West Virginia considers cocaine to be one of many controlled substances prohibited under state law. West Virginia classifies cocaine as a Schedule II controlled substance because of its high potential for abuse, the severe physical or psychic dependence resulting from abuse, and any currently accepted medical use in the U.S. has severe restrictions. State laws prohibiting cocaine are categorized by possession, distribution and transportation offenses.
West Virginia laws against cocaine
Possessing cocaine, or any Schedule II controlled substance, without a prescription is a misdemeanor offense in West Virginia. State law considers manufacturing, dealing, selling or possessing with the intent of any of the aforementioned to be a felony offense. Transporting, or trafficking, cocaine or Schedule II controlled substances in West Virginia is also considered to be a felony offense. Trafficking cocaine over state lines could warrant federal charges. State charges are enhanced for subsequent offenses and transactions in the proximity of minors.
West Virginia penalties for cocaine offenses
The penalty for first-time possession in West Virginia is a fine up to $1,000 and 90 days to six months in prison. The fines double to $2,000 and sentencing extends to one year for subsequent offenses. Distribution and trafficking are felony offenses carrying one to 15 years in prison and up to $25,000 in fines. Criminal defense lawyers may be effective in negotiating for deferred prosecution, smaller fines or lighter sentencing.
Under state law, there are additional provisions that make a convicted individual ineligible for parole for three years. This law applies to anyone over 21 convicted of distribution to anyone under 18 or younger or anyone over 18 convicted of distribution within 1,000 feet of a school or university. This parole provision also applies to anyone over 18 convicted of distribution within 200 feet of a library.