Posts Tagged With: police

Crackdown: New Synthetic Marijuana

syntheticThere has been a lot of talk lately about the crackdown on synthetic drugs. WMBF News released this news article that discusses a new synthetic drug, which has been dubbed “OMG, Kush, Magnolia Max, and/or Joker.” For more information on this new synthetic alternative, check out: here.

Buyers beware, just because you can find it on shelves in your local stores does not mean it is legal! About this time last year, the South Carolina governor signed a law making it illegal to sell and/or purchase synthetic marijuana. The punishment for possession of synthetic marijuana is equal to the punishment for marijuana. Many have changed the compounds in the synthetic marijuana in order to avoid the new law banning synthetic marijuana but the South Carolina lawmakers are working on ways to close the loopholes in the law. For more information on South Carolina’s plan on action regarding synthetic marijuana, take a look at: http://www.wmbfnews.com/story/22213747/solicitors-office-aims-to-crack-down-on-synthetic-marijuana.

The following penalties show the differentiation the law makes between possessing a small amount versus a large amount of marijuana. For simple possession of marijuana, (no more than 28 grams), or hashish, (no more than 10 grams), the penalty carries jail time of up to 30 days or a fine ranging between $100 and $200. A second or subsequent offense carries up to 1 year in jail and a fine of up to $1000. If you are charged with carrying more than 28 grams of marijuana or more than 10 grams of hasish the penalties can reach up to 15 years of jail and/or up to $25,000.  If you are facing a subsequent charge for possession of more than 28 grams or more than 10 grams of hasish the penalties can include jail time of up to 30 years and up to $50,000.

If you are unsure if a product is synthetic marijuana, don’t buy it! Stores may be labeling it differently in order to avoid police suspicion. Not only can the store be criminally punished for selling it but also you can be punished as well for purchasing it. If you have any questions regarding the new laws concerning synthetic marijuana contact your local criminal attorney Daniel Selwa. If you are facing criminal charges for distribution or purchase of synthetic marijuana or natural marijuana, Daniel Selwa can help.  Call Daniel Selwa for a free consultation.

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Categories: Criminal Defense, Drug Offense | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

How your defense attorney can exclude evidence found in your automobile during a search

Most of us have been pulled over by the police at some point in our lives; some of us have had automobile stops resulting in the issuing of a traffic ticket while others have been released with just a warning.  Police Officers must have reasonable suspicion to pull a person over. Reasonable suspicion requires specific and articulable facts taken together with rational inferences from those facts that lead the police to believe that a law is being broken or has been broken by the suspect.

Furthermore, the police may search a vehicle without a warrant.  Generally a warrantless search is per se unreasonable and violative of the 4th amendment. However, there is an automobile exception that allows for the search of a vehicle without a warrant. But, in order to conduct a warrantless search there must be probable cause to believe the automobile contains evidence of a crime and there are exigent circumstances arising out of the mobility of the automobile and its likelihood of disappearing if the search is not executed immediately. The Court will look to the attending circumstances to determine whether the police officer had probable cause to search the vehicle. If the police are to conduct a warrantless search they must only reach to the areas of the vehicle that they have probable cause to believe the contraband or other evidence may be found. If the police illegally obtain evidence (without probable cause) from an automobile vehicle, it is inadmissible in both state and federal courts against the defendant whose rights were taken away.

For example, a police officer may lawfully stop you when he believes you have been drinking based on the fact that you have been swerving all over the road. If the officer finds a beer can in plain view in your cup holder he may then search for more evidence of beer in your vehicle any where beer may reasonably be concealed. But, that is all the police officer may search for, legally. In a recent South Carolina case, State v. Brown, the Court held in this case that a bag which appeared to be a gym bag or a duffel bag used to travel, should not have been subject to the search.  The Court reasoned that the bag was zipped up and appeared to carry clothing. The Court further noted had the bag looked like a grocery bag, the search of the bag would be proper because you would expect to find beer in a grocery bag. In this case, the police officer found cocaine in the duffle bag and sought to introduce the evidence at trial. The court ultimately held the search of the duffle bag was improper and thus the evidence of cocaine must be excluded from trial.

If you have found yourself in a similar situation where a police officer searched containers or areas of your vehicle unlawfully, then contact Daniel Selwa to explore your available options. Where the evidence of an unlawful search is excluded from trial, the charges against you for possession of that contraband must be dropped. Without a skilled criminal defense attorney, you could face serious fines and possible jail time.  Contact criminal defense attorney Daniel A. Selwa, II today.

Categories: Criminal Defense, Search and Seizure | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

Myrtle Beach Open Container Law

Elements Of The Offense:

1. That the accused did have in his possession any beer or wine in an open container in a moving vehicle of any kind while located upon the public highways or highway rights of way of this state, except in the trunk or luggage compartment.

Penalty:

Fine of not more than $100 or imprisonment for not more than 30 days.

Open Container charges are often charged along with other traffic offenses or alcohol crimes.  

Contact Us online for your free consultation to discuss your open container charge.  Daniel A. Selwa, II is ready to answer your questions.

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