Charged With Drug Possession?
An experienced attorney who knows West Virginia's laws can fight for you
Drug offenses can have huge implications for your future. In addition to the legal penalties for possession or other charges, you'll face the social stigma associated with drug use. Having a conviction on your record could close off certain career paths or even threaten your ability to care for your family.
You need to take immediate legal action to fight those charges. You need to reach out to Recht Law Offices. We've been rooted in Weirton since 1952, and we know the courts in Hancock and Brooke counties. Attorney Steven M. Recht will be a strong advocate for you.
Drug possession and other charges in West Virginia
West Virginia's drug laws are fairly unusual in that, for a first-time possession offense, the penalties are the same regardless of substance. This means you will face the same penalty whether you are charged with possession of heroin, cocaine, marijuana, LSD, a prescription drug or any other controlled substance.
A conviction of possession of a controlled substance carries a sentence of 90 days to six months in jail and a fine up to $1,000. Those penalties double for a second or third offense.
If you are caught with a significant enough quantity of a controlled substance or if other evidence suggests that the drugs were not solely for personal use, you might be charged with "possession with intent to distribute," which is a much more serious charge. Possession with intent or actual distribution carries heavier penalties that depend on the class of controlled substance in question. Those cases absolutely require the attention of an experienced criminal defense attorney.
If you've been charged, you have legal options. We can help.
For a first-time possession offense, West Virginia law offers a conditional discharge program. While West Virginia is not the only state to offer conditional discharge, in most other states, it only applies to marijuana charges. In West Virginia, conditional discharge may be available to you even if you are charged with possession of a "hard" drug such as heroin or cocaine.
Conditional discharge means you agree to a period of probation before trial, during which the court proceedings are deferred. Once you successfully complete the probation, the charges will be dismissed, and six months later, you can move to have the records expunged. Aside from the court's record that you had a conditional discharge, it's as though you were never charged at all.
That's just one of many legal options we may be able to explore in your case. The sooner you contact us, the sooner we can get to work. We may be able to get your charges reduced or dismissed entirely, or fight for a not guilty verdict at trial.
Don't put your future in jeopardy due to a drug charge. Reach out to Recht Law today. Give us a call at 1-800-487-8546 for your free case evaluation.