Answers To Common Questions About Drug Possession In South Carolina
If you’re facing drug possession charges, you are far from alone. This is one of the most common offenses charged in South Carolina and nationwide. At a time like this, it’s perfectly understandable to be filled with questions about the charges and about your future.
On this page, you’ll find answers to some of the most common questions that clients ask attorney Brad Richardson. After reading, you can contact The Law Office of Brad C. Richardson, LLC, to get your own questions answered during a free initial consultation.
How long will a drug possession conviction stay on my record? What problems might it cause?
It depends on the drug, how the case was resolved and whether you are eligible to have the record expunged. Under some circumstances, a relatively minor charge like simple possession of marijuana can be expunged after about three years. In many cases, however, a drug conviction can stay on your record for life.
If you do have a permanent conviction on your record, it will likely impede your life for far longer than the sentence imposed by the judge. A criminal record makes it more difficult to get hired for a job, get approved for rental housing, take out loans and pursue higher education. To many of the people who make these decisions, it doesn’t matter if your conviction happened 10 years ago or yesterday.
Do I really need to hire a lawyer to defend against drug charges?
This question is largely answered above. The consequences of a conviction can be severe. And without an experienced attorney protecting your rights and advocating for you, the state will likely try to pursue the strongest charges prosecutors can support.
A defense attorney cannot always prevent a conviction, and no attorney can guarantee a specific outcome. However, most of the time, if acquittal is not possible, your attorney can help you resolve the case much more favorably than you could without their help. That might mean a reduction in charges or a lighter sentence.
I was charged with constructive possession of drugs. What does that mean?
South Carolina (and most other states) recognize two types of drug possession: actual and constructive. Actual possession is easy to understand: A law enforcement officer saw that there were drugs in your pocket, in your hand or otherwise on your person.
Constructive possession is more complex. You might be charged with constructive possession if police found drugs in a location that you had control over and/or easy access to, such as the trunk of your car. It is more difficult for prosecutors to secure a conviction for constructive possession because they must prove two things: First, they must show that you had control over the area where the drugs were found, and second, they must show that you knew the drugs were there.
Police searched me without a warrant. Was the search illegal?
Before examining the details of a given case, it isn’t possible to know whether a search was legal. However, this is one of the first questions an experienced attorney will explore in a drug case because illegal searches are very common.
The Fourth Amendment to the Constitution protects all of us against unreasonable search and seizure by law enforcement. That often means police must obtain a search warrant, but this isn’t true in every case. When you hire Mr. Richardson, he will examine this and many other details of your case to maximize your chances of a positive resolution to your case.
Ask Your Own Questions During A Free Initial Consultation
The Law Office of Brad C. Richardson, LLC, has convenient office locations in Myrtle Beach, Conway and Marion, South Carolina. To take advantage of a free initial consultation about your drug charges (or any other criminal matter), call the firm at 843-773-2766 or submit an online contact form.