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What Is a Drug Offense?

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What Is a Drug Offense?

A drug offense is a criminal offense related to controlled substances. A drug offense may involve possession, manufacture, distribution, trafficking, or related activity of a controlled substance. Examples of some common drug charges include actual or constructive possession, possession with intent to distribute, and drug trafficking.

What’s Considered a Controlled Substance in South Carolina?

South Carolina Code Title 44 (Sections 44-53-190, 44-53-210, 44-53-230, 44-53-250, and 44-53-270) lists out all the specific substances, divided by Schedules, that are considered controlled substances under the law. This includes what people typically think of as illegal drugs, including heroin, cocaine, methamphetamine, LSD, and so on, along with many, many other substances.

Note that “controlled substances” and “illegal drugs” are not the same thing. While all illegal drugs are controlled substances, not all controlled substances are illegal drugs. For instance, some prescription medications such as Adderall (amphetamine salts) and Xanax (alprazolam) are considered controlled substances because they are regulated or restricted by the government in some way. This is because there’s a high potential for abuse of these substances. In addition, possession of the immediate precursors of controlled substances is also illegal under South Carolina law. Drug offenses involving these types of controlled substances – even if they are not illegal drugs like cocaine or heroin – can be serious.

What’s the Consequence of a Drug Offense Conviction in South Carolina?

The penalties for conviction of a drug offense in South Carolina depend on a number of factors including the exact charge, the drugs involved, and the criminal history of the individual being charged. Whether a drug offense is a felony or a misdemeanor depends on the exact nature of the offense, too. Jail time, fines, and probation are common punishments for drug offenses in South Carolina. Repeat offenders typically receive harsher punishments.

Conviction of a drug offense can also mean a tarnished reputation and a criminal record, which can lead to other challenges such as difficulty securing employment or housing.

Call the Criminal Defense Attorneys at The Carolina Law Group

This is only a very brief overview of drug offenses in South Carolina. If you have been charged with a drug offense, you need to speak with a lawyer to help you understand your rights and to determine how to proceed with the charge(s) against you. These are criminal charges brought by the state, and representation by a criminal defense attorney with experience in handling drug offenses is vital. Call us at one of the numbers below to set up a free, no-obligation consultation to discuss your situation.

The Carolina Law Group has four offices in South Carolina for your convenience: Greenville (principal office; call 864.312.4444), Greer (principal office; call 864.757.5555), Spartanburg (principal office; call 864.312.4444) & West Columbia (principal office; call 803.881.1110).

Call us at one of our four offices or contact us online to schedule your free consultation with one of our attorneys. Our business hours are Monday – Thursday 8:30am – 5:30pm & Friday 8:30 am – 5 pm. Weekend and evening hours by appointment only. Our Greenville, SC law firm offers Spanish, Hindi, and Gujarati language translation services for your convenience.


Monty D. Desai came to the United States on Christmas Eve, 1988. After high school he joined the service in order to earn money for college. Monty would go on to earn a letter of commendation as a Navy Corpsman for the Marine Corps. After his service, Monty completed his undergraduate studies at the University of South Carolina. From there, Monty went on to attend Thomas M. Cooley Law School on full scholarship, where he earned his Juris Doctorate. Following graduation from law school, Monty served as prosecutor with Greenville County Solicitor’s Office, and also worked as a a adjunct professor in the Criminal Justice Division at Greenville Technical College. In 2015 Monty was recognized by the National Academy of Personal Injury Attorneys as ranked among the Top 10 Under 40 for excellence in the field of personal injury.

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