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West Virginia Heroin Laws

Heroin is illegal in every state. Federal and state laws divide controlled substances or drugs into different classifications from Schedule I to V, varying by the accepted medical uses of the drug and the potential for addiction and harm. Heroin is classified at the top as a Schedule I controlled substance both federally and in West Virginia. Despite the harmful consequences of using heroin, it is found and used across the U.S.

Decriminalization of Heroin

Some critics of the War on Drugs argue that decriminalizing all drugs, including heroin, would create a safer society. Although counterintuitive, the idea is that people with drug addiction are actually people with bonding, socialization, or mental health related-problems that need social services rather than prison.

Since the early 2000s, Portugal has legalized drugs, including having small amounts of heroin. Possessing heroin is fined like a parking ticket and, so far, Portugal seems pleased with the results. Other locations, like Washington D.C. and parts of Pennsylvania, provide needle exchange programs for intravenous drug users.

Heroin Laws in West Virginia

The following table outlines the main heroin laws in West Virginia.

Code Sections West Virginia Code Chapter 60A: Uniform Controlled Substances Act, Article 4: (Drug) Offenses and Penalties and Section 60A-2-204: Schedule I (Drugs)
Possession What is Prohibited?
West Virginia prohibits knowingly or intentionally possessing heroin.

What is the Penalty?
Possessing heroin for personal use is a misdemeanor and is punished to 90 days to six months in jail and a fine up to $1,000. For a second or additional offense, the penalties double to year in jail and a $2,000 fine at most.

You can receive deferred prosecution, that is pleading guilty, but the charges being dismissed if you successfully complete probation. This is only available for the first heroin possession offense.
Selling or Dealing What is Prohibited?
It’s illegal to manufacture, deliver, or possess with intent to manufacture or deliver heroin or any other controlled substance.

What is the Penalty?
Delivering or dealing heroin is a felony that is penalized by 1 to 15 years in prison and a fine of up to $25,000. Penalties can be doubled for a second or subsequent offense.

If a person age 21 or older sells heroin to a minor under 18 or a person age 18 or older sells heroin within 1,000 feet of a school or college, that person will be ineligible for parole for three years.
Trafficking or Transporting What is Prohibited?
Transporting heroin into West Virginia with the intent to deliver it to dealers or users is illegal.

What is the Penalty?
Trafficking or transporting heroin is, like dealing, also punished to 1 to 15 years incarceration and up to a $25,000 fine.

If you or a loved one is facing heroin-related charges, it’s important that you immediately speak to an experienced West Virginia criminal defense lawyer or your assigned public defender. Saying some things to cops, the district attorney, or the judge or representing yourself poorly in a trial could lead to a worse outcome.

Note: State laws are updated regularly. Please contact a lawyer or conduct your own legal research to verify these criminal laws.

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