If you are facing charges for drug possession or intent to distribute, did the police handle your arrest properly?
A chance encounter in Myrtle Beach had the suspects dead to rights, but not all arrests for possession of illegal drugs go quite so smoothly. If law enforcement did not handle your arrest properly, the court could dismiss the charges against you.
On June 17, 2018, two thirsty police officers stopped at a pizza restaurant in Myrtle Beach, SC, to get some water. Upon entering, they saw that two men sat inside, presumably for lunch, but instead of a pizza, there was a clump of drugs on the table between them. One man was breaking the drugs up into smaller pieces, and the other man was loudly complaining about the price. The police arrested the two men because, according to the report they filed, they “literally walked into the middle of a drug deal in progress.”
Looking at penalties
If you have 28 grams or less of certain illegal drugs in South Carolina, it is a misdemeanor. For a first offense, the penalty is a fine or up to 30 days in jail and possible suspension of your driver’s license for as long as six months. The misdemeanor becomes a felony if you intend to sell the drug. If the amount is 10 pounds or less, you could face up to five years in prison and pay a fine of up to $5,000.
Investigating the arrest
A strategy for your defense begins with questions about your arrest. For example, did a law enforcement officer have reasonable suspicion of criminal activity when he or she stopped your vehicle? Did an officer have your permission to search your car? These are, but a few of the questions and the answers may be surprising; they may show that there was some mishandling in your arrest for alleged possession. If so, the courts could acquit you of the charge and clear your record of the drug offense. In the event the courts do not acquit you, there are options instead of jail time to explore with a goal of obtaining a more favorable outcome for your case.