering or purchasing specific drugs in certain amounts, particularly if the drugs go across state lines at any point. To be charged with trafficking heroin, you must have at least four grams in your possession. The weight of heroin found will determine the severity of your sentence.

Weight in grams Charge Classification Jail Time Fine
4 to 13 First offense Felony Between 7 to 25 years $50,000
4 to 13 Second offense Felony 25 years $100,000
14-27 Any offense Felony 25 years with no suspension or probation $200,000
28 or more Any offense Felony Between 25 to 40 years $200,000

You don’t have to do this alone.

Get the legal help you need and deserve.

Dealing with heroin charges and possible conviction could change your life and your family’s life in more ways than you can imagine. Let our experienced legal team help you through this trying time. We will listen to the facts of your case and fight for your rights no matter what. Contact the team at Coastal Law for a free consultation to discuss your case. Dial (843) 488-5000 to discuss your situation.

Ready to Speak with an Attorney?

Contact Coastal Law to discuss your situation.

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1104 North Oak Street
Myrtle Beach, SC 29577

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1314 2nd Avenue
Conway, SC 29526

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231 King Street
Charleston, SC 29401

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1201 Main Street, Suite 1913
Columbia, SC 29201

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