Everyone charged with a crime in South Carolina has a right to discovery, meaning access to all of the evidence in your case—both good and bad. It’s called discovery after the motion you file to get it.

Drug cases require specific evidence to convict you. Remember the State’s got to prove you guilty, so they’ve got to produce the evidence. You don’t have to produce a thing. The evidence is critical for you, because the stakes are high- you likely face prison for drug charges in South Carolina.

Let’s look at some typical evidence we expect in drug cases.

Drug Case Evidence

  • If your case involves a traffic stop, the officer’s in-car video camera footage. Many drug cases can be won by an experienced criminal defense attorney finding hidden, highly technical defenses here.
  • Chain of custody reports showing who took drugs from you and what they did with them. These can provide a sharp legal mind with the missing link to win your case.
  • Crime lab drug test reports verifying the identity of the drugs after scientific testing.
  • Reports proving the reason behind the severity of your charge— the weight of the drugs.
  • Reports proving the alleged “reliability” of a confidential informant, if one’s involved in your case.
  • Video or pictures of police drug buys.
  • If you’re charged with drugs in proximity of or near a school, documents that name the school and provide maps or measurements to show how close you were to it.
  • If your case involves a search warrant, a copy of the warrant and evidence related to how police got it. Sometimes, police fail to observe extremely precise legal requirements that a skilled drug defense lawyer can find and use to get the case thrown out.
  • If your case involves a drug dog, evidence related to the reliability of the dog. If the dog’s unreliable, the State might not be able to rely on the dog to convict you, meaning the drug charge gets thrown out.

Now You’ve Got the Evidence, What Do You Do With It?

Your ability to escape a conviction—and even prison—can’t depend on your hope that the prosecutor will throw you a bone or just forget about your case.

Prosecutors think these cases are easy. You need an experienced professional who can show them why your case is hard. That takes a detailed analysis of discovery and a sound legal strategy.

And some of the most important analysis might be a review of the evidence the State didn’t provide. Failure to provide vital discovery can result in evidence being excluded from trial, which can earn you a deal you can live with or even a dismissal.

If you’ve got questions about drug discovery or anything else related to your drug charges, call toll free 888-230-1841 to set up a free, no pressure strategy session described in this brief video or to get your questions answered over the phone.


Rob Usry
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Rob is a Spartanburg personal injury lawyer. Rob also practices as a workers' compensation attorney.