Drug Manufacturing Defense Lawyer in Charleston, SC

Although drug manufacturing charges can apply to just about any type of drug, in SC it is most often seen in the context of marijuana plants or meth labs.

Other related charges include possession of materials that could be used to manufacture drugs, possession of “precursors” that are necessary ingredients to manufacture certain types of drugs, and child endangerment charges when children are exposed to amphetamine or methamphetamine labs.  

What Does Manufacturing Drugs Mean?

According to the SC Code:

Manufacturing means the production, preparation, propagation, compounding, conversion, or processing of a controlled substance, either directly or indirectly by extraction from substances of natural origin, or independently by means of chemical synthesis, or by a combination of extraction and chemical synthesis, and includes any packaging or repackaging of the substance or labeling or relabeling of its container, except that this term does not include the preparation or compounding of a controlled substance by an individual for his own use or the preparation, compounding, packaging, or labeling of a controlled substance.

Depending on the context, manufacturing could mean the growing and harvesting of marijuana plants, cooking powder cocaine into crack, or cooking methamphetamine in the kitchen. The potential defenses depend entirely on the circumstances, the type of drug alleged to have been manufactured, and the type of evidence produced by the prosecution.

Manufacturing can include simply packaging, repackaging, labeling, or relabeling of a drug’s container, but it does not include preparation or compounding of a controlled substance for personal use.

Exposing Children to Methamphetamine

In SC, it is a separate offense for a person to:

  • Manufacture amphetamine or methamphetamine in the presence of a child;
  • Allow a child to be “in an environment” where someone is selling, manufacturing, or has in their possession with intent to distribute amphetamine or methamphetamine; or
  • Allow a child to be in an environment where paraphernalia or chemicals are stored for manufacturing amphetamine or methamphetamine.

A first offense is punishable by up to five years, and a second offense is punishable by up to ten years in prison.

What are the Penalties for Manufacturing in SC?

Manufacturing carries the same penalties as possession with intent to distribute or distribution charges, although, when the drug weight exceeds the threshold weight for drug trafficking, the person will usually be charged with drug trafficking. which carries more severe penalties.

On a first offense for manufacturing marijuana, a first offense is punishable by up to five years, and a third offense is punishable by up to 20 years with a five-year minimum sentence.

A first offense for manufacturing cocaine, heroin, crack cocaine, or meth is punishable by up to 15 years, while a third offense has a mandatory minimum of 10 years and up to 30 years in prison.

SC Drug Manufacturing Defense Attorney in Charleston

If you have been charged with growing marijuana or operating a meth lab in the Charleston, Georgetown, or Myrtle Beach areas, call Charleston, SC criminal defense lawyer Grant B. Smaldone now at (843) 808-2100 or fill out our online contact form to schedule a free consultation.