If you are charged with drug possession in South Carolina, you will have an opportunity to refute the government’s allegation in court. Depending on the strength of your argument, it may be possible to have your case thrown out before it gets to trial. A strong defense may also allow you to negotiate a favorable plea deal or obtain an acquittal.
Defenses against drug possession
If you didn’t know that you were in possession of marijuana, cocaine or other controlled substances, it’s unlikely that you have committed a crime. A prosecutor cannot obtain a conviction without proving your intent to violate the law. You may also assert that you merely possessed something that looked like marijuana or another prohibited item. Finally, you may argue that you were the victim of entrapment or that authorities violated your Fourth Amendment rights while obtaining evidence.
Defending against trafficking charges
Authorities may try to charge you with intent to distribute or traffic a controlled substance if they find a large quantity of drugs. In such a scenario, you may beat the charge by arguing that you only had enough for personal use. It may also be possible to contend as part of your criminal defense strategy that you were the victim of police misconduct. Any other defenses to rebut a possession charge may also be used to rebut a possession with intent to distribute charge.
If convicted of drug possession, you may be sentenced to jail or prison time and subject to fines or other penalties. Penalties may be enhanced if you’re convicted of possession with intent to distribute. It may be possible to have your record expunged if you are acquitted.