Fighting Drug Charges in Greenville, South Carolina

If law enforcement has arrested you on drug charges, you could be facing years or even decades behind bars. The time to take action in your own defense is now. At Roberts Law Group, PLLC, our South Carolina criminal defense attorneys collectively have decades of experience representing people against the most serious drug crimes on the books. Our legal team goes to court regularly to advocate for our clients. We can help you fight for the best possible outcome.

Greenville, South Carolina, Drug Crimes Defense: What You Should Know

Every day, Greenville police are vigilant about enforcing drug laws. Common drug offenses include:

  • Drug possession
  • Possession with intent to distribute
  • Possession of drug paraphernalia, such as pipes or scales
  • Drug dealing or trafficking
  • Drug cultivating or manufacturing

Drug offenses can also rise to the federal level, which means harsher sentences and potentially mandatory minimum jail time.

Among the substances commonly associated with arrest, there are:

  • Marijuana
  • Heroin
  • Cocaine
  • Methamphetamine
  • Prescription drugs such as fentanyl and oxycontin without a valid prescription

Drug trafficking and manufacturing are serious crimes in South Carolina. Even if you only played a small role, such as allowing a drug transaction to take place on your property, you could be charged with conspiracy and potentially be sent to prison.

You do not have to figure out what to do about drug charges by yourself. Our law firm's defense attorneys will help you create a sound defense strategy based on the circumstances and evidence.

Here are examples of the tools at our disposal in drug cases:

  • Question the evidence. Police must respect your rights when searching your home, car or other property. When they don't, any evidence they seize could potentially get thrown out. We can help show the judge why illegally obtained evidence should not be shown to the jury. This can reduce the chances of a guilty verdict and could lead to the charges getting dropped.
  • Assess the prosecution's case. After serving as criminal defense attorneys in South Carolina for many years, we know very well how prosecutors operate. We will evaluate the strength of the prosecution's case to see if negotiating a plea bargain that would minimize the disruption to your life is possible.
  • Always prepare to go to court. Our law office always seeks the best possible outcome for your case. Sometimes, that means going to trial to establish reasonable doubt. We are seasoned trial attorneys who know how to make a persuasive case to the jury based on the unique facts of each case.

How To Choose A Drug Crimes Defense Lawyer In Greenville, South Carolina

There are many things to keep in mind when you are deciding which defense attorney should help you take on drug charges. Here are few traits we recommend you make a priority:

  • Experience. You should choose a criminal defense attorney that has handled similar charges many times before, perhaps hundreds if not thousands of times - someone who can tell you what to expect and will prepare you with real-world advice.
  • Personal attention. The attorney-client relationship works best when your lawyer handles important aspects of your case themselves instead of handing off your file to a less-experienced associate or paralegal. Boutique law firms such as ours can provide this level of service.
  • Assertive style. Dealing with criminal law, you need an attorney who will not be intimidated by the police or prosecution, or unwilling to take your case to the jury. Your lawyer should fight for you at every point, from the day you hire them to the day your case is resolved. They should be ready to contest every piece of questionable evidence and file every necessary motion to support your defense.
  • Tailored strategies. You are an individual, and the facts of your case need a customized solution. For example, you may have no prior criminal record, or you may have prior arrests. You may be struggling with addiction, or there may be other extenuating circumstances. Your representation should reflect your individual needs and circumstances.
  • Cost. When it comes to the price of criminal law defense, you get what you pay for. If you are facing serious and complex charges, this is not a time to settle for bargain criminal defense. A quality criminal defense lawyer will charge reasonable fees and work to wrap up your legal matter efficiently - without cutting corners or rubber-stamping a bad plea deal.

Understanding The Legal Process For Drug Crimes In South Carolina

There are several ways people in South Carolina get arrested on drug charges. Maybe you were pulled over and the police searched your vehicle. Or maybe a law enforcement officer patted you down on the street. Perhaps members of the police department had a warrant to search your home and found one or more controlled substances.

The Arraignment

No matter how you were arrested, the procedure from this point on is the same. You will be taken to jail, where you will be held until your arraignment. At this point, the judge may set bail and the terms of your release, or you could be released on your own recognizance. In rare cases, the judge may not set bail and order you kept in jail until trial.

You have the right to an attorney representing you at the arraignment to argue in favor of release on your own recognizance or for a reasonable bail.

Before Trial

The pretrial phase can last several weeks or months, depending on how many cases there are on the criminal court's schedule. Though you have the right to a speedy trial, often there are good reasons to ask the court for more time so you can gather evidence in your favor and build the strongest possible defense. We use this time to develop a legal strategy based on the evidence and your individual goals and determine if a fair plea bargain agreement is feasible that will let you move on with your life as soon as possible.

Will I Have To Go To Court?

Many drug cases settle before trial, often because the prosecution does not want to risk losing at trial. This can give your defense attorney leverage in negotiations that may help keep you out of jail in exchange for a guilty or no-contest plea.

However, trial is always a possibility, and you have the right to have your day in court. We will advise you of the pluses and minuses of a plea bargain versus trial for your individual situation so you can make an informed decision.

What To Expect At A Drug Crimes Trial

At trial, we will base our strategy on what is best for you. We may question the prosecution's witnesses, call our own witnesses and present or challenge physical evidence. You may testify in your own defense, though the prosecutor cannot make you do so. Whatever we do will be aimed at achieving the best possible outcome and preventing an unjust verdict.

Most jury trials last a day or two, although they can go much longer, depending on the complexity of the case.

What Will Happen To My Minor Child Who Was Arrested?

When the arrested person is under 18, the case generally goes to the juvenile justice system. Though the penalties for being convicted of a drug offense as a minor are less severe, they can still affect your child's freedom and future.

Our attorneys represent minors against serious drug charges. We work hard to minimize the long-term impact a drug arrest may have on your child's life.

We provide experienced guidance and determined advocacy. Do not try to make the problem "go away" by taking the first plea offer from the prosecution because you are embarrassed or worried about paying legal fees. Take advantage of our knowing how the courts really work and the options available to people who have been wrongly accused of a crime - or who have made a mistake.

Court-Appointed Versus Private Attorneys In South Carolina Drug Crimes Defense

Criminal courts in South Carolina are required by the Constitution to provide court-appointed lawyers for defendants who cannot afford one themselves. Public defenders provide a vital service to the criminal justice system. But is having a court-appointed defense attorney right for you?

A court-appointed attorney represents you the same way a private lawyer does. Like private attorneys, they must be properly licensed and belong to the state bar association, and their duty is to act in your best interests and maintain attorney-client confidentiality.

To qualify for a public defender, your income and financial resources must fall below a certain amount. You can request one at your arraignment.

Court-Appointed Defense Attorneys: The Good And The Bad

At first, the fact that a court-appointed attorney does not cost you anything seems like a clear advantage. But as the saying goes, sometimes you get what you pay for. A court-appointed defense attorney may lack the depth and breadth of experience that a defense lawyer in private practice has. Public defenders often have heavy caseloads and very limited time to spend working on your case.

Finally, you do not get to choose your public defender. You are taking a risk that you and your court-appointed counsel might not be able to develop a good working relationship.

Protect Your Future With Our Help | FREE Consultation

At Roberts Law Group, PLLC, we want to give you the best possible representation backed by our decades of experience. We do not waste your time or your money. Our job is to get you through a difficult period in your life as smoothly as we can, so you can begin thinking about the future again. Your future and your freedom are worth the investment.

Call Roberts Law Group, PLLC, at 877-880-5753 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation with one of our lawyers about the drug charges you are facing. We represent clients in Florence, Greenville and Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.