Experienced Drug Crimes Defense in Florence, South Carolina

If you are facing any criminal charges involving drugs in Florence, South Carolina, you need to speak with an experienced criminal defense attorney as soon as possible. These charges can be devastating, and a conviction or guilty plea can follow you for the rest of your life.

Our experienced attorneys at Roberts Law Group focus on criminal law. As a team, we have decades of experience and provide a vigorous defense for any drug crime.

South Carolina Drug Laws And Penalties

Drug crimes are always challenging because there is so much political pressure on prosecutors to secure convictions. They want to show how "effective" they are by obtaining high conviction rates. If you have been charged with possession of any controlled substance, and especially if you have been charged with trafficking or other felony-level offenses, you need an aggressive and effective defense attorney working for you.

Don't Speak With The Police

This is important. Time is critical. When you have been arrested and charged, the state begins building its case against you immediately. You cannot wait and, most of all, you want an attorney because they become your voice. You do not want to speak to anyone other than your attorney. Not the police, not an investigator, not the prosecutor.

Why? Because they are all working to put you behind bars. Everything you say to them will be taken apart and may be used against you. And because defending a drug charge is technical and complex, you want a professional protecting your rights and your liberty. What you say to your defense attorney is protected by the attorney-client relationship and is always confidential. What you say to others could come back to haunt you in court.

South Carolina Drug Crimes

In South Carolina, drug crimes for controlled substances are located within Article 3 of Title 44 of the state statutes. These statues are complex. How complex? Article 3 contains 33,815 words. The 'definitions' section is over 2,300 words long. And every word and even the punctuation matters.

This is why you want the experienced team of criminal defense attorneys from Roberts Law Group working for you. In addition to state statutes, there is a large body of "case law" - or court decisions - interpreting the statutes. And don't forget about all the federal drug laws, which can lead to federal charges in addition to state charges.

You need attorneys with experience in criminal law and procedure because it all matters when your liberty and freedom are on the line. Prosecutors want convictions, and they have many ways of placing tremendous pressure on you to accept a guilty plea on their terms.

Our attorneys at Roberts Law Group have the experience and tenacity to help you withstand that pressure. We will fight tirelessly to secure the best possible outcome for your specific set of facts.

Penalties Under South Carolina Drug Laws

The penalties for drug crimes can vary greatly. Prosecutors typically try to stack as many charges as possible from the same event, which can allow them to threaten an accused with potentially decades in prison.

Penalties are very dependent on the type of drug, the amount, whether there were prior offenses as well as other factors. If you're facing drug trafficking charges, the sentences become very severe. How severe? Trafficking cocaine or heroin can result in a minimum sentence of 25 years and could carry many more.

What's A Common Sentence For A Drug Crime?

Here's the problem. There is no "common" sentence, because every drug crime charge, from simple drug possession to trafficking, is different. If you know someone who has been sentenced in what seems to be a similar case, don't expect that you will receive exactly the same result.

These cases are incredibly fact-specific, and the difference of a single factor can result in wildly differing sentences. Our attorneys have decades of collective experience dealing with all these variables.

Understanding The Legal Process For Drug Crime Offenses In Florence, South Carolina

In many respects, the legal process for drug offenses is like other crimes. With a drug offense in Florence, or elsewhere in South Carolina, the process will generally proceed from the arrest to booking, and then to the bail hearing. You should already have an attorney before this, but it is very important that you have representation at this point, as you want the most favorable bail terms and you do not want to remain in jail awaiting trial. Our lawyers can help.

A Plea, Trial, Or Dismissal?

It all depends on the circumstances of your case - and the quality of your representation. If there are significant weaknesses in the prosecution's case, your attorney may be able to secure an early dismissal. Or the evidence may warrant negotiating a favorable plea agreement. Of course, you always have the right to fight the charges all the way to trial.

At Roberts Law Group, we can advise you of your options, walking you through the pros and cons of each path.

The Sooner You Involve Us, The Better

As you can see, this is a complex process, and if you don't have an attorney, you are on your own. No one in this process will help you understand what is going on and what you should do. The judge is required to be impartial, and the prosecutor's job is to obtain a conviction.

Ideally, you want to have a criminal defense attorney as soon as possible after an arrest. Once you have requested an attorney, the police cannot initiate questioning without your criminal attorney present.

You may believe you can "explain" your situation to law enforcement or the prosecutor's office, and you may trust them when they say they can "help" you. But beware: They're not really trying to help (except to help secure a conviction against you). Only a defense attorney is truly on your side.

Our attorneys at Roberts Law Group understand how to protect your rights each step of the way. We will communicate for you with law enforcement when necessary, ensuring your own words are not turned against you. The earlier we begin working for you, the better your chances, as we can protect you from interrogation and work to discover evidence that supports your defense.

How Long Until Trial?

For most drug cases, you are likely to wait about six months before a trial will occur. This timeline can vary greatly, depending on the seriousness and complexity of the charges.

During this time, we work to develop a strong defense to your charges and work with you to determine if a plea agreement or a trial is in your best interests. Creating a compelling defense is a complex, time-intensive process, and the sooner we start, the stronger a case we can build.

Is Drug Court An Option?

South Carolina has a drug court, which is a new process for individuals struggling with addiction. It is a highly structured program, and we can help you assess if this process is right for you. Eligibility is very strict and there is a long list of conduct that will prevent an individual from being accepted. We can explain the requirements and determine if you qualify.

