(A) A person possessing less than one gram of methamphetamine or cocaine base, as defined in Section 44-53-110, is guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction for a first offense, must be imprisoned not more than three years or fined not more than five thousand dollars, or both. For a first offense the court, upon approval of the solicitor, may require as part of a sentence, that the offender enter and successfully complete a drug treatment and rehabilitation program. For a second offense, the offender is guilty of a felony and, upon conviction, must be imprisoned not more than five years or fined not more than seven thousand five hundred dollars, or both. For a third or subsequent offense, the offender is guilty of a felony and, upon conviction, must be imprisoned not more than ten years or fined not more than twelve thousand five hundred dollars, or both. Notwithstanding any other provision of law, a person convicted and sentenced pursuant to this subsection may have the sentence suspended and probation granted and is eligible for parole, supervised furlough, community supervision, work release, work credits, education credits, and good conduct credits.

(B) A person who manufactures, distributes, dispenses, delivers, purchases, or otherwise aids, abets, attempts, or conspires to manufacture, distribute, dispense, deliver, or purchase, or possesses with intent to distribute, dispense, or deliver methamphetamine or cocaine base, in violation of the provisions of Section 44-53-370, is guilty of a felony and, upon conviction:

Terms Used In South Carolina Code 44-53-375

  • Cocaine base: means an alkaloidal cocaine or freebase form of cocaine, which is the end product of a chemical alteration whereby the cocaine in salt form is converted to a form suitable for smoking. See South Carolina Code 44-53-110
  • Controlled substance: means a drug, substance, or immediate precursor in Schedules I through V in Sections 44-53-190, 44-53-210, 44-53-230, 44-53-250, and 44-53-270. See South Carolina Code 44-53-110
  • conviction: A judgement of guilt against a criminal defendant.
  • Department: means the State Department of Health and Environmental Control. See South Carolina Code 44-53-110
  • Dispense: means to deliver a controlled substance to an ultimate user or research subject by or pursuant to the lawful order of a practitioner, including the prescribing, administering, packaging, labeling, or compounding necessary to prepare the substance for the delivery. See South Carolina Code 44-53-110
  • Dispenser: means a practitioner who delivers a controlled substance to the ultimate user or research subject. See South Carolina Code 44-53-110
  • Distribute: means to deliver (other than by administering or dispensing) a controlled substance. See South Carolina Code 44-53-110
  • Distributor: means a person who so delivers a controlled substance. See South Carolina Code 44-53-110
  • Drug: means a substance:

    (a) recognized in the official United States Pharmacopoeia, official Homeopathic Pharmacopoeia of the United States, or official National Formulary, or any supplement to any of them;

    (b) intended for use in the diagnosis, cure, mitigation, treatment, or prevention of disease in man and animals;

    (c) other than food intended to affect the structure or any function of the body of man and animals; and

    (d) intended for use as a component of any substance specified in subitem (a), (b), or (c) of this paragraph but does not include devices or their components, parts, or accessories. See South Carolina Code 44-53-110
  • evidence: Information presented in testimony or in documents that is used to persuade the fact finder (judge or jury) to decide the case for one side or the other.
  • felony: A crime carrying a penalty of more than a year in prison.
  • Manufacture: 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:

    (a) by a practitioner as an incident to his administering or dispensing of a controlled substance in the course of his professional practice; or

    (b) by a practitioner, or by his authorized agent under his supervision, for the purpose of, or as an incident to, research, teaching, or chemical analysis and not for sale. See South Carolina Code 44-53-110
  • Manufacturer: means any person who packages, repackages, or labels any container of any controlled substance, except practitioners who dispense or compound prescription orders for delivery to the ultimate consumer. See South Carolina Code 44-53-110
  • Methamphetamine: includes any salt, isomer, or salt of an isomer, or any mixture or compound containing amphetamine or methamphetamine. See South Carolina Code 44-53-110
  • misdemeanor: Usually a petty offense, a less serious crime than a felony, punishable by less than a year of confinement.
  • Paraphernalia: means any instrument, device, article, or contrivance used, designed for use, or intended for use in ingesting, smoking, administering, manufacturing, or preparing a controlled substance and does not include cigarette papers and tobacco pipes but includes, but is not limited to:

    (a) metal, wooden, acrylic, glass, stone, plastic, or ceramic marijuana or hashish pipes with or without screens, permanent screens, hashish heads, or punctured metal bowls;

