Posts Tagged With: South Carolina

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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Prescription Drug Fraud

ImagePrescription drug misuse is a significant and prevalent problem across the nation. In 2010, about one in four illicit-drug users reported that their initiation into illegal drug use began with prescription drugs. Prescription drug overdoses in 2008 exceeded those for heroin and cocaine combined. While licensed physicians prescribe some people medications, others may obtain prescription medications through illegal means. While certain crimes tend to fit a certain group of people, prescription drug fraud and misuse offenders spans a wide range of ethnic, social, educational and economic backgrounds.

Prescription drug fraud can take many forms; the most common forms are altering or forging a prescription, phoning in a fraudulent prescription posing as a doctor or office’s employee and theft of prescription pads. Some people like doctors and nurses, have easy access to prescription pads and thus, prescription drug fraud is often seen among hospital employees. But, as mentioned, there are other ways to obtain prescription drugs without stealing prescription pads.

Possession or distribution of blank prescription documents can be classified as a misdemeanor or a felony charge. There are three definitions of this crime: first, knowing and intentional issuance by a registered practitioner or possession by someone other than the one who signed it of a prescription document signed in blank, second, knowing and intentional possession of a prescription not completed and signed by the practitioner whose named printed thereon by a person other than the registered practitioner and lastly, knowing and intentional withholding from a practitioner information that the defendant already obtaining controlled substances of like therapeutic use from another practitioner. Basically, if you are in the unlawful possession of a prescription drug, you can be charged with this crime

The penalty for this crime, as a first time offender, may include up to 2 years of prison time and/or up to a fine of $2,000. The second offense, is classified as a felony, and can carry a prison sentence of up to 5 years.

If you are facing criminal charges for your involvement with prescription fraud, contact local defense attorney Daniel Selwa. The penalties can be severe for your involvement with prescription fraud, and Daniel Selwa can provide the experienced criminal defense you need.

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Automobile Accidents: How you can be compensated for your losses

ImageEvery ten seconds someone in the United States is involved in a car accident. Today, cars are made to crumble upon impact. Cars are designed this way so that the driver and passengers are better protected from personal injury. While cars have come a long way in safety, unfortunately, many car accidents still result in death and serious injury. In fact, automobile accidents give rise to the majority of personal injury claims in the United States.

The law of negligence typically governs the legal claims arising from automobile accidents. Negligence consists of: duty, causation (legal and proximate), breach and damages. In the automobile context, automobile drivers owe a duty to exercise reasonable care in operating their vehicle. The failure to exercise reasonable care results in a breach and thus, raises an inference of negligence. The Plaintiff bears the burden of proof in a negligence action which means he must prove the Defendant breached his duty of care and that his breach was the proximate cause of the accident and the actual cause of the Plaintiff’s injuries.

Courts look at several factors to determine whether a driver was acting negligently in the operation of their vehicle. Failure to exercise reasonable care may be found where the driver: disobeyed traffic laws or signals, failed to signal while turning, drove above the posted speed limit, and drove under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

Negligence is not the only legal theory of recovery for your personal injuries resulting from an automobile accident but it is the typical avenue to pursue when trying to recover for your personal injury damages. Call Daniel Selwa today to discuss your case.  Attorney Selwa offers free consultations to determine if the other driver’s negligence will allow you to recover monetary damages. Don’t let your medical bills and property damage bills overwhelm you, instead pursue your case with Daniel Selwa so that the at fault driver has to compensate you for your damages.

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Arrested on St. Patrick’s Day?

ImageWMBF as well as other news sources broadcasted information on the Internet, television and radio regarding this past weekend’s festivities. Amongst the weekend’s events, the Grand Strand celebrated St. Patrick’s Day, a car show and a cheerleading competition. Since there was so much to look forward to over the weekend, local law enforcement wanted their presence to be known so that the fun did not get out of control. This WMBF news article issued a statement from local law enforcement that read, “If you are caught drinking and driving, you are going to jail.”

http://www.wmbfnewus.com/story/21660018/myrtle-beach-police-are-cracking-down-this-weekend. Were you arrested for a DUI this weekend? Perhaps you were instead arrested on public intoxication charges? Possibly, you were arrested for possession of marijuana? These are all events that can occur when you are out celebrating holidays like St. Patrick’s Day.

