An attorney dedicated to defending your rights
Hundreds of people die each year from opioid overdoses in South Carolina. For that reason, the opioid epidemic has been declared a statewide public health crisis. In response to this crisis, law enforcement has stepped up efforts to curb the trafficking and illegal purchase of opioid drugs.
If you have been arrested and charged with an opioid-related crime in South Carolina, you need an experienced attorney on your side who understands drug charges and knows how the legal system works here.
As a former prosecutor, South Carolina drug charge attorney Matt Bodman understands the proceedings following an opioid arrest. He’ll fight the charges and protect your legal rights to the fullest extent of the law.
Opioid charges are serious charges
Law enforcement agencies are very aggressive when it comes to arresting and charging those who traffic and abuse opioids. Opioid arrests can be carried out as:
- Sting operations: Local, state and federal law enforcement may coordinate to carry out a sting operation, or “drug bust.” They will typically target opioid traffickers, but users can also be arrested for drug possession.
- Traffic stops: During a traffic stop, police officers can search your vehicle if they have probable cause that you have committed a crime. If they find any controlled substances, such as heroin or illegally obtained Oxycodone, you can be arrested and charged with opioid possession.
- Arrests relating to another crime: If you have been arrested for a crime unrelated to opioid trafficking or possession, police can search you or your home. Any signs of opioid trafficking or abuse can be tacked on to charges stemming from the original arrest.
The consequences of an opioid charge can be serious, costing you thousands of dollars in fines and years behind bars. Since heroin is listed as a Schedule I drug, possessing or selling it can result in the following:
- First offense: You could be charged with a misdemeanor, face up to two years in prison and/or pay a $5,000 fine.
- Second offense: You could be charged with a felony, face up to five years in prison and/or pay a $5,000 fine.
- Subsequent offense: You could be charged with a felony, face up to five years in prison and/or pay a $10,000 fine.
If you’re found with more than two grams of heroin, you could be charged with intent to sell.
- First offense: You could be charged with a felony, face up to 15 years in prison and/or pay a $25,000 fine.
- Second offense: You could be charged with a felony, face 5 to 30 years in prison and pay a $50,000 fine.
- Subsequent offense: You could be charged with a felony, face 15 to 30 years in prison and play a $50,000 fine.
Selling in a school zone can result in an additional 10 years in prison and a $10,000 fine.
Selling to a minor can result in a prison sentence of up to 20 years without parole and a $30,000 fine.
- First offense: Trafficking 4 to 14 grams of heroin can result in a prison sentence of 7 to 25 years without parole. You could also be fined $50,000.
- Subsequent offense: You could face 25 years in prison and pay a $100,000 fine.
Trafficking 14 to 28 grams of heroin can result in a mandatory 25 years in prison without parole. You could also be fined $200,000.
Trafficking over 28 grams of heroin can result in a mandatory 25 to 40 years in prison without parole. You could also be fined $200,000.
Why you need an attorney
If you have been arrested and charged with possession, sales or trafficking of illegal opioids, the first thing you should do is assert your fifth amendment right to remain silent. Anything you say to law enforcement can later be used to indict you in court.
Your next step should be to consult with an experienced criminal defense attorney. With years of experience and vast knowledge of South Carolina’s legal system, attorney Matt Bodman knows how to gather crucial facts that can be weighed against the charges brought against you.
Contact attorney Bodman today for a free consultation or simply call toll free at 866-487-9077. He will fight for you every step of the way.