What penalties could you face for cocaine-related crimes?

Information can often help individuals in tricky situations better navigate their predicaments. Having the right knowledge could prove especially useful to you if police officers bring serious criminal charges against you. By understanding the allegations and the possible penalties that may result, you could feel more confident in effectively handling your case as it moves forward.

In particular, you may need vital information if you face charges for crimes involving cocaine. Because drug laws can vary from state to state and federal laws may apply in certain circumstances, you may need state-specific information if authorities charge you in South Carolina.

Cocaine law facts

Because cocaine falls into the category of a Schedule I narcotic, every state deems it illegal to possess, sell or traffick the substance. However, as mentioned, specifics of the law differ from state to state. In South Carolina, you could face misdemeanor or felony charges depending on the circumstances involved with a cocaine-related allegation.

Trafficking

Authorities consider trafficking of cocaine the most serious of the related offenses. Both state and federal laws apply to drug trafficking, and felony charges apply. If police accuse you of trafficking 10 to 28 grams of cocaine, you could face three to 10 years in jail without probation and a $25,000 fine if convicted. The penalties increase for subsequent offenses and for larger amounts of the substance involved. For 400 grams or more, you could face 25 to 30 years in jail without probation and a $200,000 fine.

Sale

Selling cocaine has similarities to trafficking, but authorities consider it a lesser offense. Still, you could face serious consequences if convicted of selling cocaine. In fact, selling any amount can lead to felony charges and up to 15 years in jail. Again, the possible penalties increase in severity depending on the amount involved as well as the number of previous offenses.

Possession

When it comes to cocaine possession, misdemeanor charges could apply, and possible consequences of a conviction include two years in jail and a $5,000 fine. However, additional possession offenses could lead to felony charges and greater punishment.

Defending against charges

If you face any criminal allegations related to cocaine-related activity, you need to take your case seriously. Fortunately, you do not have to feel as if negative outcomes are inevitable because you do have the right to defend against the charges brought against you. Gaining information from local legal resources regarding your predicament may work in your best interests.

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