Simple Possession of Marijuana In South Carolina

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An introduction to the law surrounding Simple Possession of Marijuana criminal charges in South Carolina.

Simple Possession of Marijuana in South Carolina is a criminal misdemeanor for the unlawful possession of no more than 28 grams of marijuana. For a first offense it is punishable by a fine or up 30 days in the County jail. Further pursuant to S.C. Code ß 56-1-745 anyone convicted must have their driverís license suspended for six months. A second offense carries up to one years imprisonment.

In order to be convicted the State must prove that the defendant was in possession of the marijuana. This can be done through showing the defendant was in actual possession (such as in a pocket or purse), or in constructive possession (such as in a back bedroom or the trunk of a car).

The defendant must either have actual knowledge of the existence of the marijuana or the facts must show that the defendantís possession was the result of criminal negligence. This means that even if the defendant didnít actually know about the marijuana, but they should have known, they can still be guilty.

South Carolina Simple Possession of Marijuana cases are usually prosecuted in either a municipal (city) or Magistrate Court. A defendant is not automatically convicted by virtue of being arrested or receiving a marijuana citation. The defendant is entitled to all due process under the law available in other cases, to include a right to a jury trial and the presumption of innocence.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: James R. Snell, Jr.
James Snell is a Lexington SC Criminal Defense attorney who represents individuals charged with Simple Possession of Marijuana. He is a member of the South Carolina Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers and the South Carolina Association for Justice.

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Disclaimer: While every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of this publication, it is not intended to provide legal advice as individual situations will differ and should be discussed with an expert and/or lawyer. For specific technical or legal advice on the information provided and related topics, please contact the author.

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