Columbia Heroin Defense Attorneys
Aggressive defense for heroin charges in South Carolina
If you are arrested on heroin charges, you need to act now to protect yourself. The penalties for heroin possession or distribution here in South Carolina are severe, and you need an experienced attorney on your side.
At The Law Offices of A. Randolph Hough, P.A., we fight for clients just like you every day and our goal is to win. Our attorney, A. Randolph "Randy" Hough, has an insider’s perspective. He was a former prosecutor and Special Assistant U.S. Attorney assigned to federal drug cases, and Randy and his team can view state and federal drug charges from all angles – building a unique and tailored defense for your case.
“Remember, an arrest is not a conviction.” - Attorney Hough
Frequently Asked Questions
- Are heroin charges felonies in South Carolina?
- What is the penalty for possession of heroin?
- What is penalty for possession of heroin with intent to distribute (PWID)?
- How much heroin will lead to a criminal charge?
- What should I do if I’m arrested for heroin in Columbia or Charleston?
- What are the possible defenses for a heroin crime?
- Do you have a heroin defense attorney near me?
Are heroin charges felonies in South Carolina?
Yes. Heroin is a Schedule I controlled substance, and possession of any Schedule I substance typically leads to felony drug charges.
What is the penalty for possession of heroin?
The penalty for possession of heroin is based on how many previous offenses you may have committed, including previous offenses for other drugs.
Under SC Code § 44-53-370(c), possession of heroin will result in the following penalties:
- First Offense: Up to two years in prison and/or up to $5,000 in fines.
- Second Offense: Up to five years in prison and/or up to $5,000 in fines.
- Third and Subsequent Offenses: Up to five years in prison and/or up to $10,000 in fines.
What is penalty for possession of heroin with intent to distribute (PWID)?
The penalty for possession with intent to distribute varies based on any previous drug convictions you have, even if they were convictions for other drugs:
- First Offense: up to 15 years in prison and/or up to $25,000 in fines.
- Second Offense: up to five years in prison and/or up to $50,000 in fines.
- Third and Subsequent Offenses: between 10 and 30 years in prison and/or up to $50,000 in fines.
In terms of punishment, South Carolina law treats a person who is distributing heroin the same as a person who has “too much” heroin in their possession. This is why you want to contact us as soon as possible if you are facing PWID charges.
How much heroin will lead to a criminal charge?
Any amount of heroin in your possession can lead to a felony charge. The question is, which charge will you face? If you possess more than two grains of heroin, and a grain is only .065 grams, you could be charged with possession with intent to distribute heroin.
About heroin trafficking charges
If you are charged with trafficking heroin, the penalties will be based on the amount of drugs you allegedly possess, and whether you have been convicted of the crime before.
- 4 to 14 grams (first offense): between 7 and 25 years in prison and/or up to $50,000 in fines.
- 4 to 14 grams (second offense): 25 years in prison and/or up to $100,000 in fines.
- 14 to 28 grams (any offense): 25 years in prison and/or up to $200,000 in fines.
- 28 grams or more (any offense): between 25 and 40 years in prison and/or up to $200,000 in fines.
Trafficking convictions require that 85% of the total prison time is served, which means if you are facing 40 years in prison, you will serve a minimum of 34 years and there is no guarantee you will not serve the full 40 years.
About federal heroin charges
Every drug which is illegal in South Carolina is also illegal at the federal level. In other words, if you’re convicted in a South Carolina court of any drug offense, you can be prosecuted again in federal court for the same offense.
By pleading guilty to a state drug offense, you may be helping the feds to build a drug conspiracy case against you. The DEA and FBI are extremely aggressive in prosecuting drug cases in South Carolina.
Mr. Hough tries and defends criminal cases in both state and federal courts. Having an in-depth understanding of both state and federal drug law, as well as experience defending people in both types of cases, is what sets our firm apart. No matter what charges you face or who the initial charging agency was, we can help.
What should I do if I’m arrested for heroin in Columbia or Charleston?
If you are arrested for heroin:
- Stay calm and polite. It is important to stay calm and polite when you are arrested, even if you are upset or confused. Arguing with the police or making threats will only make things worse. Resisting arrest is a crime in itself, and it could make your case worse.
- Call us right away. You have the right to an attorney, and you should ask for one as soon as possible. Mr. Hough knows how to help you understand your rights and options, and will tenaciously represent you in court.
- Do not give the police permission to search your person or property. If the law enforcement agents have a warrant, they can search your property even without your consent. But if they do not have a warrant, do not grant them permission. If they threaten to get a warrant, do not consent to voluntary search: let them seek and obtain the warrant.
- Exercise your right to remain silent. Do not make any statements. When you talk, you are making a statement. Do not try to argue your case. Do not try to explain anything. Do not discuss anything with friends, family, or loved ones about the facts of your case. You have the right to remain silent; exercise that right.
Never sign anything without having Mr. Hough review it first. Law enforcement is legally allowed to lie to you, and they will use whatever they can to extract a confession out of you at any time. If you have been arrested for possession of heroin or PWID in Charleston or Columbia, you want a criminal defense attorney from The Law Offices of A. Randolph Hough, P.A. representing you as soon as possible.
What are the possible defenses for a heroin crime?
Charges involving heroin are serious, but not indefensible. Mr. Hough and our team can assess the circumstances of your offense, evaluate the arrest process, and consider other aspects of the situation to potentially downgrade charges or seek a dismissal from the judge. Depending on your situation, as your drug defense attorney, he can employ several different defenses based on the answers to the following questions:
- Were your Constitutional rights upheld? Did police have a warrant? Did they have reasonable cause? Did they engage in illegal, discriminatory searches based on your sex, race, age, or other factors? Were you unlawfully detained? Were you denied access to an attorney?
- Was chain of custody followed? Who had access to the alleged evidence of your crime? Was it handled with care? Was it contaminated in some way? Was the substance tested to ensure it actually IS heroin, and not something else? How was it stored once it entered police custody?
- Where was the heroin found? Were you aware there were illegal substances in the area? Could anyone else have accessed that area? Were you in a place where you had no control over whether there were illegal substance present (AKA, at a public building or in someone else’s private home)? Is there any physical evidence that the heroin was yours?
Don’t wait to call us – even if you have not been officially arrested. The sooner you call us, the sooner we can start ensuring your rights are protected.
The Law Offices of A. Randolph Hough, P.A. also aggressively defends clients against other criminal charges, including assault, arson, kidnapping, and charges against college students. We also handle drunk driving defense.
Do you have a heroin defense attorney near me?
The Law Offices of A. Randolph Hough maintains two offices for your convenience:
Talk to a strategic Columbia & Charleston heroin defense attorney today
Take action now to protect your rights and secure the best possible outcome for your situation. If you are facing heroin charges, consult with an experienced attorney who can provide expert guidance and representation. Contact The Law Offices of A. Randolph Hough, P.A. to secure the support you need to face your legal challenges with confidence. To schedule a free consultation at one of our offices in Columbia or Charleston, please call our offices or fill out our contact form.