In South Carolina, it is well-known that criminal charges can have a dramatic effect on your future. Aside from the immediate worries about conviction, fines and possible prison sentences, the mark on your record can greatly diminish your employment prospects and even affect your housing, college and financial options. Furthermore, friends and family may be unsure how to react to the revelation that you are being investigated for a criminal offense.
One type of offense that can result in serious consequences is any form of drug crime. The penalties for these offenses vary dramatically depending on the substances involved, their quantities and their intended use. For example, if it is perceived that you are manufacturing or distributing drugs, you might face harsher sentencing than you would for simple possession.
Another factor that can exacerbate drug charges is the presence of firearms. As this article on criminal charges explains, in some states, drawing a firearm during a drug crime can result in a mandatory prison sentence. This in turn is increased if the gun is fired. Previous convictions can also affect the severity of penalties if you are convicted of a crime of this nature.
Whether the charges you face are felonies or simply misdemeanors, they can still have a huge impact on your life, so a good defense is critical. An attorney can advise you about the potential consequences of conviction and may be able to assist you with protecting your reputation and ensuring that your version of events is heard by the court.