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Woman gets decreased sentence for drug charges

A South Carolina woman has pleaded guilty to drug charges after authorities accused her of trafficking the prescription drug oxycodone. The woman, age 46, was arrested on the felony charges on April 1 after she attempted to sell the drugs to an undercover agent in Maine. The woman was sentenced to three years' prison time, but the majority of her sentence was suspended; she will only be required to spend 91 days in lockup. She will then serve two years' probation. The woman will also be subject to a modest $400 fine.

The woman and her boyfriend, age 26, were reportedly under scrutiny by East Coast officials as early as the fall of 2012. Authorities suspected that the pair was involved in a trafficking effort that transported drugs from Florida to Maine. An investigation showed that the two suspects were in possession of about 250 oxycodone pills and $1,776 in cash, presumably from the drug sales.

Officials said the woman did not have a criminal history. In court, she admitted that she had been selling the pills, which had legally been prescribed to her by a physician. The woman claimed to be facing significant financial hardship, a situation that drove her to drug trafficking out of desperation.

If the case had gone to trial, the woman would have faced a potential 10-year prison term, along with up to $20,000 in fines. Instead, the woman and her attorney were able to negotiate for a plea deal that significantly lowered her prison time. Furthermore, she may be able to receive a transfer from Maine to South Carolina to serve her three-month term.

Criminal defendants who are facing charges for drug crimes should consider seeking the counsel of a qualified defense attorney. These professionals can help you understand your rights and responsibilities throughout many legal processes, including arraignment, entering a plea and sentencing. In this case, the woman's attorney was able to help her by negotiating for a shorter sentence, most of which has been suspended.

Source:  bangordailynews.com, "South Carolina woman pleads guilty after oxycodone bust in Ellsworth" Mario Moretto, Apr. 24, 2013

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