If you get a simple possession of marijuana ticket, talk to a lawyer, and today, I’ll tell you why. Hi, my name’s Dale Savage and I’m a criminal defense attorney here in Charleston, South Carolina, and today we’re talking about first offense, simple possession of marijuana tickets.
Don’t Just Pay the Fine
When I first meet with folks that have these tickets, one of the misconceptions that they have is that pleading guilty and the impact from pleading guilty will be nothing more than just simply paying a fine. Part of the reason for that thought process is that in this state, simple possession of marijuana tickets are written on the exact same form as traffic infractions, such as speeding tickets and so people are lulled into a sense that the only consequence to pleading guilty will be nothing more than simply paying the fine.
What is Possession of Marijuana?
Unfortunately, there’s a lot more to it than that. In the state of South Carolina, simple possession of marijuana is a criminal offense and it’s a misdemeanor. It can carry a penalty of up to 30 days in jail and/or a fine in the amount of $615 once all the court costs and fees are added in. But one of the biggest impacts that a drug conviction can have on you in this state is what’s called collateral consequences.
What this is is other penalties that are associated with a drug conviction that aren’t directly related to the sentence of the court. What do I mean by that? For example, if you have a drug conviction in this country, it can affect you in a number of different ways. It can affect your immigration status if you’re not a citizen. If you have a scholarship, it can impact that. It can impact your job. It can even impact whether you rent an apartment or not, and if you have a professional license associated with your work, it can certainly have an effect on that.
Charleston, SC Criminal Defense Attorney
Because of these collateral consequences, it’s important that you discuss your case with an attorney. Many times, there are alternatives to pleading guilty so that none of these collateral consequences come back to bite you later on in life. A good attorney will advise you of these pitfalls and hopefully put you in a position where you can avoid these costly mistakes. So if you have a simple possession of marijuana ticket and would like to talk to me about your case, please give me a call at 843-530-7813. I hope this video was helpful and thanks for watching.