A court in Columbia sentenced a South Carolina man to nearly 16 years in prison, after the man pleaded guilty to numerous weapon and drug possession charges. Upon the completion of his sentence, the 32-year-old man will be placed on a five-year probationary period, when he will be supervised.
As this case illustrates, drug charges are very serious. Obviously, in this situation, the weapons charge (and the man’s criminal history) certainly amplified the case and made it unlikely that he would be given a more restrained sentence. However, there are people who have been accused of drug charges that have successfully appealed their case, or had their sentence reduced, thanks to a thorough and vigorous defense.
There are diversionary and therapeutic programs that some defendants can qualify for, thereby keeping them out of jail (which can often lack the resources necessary to help people deal with the issues that may have caused their incarceration). These programs can actually help the defendant fix his or her behavior, which reduces the chance that an individual repeats the offense.
Other appeals can be made, based on the processes and procedures used to lead law enforcement down the path to prosecute the accused individual. If the police violated search and seizure laws; if law enforcement failed to read you your Miranda rights; if law enforcement infringed on your rights as a criminal; or if law enforcement failed to conduct a proper investigation into the events that sparked the charges against you; then you may have a case to be released or to have the charges against you dropped.
Source: The Times and Democrat, “Williston man gets 188 months in prison on firearm, drug charges,” April 9, 2013