    (b) water pipes designed for use or intended for use with marijuana, hashish, hashish oil, or cocaine;

    (c) carburetion tubes and devices;

    (d) smoking and carburetion masks;

    (e) roach clips;

    (f) separation gins designed for use or intended for use in cleaning marijuana;

    (g) cocaine spoons and vials;

    (h) chamber pipes;

    (i) carburetor pipes;

    (j) electric pipes;

    (k) air-driven pipes;

    (l) chilams;

    (m) bongs;

    (n) ice pipes or chillers. See South Carolina Code 44-53-110
  • probation: A sentencing alternative to imprisonment in which the court releases convicted defendants under supervision as long as certain conditions are observed.

(1) for a first offense, must be sentenced to a term of imprisonment of not more than fifteen years or fined not more than twenty-five thousand dollars, or both;

(2) for a second offense, the offender must be imprisoned for not less than five years nor more than thirty years, or fined not more than fifty thousand dollars, or both;

(3) for a third or subsequent offense, the offender must be imprisoned for not less than ten years nor more than thirty years, or fined not more than fifty thousand dollars, or both.

Possession of one or more grams of methamphetamine or cocaine base is prima facie evidence of a violation of this subsection. Notwithstanding any other provision of law, a person convicted and sentenced pursuant to this subsection for a first offense or second offense may have the sentence suspended and probation granted, and is eligible for parole, supervised furlough, community supervision, work release, work credits, education credits, and good conduct credits. Notwithstanding any other provision of law, a person convicted and sentenced pursuant to this subsection for a third or subsequent offense in which all prior offenses were for possession of a controlled substance pursuant to subsection (A), may have the sentence suspended and probation granted and is eligible for parole, supervised furlough, community supervision, work release, work credits, education credits, and good conduct credits. In all other cases, the sentence must not be suspended nor probation granted.

(C) A person who knowingly sells, manufactures, delivers, purchases, or brings into this State, or who provides financial assistance or otherwise aids, abets, attempts, or conspires to sell, manufacture, deliver, purchase, or bring into this State, or who is knowingly in actual or constructive possession or who knowingly attempts to become in actual or constructive possession of ten grams or more of methamphetamine or cocaine base, as defined and otherwise limited in Section 44-53-110, 44-53-210(d)(1), or 44-53-210(d)(2), is guilty of a felony which is known as "trafficking in methamphetamine or cocaine base" and, upon conviction, must be punished as follows if the quantity involved is:

(1) ten grams or more, but less than twenty-eight grams:

(a) for a first offense, a term of imprisonment of not less than three years nor more than ten years, no part of which may be suspended nor probation granted, and a fine of twenty-five thousand dollars;

(b) for a second offense, a term of imprisonment of not less than five years nor more than thirty years, no part of which may be suspended nor probation granted, and a fine of fifty thousand dollars;

(c) for a third or subsequent offense, a mandatory minimum term of imprisonment of not less than twenty-five years nor more than thirty years, no part of which may be suspended nor probation granted, and a fine of fifty thousand dollars;

(2) twenty-eight grams or more, but less than one hundred grams:

(a) for a first offense, a term of imprisonment of not less than seven years nor more than twenty-five years, no part of which may be suspended nor probation granted, and a fine of fifty thousand dollars;

(b) for a second offense, a term of imprisonment of not less than seven years nor more than thirty years, no part of which may be suspended nor probation granted, and a fine of fifty thousand dollars;

(c) for a third or subsequent offense, a mandatory minimum term of imprisonment of not less than twenty-five years and not more than thirty years, no part of which may be suspended nor probation granted, and a fine of fifty thousand dollars;

(3) one hundred grams or more, but less than two hundred grams, a mandatory term of imprisonment of twenty-five years, no part of which may be suspended nor probation granted, and a fine of fifty thousand dollars;

(4) two hundred grams or more, but less than four hundred grams, a mandatory term of imprisonment of twenty-five years, no part of which may be suspended nor probation granted, and a fine of one hundred thousand dollars;

(5) four hundred grams or more, a term of imprisonment of not less than twenty-five years nor more than thirty years with a mandatory minimum term of imprisonment of twenty-five years, no part of which may be suspended nor probation granted, and a fine of two hundred thousand dollars.

