Drug offenses in West Virginia include possessing, delivering, and manufacturing controlled substances, as well as prescription fraud. Each of these offenses carry the possibility of harsh punishments that include jail time and fines.
Additionally, when a West Virginia University student is convicted of a drug crime, such conviction can have additional non-criminal consequences, such as the immediate repayment of federal student loans and the loss of eligibility for such future student loans, as well as possibly being charged by the West Virginia University Office of Student Conduct with a violation of the WVU Student Conduct code, which can led to possible suspension or expulsion.
What Is the Penalty For Possession, Delivery, or Manufacturing a Controlled Substance?
The penalties for the offenses of possession, delivery, or manufacturing a controlled substance varies under West Virginia law depending on the type of drug involved, and in some cases the amount. For instance possession of a controlled substance classified in Schedule I or II, which is also a narcotic drug, is a felony offense and, upon conviction, is punishable by imprisoned for not less than one year nor more than fifteen years, or fined up to $25,000, or both.
However, possession, delivery, or manufacturing of a controlled substance classified in Schedule I or II, which is not a narcotic, or Schedule III, while also a felony, is punishable by imprisonment for not less than one year nor more than five years, or fined up to $15,000, or both.
Additionally, possession, delivery, or manufacturing of a Schedule IV controlled substance is a felony offense that carries the lesser punishment of imprisonment for not less than one year nor more than three years, or fined not more than $10,000, or both.
Second or Subsequent Offenses for Possession, Delivery, or Manufacturing a Controlled Substance
If you are charged with possession, delivery, or manufacturing a controlled substance and have been convicted of the same crime previously, West Virginia law imposes twice that of the first offense.
Counterfeit and Synthetic Substances
With the recent surge in popularity of counterfeit and synthetic drugs, there is a corresponding surge in arrests related to synthetics. West Virginia does not make exception for counterfeit drugs. In fact, West Virginia imposes the same criminality and penalties for counterfeit drugs as the corresponding scheduled substance.
Conditional Discharge For First Offense Possession
West Virginia law provides a one-time opportunity to those charged with possession of a controlled substance for the first time. Under the Conditional Discharge statute, anyone who pleads guilty to or is found guilty of possession of a controlled substance who has not been convicted of any prior drug offense may have their conviction deferred and be placed on probation. Upon successful completion of the probation period, the charge will be discharged and dismissed. Six months after dismissal, all records related to the arrest and charge may be expunged from your record. However, should probation not be completed successfully, the charge will be adjudicated as guilty and punishment may be imposed.
Do I Need An Attorney For a Possession, Delivery, or Manufacturing Drug Charge?
Because drug crimes can have such an enormous impact on your life if you are convicted, you should contact an experienced and skilled lawyer and secure attorney representation as soon as possible. If you are a WVU student, Morgantown resident, or have been charged in Monongalia, Preston, or any West Virginia County with a drug offense, contact Slavey & Shumaker PLLC to schedule a free initial consultation and review of your case.