It is almost certain that local law enforcement dealt mostly with DUI related offenses this past weekend. DUI laws make it unlawful for a person to drive a motor vehicle if the driver’s ability to safely drive has been impaired by the effects of drugs or alcohol or the driver is intoxicated at a level above the established BAC (blood alcohol concentration). In South Carolina, if you have a BAC of .08 or higher, you are legally considered too drunk to drive and can be punished by law. The nature of the DUI charges against you depends on many factors including your prior convictions, the severity of the offense, and the level of intoxication and whether the offense caused injury or death.

Most of us have made the mistake of getting behind the wheel and driving after a few too many cocktails, unfortunately, it’s a common mistake. But, fortunately, the law offers ways to mitigate this mistake. Additionally, the law offers ways to mitigate the mistake of public intoxication and possession of marijuana. For example, in the case of a DUI related offense, your punishment for the crime could be mitigated because the law enforcement officer did not arrest you on probable cause, which is a required element of an arrest. Your punishment for a DUI related offense could also be mitigated because the law enforcement officer improperly conducted field sobriety tests on the scene.

If you have found yourself in a similar situation as one listed above, like being arrested for a DUI, contact your criminal defense attorney Daniel Selwa. If you choose not to contact an attorney, your punishment under the law will likely reach the maximum penalties which could include: imprisonment, excessive fines, suspension of driver’s license and court ordered alcohol/drug treatment or counseling.  Daniel Selwa is an experienced attorney who can help mitigate the punishment for your crime.

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Stricter DUI Laws in SC?

South Carolina ranks among the top of states for DUI related accidents. The number of DUIs in Myrtle Beach is particularly high which can be attributed to the tourist industry locally.

Emma Longstreet was killed last year on New Years Day in a drunk driving accident. Her parents are fighting today to get Emma’s law passed. The law would require a sobriety ignition test, if you blow above a .02, you won’t be able to start your car. The law also would include stricter penalties for repeat offenders. For more information on the tragic death of Emma Longstreet and Emma’s law, check out: http://www.wmbfnews.com/story/21290061/emmas-law-would-install-ignition-interlock-device-in-dui-offenders-cars.

Most people I have met admit that they have driven drunk at one point in their lives. It doesn’t make you a bad person, it just means, you made a bad mistake. Fortunately, the law recognizes this and your punishment for a DUI can be mitigated with counsel. If you go up against the law by yourself, you may face the worst case scenario penalties. However, if you contact Daniel Selwa, the opposite may result. Contact Daniel Selwa today for a free consultation regarding your case.

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Reckless Driving

The winter weather swept the coast recently, snow accumulations ranged from 1.5 inches to 2 inches of snow in the Grand Strand and the Pee Dee areas. I am not at all familiar with snow and I realized last night just how difficult it is to drive while it is snowing.  The forecast shows the cold temperatures are to continue this week and there is a chance of snowfall as well. The conditions on the road will be wet and visibility may be impaired due to the weather as well. Along with the chilly conditions, the tourist season is quickly approaching and law enforcement is letting their presence be known along the Grand Strand and surrounding areas.

Your cautious driving may alert law enforcement and you could be pulled over. The police might mistakenly charge you with reckless driving. Most states carry reckless driving charges that prohibit a driver from operating a vehicle in a manner that shows a reckless disregard for the safety of others. The South Carolina statute specifically provides, that “any person who drives a vehicle in such a manner as to indicate a willful or wanton disregard for the safety of persons or property is guilty of reckless driving.” Examples of reckless driving may include: swerving on the roadways, traveling over the posted speed limit, and crossing a double yellow line to pass another vehicle.

The offense of reckless driving requires the conscious failure to exercise due care. The burden is on the state to prove you possessed the requisite intent to be convicted of this traffic offense. Consider, where a motorist passes a school bus without stopping but he does so ignorantly or unthinkingly. The motorist does in fact drive slowly while looking out for school children. In this example, the motorist could not be charged with reckless driving. Consider, instead, a motorist who continues to drive consciously disregarding the fact that is sleepy and cannot keep his eyes open while driving. This motorist has shown a reckless disregard for the safety of others and therefore, can be guilty of reckless driving.

If you find yourself facing reckless driving charges, contact your local attorney Daniel Selwa today. You could be innocent of the charges if the police officer was mistaken or there may be another legal defense that justifies your conduct.