(D) Possession of equipment or paraphernalia used in the manufacture of cocaine, cocaine base, or methamphetamine is prima facie evidence of intent to manufacture.

(E)(1) It is unlawful for any person, other than a manufacturer, practitioner, dispenser, distributor, or retailer to knowingly possess any product that contains nine grams or more of ephedrine, pseudoephedrine, or phenylpropanolamine, their salts, isomers, or salts of isomers, or a combination of any of these substances. A person who violates this subsection is guilty of a felony known as "trafficking in ephedrine, pseudoephedrine, or phenylpropanolamine, their salts, isomers, or salts of isomers, or a combination of any of these substances" and, upon conviction, must be punished as follows if the quantity involved is:

(a) nine grams or more, but less than twenty-eight grams:

(i) for a first offense, a term of imprisonment of not more than ten years, no part of which may be suspended nor probation granted, and a fine of twenty-five thousand dollars;

(ii) for a second offense, a term of imprisonment of not less than five years nor more than thirty years, no part of which may be suspended nor probation granted, and a fine of fifty thousand dollars;

(iii) for a third or subsequent offense, a mandatory minimum term of imprisonment of not less than twenty-five years nor more than thirty years, no part of which may be suspended nor probation granted, and a fine of fifty thousand dollars;

(b) twenty-eight grams or more, but less than one hundred grams:

(i) for a first offense, a term of imprisonment of not less than seven years nor more than twenty-five years, no part of which may be suspended nor probation granted, and a fine of fifty thousand dollars;

(ii) for a second offense, a term of imprisonment of not less than seven years nor more than thirty years, no part of which may be suspended nor probation granted, and a fine of fifty thousand dollars;

(iii) for a third or subsequent offense, a mandatory minimum term of imprisonment of not less than twenty-five years and not more than thirty years, no part of which may be suspended nor probation granted, and a fine of fifty thousand dollars;

(c) one hundred grams or more, but less than two hundred grams, a mandatory term of imprisonment of twenty-five years, no part of which may be suspended nor probation granted, and a fine of fifty thousand dollars;

(d) two hundred grams or more, but less than four hundred grams, a mandatory term of imprisonment of twenty-five years, no part of which may be suspended nor probation granted, and a fine of one hundred thousand dollars;

(e) four hundred grams or more, a term of imprisonment of not less than twenty-five years nor more than thirty years with a mandatory minimum term of imprisonment of twenty-five years, no part of which may be suspended nor probation granted, and a fine of two hundred thousand dollars.

(2) This subsection does not apply to:

(a) a consumer who possesses products:

(i) containing ephedrine, pseudoephedrine, or phenylpropanolamine in a manner consistent with typical medicinal or household use, as indicated by storage location, and possession of the products in a variety of strengths, brands, types, purposes, and expiration dates; or

(ii) for agricultural use containing anhydrous ammonia if the consumer has reformulated the anhydrous ammonia by means of additive so as effectively to prevent the conversion of the active ingredient into methamphetamine, its salts, isomers, salts of isomers, or its precursors, or the precursors’ salts, isomers, or salts of isomers, or a combination of any of these substances; or

(b) products labeled for pediatric use pursuant to federal regulations and according to label instructions primarily intended for administration to children under twelve years of age; or

(c) products that the Drug Enforcement Administration and the Department of Health and Environmental Control, upon application of a manufacturer, exempts because the product is formulated in such a way as to effectively prevent the conversion of the active ingredient into methamphetamine, its salts, isomers, salts of isomers, or its precursors, or the precursors’ salts, isomers, or salts of isomers, or a combination of any of these substances.

(3) This subsection preempts all local ordinances or regulations governing the possession of any product that contains ephedrine, pseudoephedrine, or phenylpropanolamine.

(F) Sentences for violation of the provisions of subsections (C) or (E) may not be suspended and probation may not be granted. A person convicted and sentenced under subsection (C) or (E) to a mandatory term of imprisonment of twenty-five years, a mandatory minimum term of imprisonment of twenty-five years, or a mandatory minimum term of imprisonment of not less than twenty-five years nor more than thirty years is not eligible for parole, extended work release as provided in Section 24-13-610, or supervised furlough as provided in Section 24-13-710.

(G) A person eighteen years of age or older may be charged with unlawful conduct toward a child pursuant to Section 63-5-70, if a child was present at any time during the unlawful manufacturing of methamphetamine.