In South Carolina, law enforcement may find:
- a person is in possession of drugs;
- or they are holding those with the intent to distribute them.
It is important to know the difference between the two and the varying penalties that may result.
PWID: What Matters
When deciding whether to charge an individual with a simple hold or a possession with the intent to distribute charge, the weight of the illegal substance is taken into consideration. In South Carolina, there are drug laws that define the “threshold weight” that will be the determining factor of whether a person is charged with simple retention or with distribution. This threshold weight varies depending on the type of drugs that you are found with.
Holding more than one once of marijuana is usually charged as a possession with the intent to distribute.
Someone found with more than one gram of cocaine is usually charged with PWID.
The weight alone may be insufficient to prove that you were intending to distribute the illegal substance. The state must prove your intention. The substance(s)’ weight can prove that you planned to, if the weight is substantial enough. However, a person can argue that he or she never intended to distribute the drugs and the prosecutor will have to utilize other evidence to support their case.
Sometimes a person may still be convicted of a distribution charge even though the weight of the drugs does not meet the threshold weight as required by South Carolina statutes if there is other evidence of the plan.
A person can be found to be is possession of drugs with the intent to distribute by statements, witness testimony, the way the illegal substances were packaged, the presence of scales, baggies, or other paraphernalia.
If the prosecutor cannot show that you intended to distribute, you may still be convicted of a simple possession charge.
The varying punishments for drug possession charges are very drastic. Being charged with simple possession, or with distribution, can be a serious offense that ends in prison time.
If you have been found to be holding illegal substances, call Henderson and Henderson at 843-212-3188 to speak with a local attorney who can assist you in defending your drug possession charges.