map Serving Conway, Myrtle Beach, and Marion, South Carolina

Schedule A Consultation 843-488-4321

Conway Criminal Law Blog

Is There a Difference Between a State and Federal Drug Charge?

In fiscal year 2022, over 20,000 drug crimes were reported in the United States. Whether you are facing a state or federal charge, be aware that a conviction may result in incarceration, steep fines, and long-term consequences for having a criminal record.

Federal drug charges usually impose harsher penalties. A person may be charged with a federal drug offense if the crime took place across state lines. In contrast, a state-level offense usually involves criminal activity within South Carolina’s borders.

Thankfully, Attorney Brad C. Richardson is here to answer any questions you may have regarding drug charges.

Common Federal Drug Charges

Federal law criminalizes the following offenses:

Common South Carolina Drug Charges

South Carolina recognizes the following drug offenses:

Drug Trafficking Penalties

With an array of drug offenses, we have decided to focus on the penalties for drug trafficking. Below, we discuss federal versus state penalties.

Federal Penalties

The punishment for federal drug trafficking will depend largely on the type of drug and the amount that you are distributing. The DEA classifies drugs into five schedules, with Schedule I drugs having the highest addiction rate and Schedule V being the least addictive, serving a clear medical purpose.

For instance, if you are caught trafficking 100-999 grams of heroin, a Schedule I drug, for your first offense, you may be sentenced to 10 years to life in prison. If anyone was seriously harmed or died as a result of your drug trafficking offense, then the minimum sentence will increase to 20 years. Individuals may potentially be fined $10 million, and drug cartels as much as $50 million.

South Carolina Penalties

Let us see how the state penalties apply for the same crime. In South Carolina, you will be charged for trafficking in heroin or fentanyl if you are found in possession of four or more grams.

South Carolina imposes the following penalties based on the following volumes:

Speak with a Marion Drug Crime Lawyer Today

The moment you are charged for a drug crime, it is important you take action. If you are in need of legal counsel in defending drug charges, our drug crime lawyer is ready to assist you. Contact the office today online or by calling 843-488-4321 to schedule your consultation.