Common Drug Charges In South Carolina

It's not surprising that the majority of drug charges in South Carolina often involve common drugs like:

  • Marijuana
  • Cocaine
  • Heroin
  • Methamphetamines or crystal meth
  • LSD
  • Illegal prescription drugs

You can be charged with different degrees possession, from simple possession (smaller quantities for personal use) to possession with intent to distribute (PWID), which is a more serious charge. Remember, you may not have been intending to distribute to be charged with PWID; the charge can be inferred by the amount of the drug you're accused of possessing.

The most serious drug charges involve significant quantities of controlled substances and trafficking. The type of charge is also influenced by the type of drug. If you have a small amount of marijuana, you are likely to only face a possession charge, while a single gram of cocaine could lead to a PWID charge.

At Roberts Law Group, our attorneys are experienced with the criminal courts of South Carolina. We are very familiar with the technical details of the drug laws. We understand how to question evidence and address weaknesses in the prosecution's case.

Constitutional Violations?

If law enforcement violated the Fourth Amendment's prohibition of illegal searches and seizures, all evidence collected from that violation may be ruled inadmissible. This can often lead to charges being dismissed. Our attorneys will review every aspect of the arrest and investigation, looking for illegal conduct by law enforcement or other violations of your constitutional rights.

What You Should Know About Court-Appointed Versus Private Attorneys In South Carolina Drug Crime Cases

The consequences of a criminal case are so severe that the Constitution requires an attorney to be provided if you cannot afford one. To be eligible to receive a court-appointed attorney, you must demonstrate an inability to afford your own attorney. Having a court-appointed attorney may seem like a great deal. After all, they are free, right?

However, when it comes to legal services, you often get what you pay for. When you face criminal charges and a potential prison sentence, saving money should not be your top priority.

Drug cases can be confusing and complex. Without an aggressive, experienced defense, you could be left facing a long prison sentence.

There are other issues with court-appointed lawyers. They often are overworked and may not have significant criminal defense experience with the specific charges you're facing.

Why You Need A Defense Lawyer

You need your own defense attorney, whether court-appointed or private, because of this simple fact: In the criminal justice system, everyone else is either working to convict you or does not care. Courts are crowded. You are a number, literally. Police, prosecutors, and judges want to move as many cases through the system as they can. And while judges are neutral parties pledged to uphold the rule of law, they cannot advocate for you.

Criminal procedure and criminal law are very complex, and you need the counsel of an attorney who is experienced with the pressure and intensity of the courtroom. You need a lawyer who is skilled at making appearances on behalf of clients and dealing with the variables of prosecutors, judges and juries.

Can You Afford Not To Hire Your Own Attorney?

Many worry about how much an attorney costs. However, hiring a private attorney who is focused on you and your case is the best way to protect your future. One study of court-appointed lawyers found that defendants are more likely to go to jail and serve a longer sentence with public defenders than private attorneys.

Choosing an attorney is difficult. You may not have had any contact with the law or lawyers. You could go the local bar association and browse hundreds of names. But how do you pick?

Our attorneys at Roberts Law Group are veteran lawyers with decades of collective experience in criminal courts. We know the South Carolina code, the court system and the strategy that goes into building a strong and effective defense.

Why You Should Hire Our Drug Crime Defense Lawyers In Florence, South Carolina

Drug crimes are often very serious. If the judgment in your case is a conviction, that conviction can lead to a lengthy prison sentence. The stakes are very high. If you are indigent, you may have no choice but to accept a court-appointed lawyer. For everyone else, you need to think long and hard about what the legal process will be like - and how much your freedom, rights and reputation are worth to you.

Criminal Law Is Complex And Intense

If you are not a trial attorney, you really do not know what to expect. You want an attorney who knows and understands every element of your charges, the evidence against you and all relevant South Carolina law, including court interpretations of those drug laws by the court of appeals and the state supreme court. Given this complexity, do you really want to place your future in the hands of the lowest-price criminal defense attorney you can find? Probably not.

Federal Court Is More Intense

Federal charges increase the pressure. You could qualify for a federal public defender, but again, they are likely overworked and short on time. Federal judges and federal prosecutors are very intense. Federal court is no place for amateurs or on-the-job-training.

When you are a defendant facing federal charges, you want the most skilled and experienced drug-crimes defense lawyer you can afford. A conviction for a drug crime casts a long shadow across the rest of your life, so you want to do everything you can to prevent that from happening.

Don't Forget Local Laws

In addition to state and federal charges, in Florence, South Carolina, you could face separate charges at the local (municipal) level. The city has a municipal code that includes ordinances against being under the influence of narcotics in public as well as loitering in public for drug-related activity. These ordinances give law enforcement additional grounds to arrest individuals. They add another layer of complexity to drug cases.

How Do You Know When Your Rights Have Been Violated?

You need an experienced attorney because you may not recognize the signs of an illegal stop, search or seizure. If an arrest results from an illegal stop, your charges may be dismissed once any evidence obtained is ruled inadmissible due to the constitutional prohibitions against illegal searches and seizures.

Why Hire Our Team Of Attorneys?

Collectively, our attorneys at Roberts Law Group have decades of experience with criminal law and issues involving the Fourth Amendment. Success in these cases demands meticulous attention to detail, the persistence to run down every lead, examine every witness and question every element of the state's case.

When you choose your defense counsel, you want an attorney who practices criminal law on a daily basis and who is aggressive and unrelenting in providing you with a zealous defense.

Contact Us Today For A FREE Consultation

If you're under investigation for drug crimes, were arrested by an undercover officer or were caught with drugs or drug paraphernalia during a routine traffic stop in Florence, contact the drug crime defense lawyers at Roberts Law Group, PLLC, today for a free consultation. Our attorneys can be reached online or by phone at 877-880-5753.