I live in the state of South Carolina and I was charged with drug paraphernalia after someone called the police on me for shooting up in the Bi-Lo parking lot. I have since been threw rehab and am completely clean but I have questions about my charge. The drug that I was using IV was my own prescription of subutex which is a pill prescribed to help you get off of opium related drugs. I know what I was doing was not exactly good by any stretch but my question is... Was it illegal? I have since been told that the miss use of your own prescription in the state of South Carolina does not carry any law offence. I am currently enrolled in PTI for the matter and everyone I know is telling me that I am wasting my right on something that I should not even worry about a court date for. If I were to just not show back up to PTI, do you think my case would just get dropped or could I beat this in a trial? If so should I do a jury or bench? I am so confused. The police officer found 3 needles in my car and took those, but he gave me back my prescription that I was using. I have never heard of being charged with drug paraphernalia and the person charged given back the drugs. What should I do?
1 Answer from Attorneys
You asked a good question and you have most likely made a very good decision to go with PTI. You would be doing yourself a favor by telling each and everyone ("....and everyone I know is telling me....) who gives you their unqualified legal opinion to go get a law degree and do not render medical advise either. I know that sounds terribly obnoxious, but I have been a criminal defense attorney in SC for 20 years and have seen more and more people make bad legal decisions from listening to unqualified opinions. Its amazing that all these people have such profound legal knowledge. Its like they were born with a law degree.
I cannot say for sure, since I don't know all the facts of your case, but I suspect that the basis of your charge was the syringe, and anything else used to shoot.
Also, your question referred to the "misuse" of your prescription drug. Please understand that you were not charged with the "misuse" of a drug. You were charged with Possession of Paraphernallia. That is two totally different things.
PTI is great. You do your hours, they dismiss the charge and then expunged the record. Don't listen to your friends.
Robert J. Johnston
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