Categories: Criminal Defense, Driver License, SC DMV, Traffic Tickets | Tags: , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Traffic Ticket Consequences

Remember that heart pounding feeling you experienced when you saw the blue lights rapidly approaching your vehicle?  Chances are, most everyone you know has experienced this same feeling. More than 90% of people over the age of 16 are licensed to drive which means millions of traffic citations are issued each year. Traffic laws and regulations were put into effect in the early 1920s with the goal of protecting you and your loved ones on the roadways. Research has shown that most people obey traffic laws because they do not want to run the risk of receiving a traffic citation. Although most people obey traffic laws, there are always slip ups where someone loses focus and accidentally makes a left hand turn without a blinker, or even intentional acts where someone runs a red light because they think they can go unnoticed by law enforcement.

Most traffic tickets are issued for “strict liability offenses”, which means no particular criminal intent is needed to convict a person of the offense. Examples of strict liability offenses include: speeding, failure to yield, failure to use turn signals, turning into a wrong lane and driving a vehicle with burned out headlights or taillights. Most traffic tickets are also considered minor infractions and as such are handled in the lower courts. However, traffic tickets that involve injury to a person or a person’s property often do go through the criminal court system and allow the defendant to hire an attorney if she so chooses. Examples of traffic tickets that carry felony punishment include: a hit and run accident, driving under the influence of alcohol, and failure to stop a vehicle when signaled by law enforcement.

Traffic tickets can carry consequences including: license suspension, car insurance increases, fines, and even jail time.  You can face license suspension where you have received multiple traffic tickets or where your offense was accompanied by bodily injury to another or involved drunk driving. Your attorney could present evidence that shows you have taken corrective measures such as taking a safe driving class or attending alcoholic anonymous meetings to address your behavior. If the judge is convinced he could opt not to suspend your license. The crime of a hit and run can carry jail time ranging from 30 days to 25 years depending on whether minor injury, serious injury or death results from the hit and run. You are entitled to put on a defense to explain your actions. Your defense could mean the difference between fines and jail time. For every traffic citation you receive, you receive points that reflect negatively on your driving record. In turn, the points could lead to higher insurance premiums. By hiring an attorney, you may be able to avoid points and higher insurance premiums.

Even careful safe drivers can make a mistake and receive a traffic ticket as a consequence. Contact attorney Daniel Selwa to assess your case and fight your traffic ticket.

Categories: Criminal Defense, Driver License, DUI, Points Suspension, Traffic Tickets | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

The Dangers and Consequences of Texting and Driving

You’ve probably heard one or more of these catch phrases,  “if you want to survive, don’t text and drive,” “don’t tempt fate, that text can wait”,  “don’t drive inTEXTicated”, and “friends don’t let friends text and drive.” Although it is still a national concern, drunk driving seems to have taken a back seat to texting and driving. Recent reports and statistics have caused the focus to shift from drunk driving to texting and driving.  Many cell phone providers have included features that now allow you to communicate your text by talking the text which results in the phone typing and sending the text message for you. Media outlets including radio and television constantly run segment on the dangers of texting and driving. According to recent reports, someone is injured or killed once in every 5 minutes on average in a crash that involves texting and driving.

Many states have now adopted laws that ban text messaging while driving. Currently, Columbia, the capital of South Carolina does have a ban in place for texting and driving but the state of South Carolina is not currently a state that bans text messaging while driving. However, it may soon join the growing list of states that bans text messaging while driving. A review of the proposed bill that will ban texting and driving is available at: http://www.distracteddrivinghelp.com/south-carolina-texting-laws.

Recently, the Department of Transportation and the Federal Communications Commission along with over 140 other organizations joined forces to halt texting while driving.  The WMBF news article listed explains this national movement: http://www.wmbfnews.com/story/19581108/the-dot-and-fcc-join-att-to-call-for-a-national-movement-to-halt-texting-while-driving.

Have you or someone you know been injured by someone who was texting and driving? Join the national movement and do your part by discussing your case with attorney Daniel Selwa. Although texting and driving is not yet banned across the state of South Carolina, South Carolina does recognize actions at law that will allow you to recover for your loss.

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Driver License Problems? Here’s your solution.

SCDMV will hold the 2012 Driver Suspension Eligibility Week for drivers with certain license suspensions March 5-9, 2012 in all offices across the state. Services will also be available in six designated offices open on Saturday, March 10th. During Driver Suspension Eligibility Week, South Carolina drivers who have lost their licenses for suspensions included in the program may be able to reduce or clear the remaining time for their suspension. To learn more about the program, click here.

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Categories: Driver License, DUI, DUS, Habitual Offender, Points Suspension, SC DMV | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

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