Industry News for Criminal Defense Law in Columbia, South Carolina

In recent years, the legal landscape surrounding marijuana has shifted dramatically across the United States. However, South Carolina remains one of the states with the strictest laws regarding the possession, sale, and use of marijuana. While some states have legalized the recreational use of marijuana, it’s important to remember that in the Palmetto State, marijuana remains illegal for both recreational and medical purposes.

If you or someone you know is facing marijuana-related charges in South Carolina, it’s critical to understand the potential consequences and the strategies available for building a strong defense. In this blog post, Thompson and Hiller, your trusted criminal defense attorneys in South Carolina, will explore effective approaches for defending against marijuana charges and protecting your rights.

Understanding South Carolina’s Marijuana Laws

To mount an effective defense against marijuana charges, it’s essential to first understand South Carolina’s marijuana laws. In the state, marijuana is classified as a Schedule I controlled substance, meaning it is considered to have a high potential for abuse and no accepted medical use. Here are some key aspects of marijuana laws in South Carolina:

  1. Possession: Possession of any amount of marijuana is illegal in South Carolina. Even a small amount can lead to criminal charges.
  2. Sale and Distribution: The sale, distribution, or trafficking of marijuana is subject to severe penalties, including lengthy prison sentences.
  3. Medical Use: Unlike some other states, South Carolina has not legalized the medical use of marijuana. Even with a medical prescription from another state, possessing marijuana in South Carolina can result in criminal charges.
  4. Paraphernalia: Possessing or selling drug paraphernalia, such as pipes or bongs, is also illegal.

Potential Consequences of Marijuana Charges

Marijuana-related charges in South Carolina can result in serious consequences, including:

  • Criminal Record: A conviction will result in a criminal record, which can impact your employment prospects, housing applications, and more.
  • Fines: Depending on the offense, fines can range from hundreds to thousands of dollars, straining your finances significantly.
  • License Suspension: A conviction can lead to the suspension of your driver’s license, making it challenging to get to work or fulfill other daily responsibilities.
  • Prison Time: For certain offenses, particularly those involving distribution or trafficking, prison sentences are a real possibility.
  • Federal Implications: It’s important to note that marijuana remains illegal under federal law. A conviction for a marijuana-related offense could have federal consequences, including difficulties in obtaining federal benefits or student loans.

Building a Strong Defense

While South Carolina’s marijuana laws are strict, it’s possible to build a strong defense when facing marijuana charges. Here are some effective strategies that our experienced criminal defense attorneys at Thompson and Hiller can employ:

1. Challenging the Search and Seizure

If law enforcement officers conducted an unlawful search or seizure during your arrest, the evidence collected may be inadmissible in court. This can be a powerful defense strategy.

2. Chain of Custody Issues

We can scrutinize the chain of custody of the evidence to ensure it hasn’t been tampered with or mishandled, potentially leading to the exclusion of evidence.

3. Medical Necessity Defense

In rare cases, a medical necessity defense may apply if you were using marijuana for a legitimate medical reason. However, this is a complex strategy that requires careful legal navigation.

4. Negotiation and Plea Bargaining

In some instances, it may be possible to negotiate with the prosecution for a reduced charge or sentence, especially for first-time offenders.

5. Expert Witnesses

Our legal team can work with expert witnesses who can testify on various aspects of your case, including the quantity of marijuana, its intended use, or its effects on your life.

6. Mistaken Identity

If you were not in possession of the marijuana or there was a case of mistaken identity, we can help establish your innocence.

Facing marijuana charges in South Carolina is a serious matter. Attempting to navigate the legal system alone can lead to unfavorable outcomes. Seeking the assistance of an experienced criminal defense attorney is crucial to ensuring your rights are protected and that you receive a fair defense.

At Thompson and Hiller Defense Firm, we have a deep understanding of South Carolina’s marijuana laws and a proven track record of successfully defending clients against drug-related charges. We are committed to exploring every available avenue to build a strong defense on your behalf.


While the legal landscape surrounding marijuana is evolving in some parts of the country, South Carolina maintains strict laws against its possession, sale, and use. If you find yourself facing marijuana-related charges in the Palmetto State, it’s essential to seek legal representation immediately. The consequences of a conviction can be life-altering, impacting your personal and professional future.

At Thompson and Hiller Defense Firm, we understand the complexities of marijuana-related cases in South Carolina. Our dedicated team is here to provide aggressive and effective defense strategies tailored to your unique circumstances. Don’t hesitate to contact us for a confidential consultation. We’ll work diligently to protect your rights, explore potential defenses, and mitigate the consequences of marijuana charges.

Remember, when it comes to marijuana charges in South Carolina, your future and your freedom are at stake. Seek the legal guidance and advocacy you need to ensure the best possible outcome for your case.