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Heroin: Fines, Penalties, Jail time South Carolina

If you or someone you know is facing drug charges in SC for possession of heroin, you’ve come to the right place for information about your situation.

Dealing with a drug charge can be a scary experience. You and your loved ones are more than likely full of uncertainty about what is going to happen next.

All that you know for certain is that your life could change for the worst because of these charges. Maybe you were simply at the wrong place at the wrong time. Perhaps a string of poor choices landed you in this situation. Or maybe you are struggling with addiction.

Regardless of the reasons behind your drug charges in SC, the fact of the matter is that you’re facing serious consequences. And you will need the help of an experienced drug lawyer to get through this ordeal.

The consequences of heroin possession depend on several different factors, including:

  • - How much heroin you were carrying,
  • - Previous drug offenses and
  • - What you intended to do with the heroin.

Possession Charges

Simple Possession

South Carolina classifies heroin as a Schedule I controlled dangerous substance. Possession of a Schedule I narcotic like heroin is a misdemeanor for a first offense. Second and third offenses–and all subsequent offenses–are felonies. And the penalty gets worse the more offenses you collect.

  1. - Heroin 1st Offense: $0-5,000 fine and/or up to two years in prison
  2. - Heroin 2nd Offense: $0-5,000 and/or up to five years in prison
  3. - Heroin 3rd Offense: $0-10,000 and/or up to five years in prison

Intent to Distribute

Depending on the circumstances of your arrest, you could be charged with intent to distribute heroin. According to the SC Code of Laws, intent to distribute is a felony charge that comes with serious consequences.

  1. - Heroin 1st Offense: $0-25,000 fine and/or up to 15 years in prison
  2. - Heroin 2nd Offense: $0-50,0000 fine and/or between five to 30 years in prison
  3. - Heroin 3rd Offense: $0-50,000 fine and/or between 10 to 30 years in prison


A trafficking charge is a major offense and brings the harshest of penalties. The specifics depend on how much heroin you were found to have in your possession. Consequences for trafficking heroin in SC range from fines of up to $50,000 to 200,000 and anywhere from seven to 25 years up to 25 to 40 years in prison. In trafficking cases there are often mandatory sentences without parole or suspension.

Here’s a breakdown of the fines and penalties for trafficking heroin

  1. - Heroin 1st offense: (4-14 grams), $50,000 fine and 7 to 15 years in prison.
  2. - Heroin 2nd offense: (4-14 grams), $100,000 fine and 25 years in prison.
  3. - Heroin: (14-28 grams), $200,000 fine and 25 years in prison.
  4. - Heroin: (28 grams or more), $200,000 fine and 25-40 years in prison.

Common Questions About Heroin Charges in SC

What if the heroin wasn’t mine?

There’s a common misperception that if the drugs didn’t “belong” to you, then you’re safe from being prosecuted. Unfortunately, that’s not the case. When police find drugs in a car, chances are that every one inside the vehicle will be charged with possession.

According to SC law, you can be held accountable for drug possession in several situations, such as being in the same space as the drugs or even just knowing about them. If you have control over the location where the drugs are found–for example, if drugs are found on some one in your car, you can still be charged.

Although this type of “constructive possession” is different in name from “actual possession,” it is still considered a serious criminal matter.

What if I have a prior drug charge?

If you’ve been convicted of a drug charge in the past, then sadly your situation now is even more serious. Even if your previous offense was in another state, or if it was for a drug other than heroin, an arrest for heroin possession will likely be considered a second offense. That means the consequences you face will be more serious.

Is possession with intent to distribute a felony charge?

Yes. You can be charged with possession with intent to distribute (PWID) if you are found to have more than one gram of heroin or if the police determined that you intended to sell the drug. Aside from the amount of heroin you were caught with, other factors that impact how these charges are determined include:

  • - The presence of measuring devices such as scales,
  • - Having the substance separated into smaller containers, and
  • - Communications, like text messages, that indicate your intent to sell.

Now what can I do?

If you’re facing a drug charge in the Charleston, South Carolina area, the best thing you can do for yourself now is talk to a lawyer. You need someone in your corner with the experience to fight for your rights and get the best possible outcome.

Call (843) 261-7026, or fill out this online form for a free, no-obligation consultation.

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