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Understanding West Virginia’s heroin laws

On Behalf of | Jul 20, 2023 | Criminal Defense

Heroin is a Schedule I substance in West Virginia, meaning it is illegal to possess, use, manufacture, or distribute. Possession of this drug carries harsh criminal penalties, including long prison sentences and large fines. You can face even harsher penalties if you have a prior conviction for the same or similar offense. If you’re facing heroin charges, it’s important to understand the law and your rights.


Possession of a small amount of heroin is a misdemeanor offense, punishable by up to a year in jail and fines of up to $1,000. These penalties increase for larger quantities, and possession of more than four ounces is a felony with potential sentences ranging from two to 15 years in prison and fines up to $25,000. With a criminal defense strategy, individuals may be able to reduce their charges or have them dropped altogether.

Dealing or sale

Dealing or selling even a small amount of heroin is considered a felony in West Virginia. If convicted, you may face up to three years in prison and fines of up to $25,000. The penalties are much harsher if you are accused of trafficking or distributing more heroin. You could look at up to 15 years in prison and fines of up to $500,000. Also, you may face enhanced penalties if found guilty of selling to a minor or within 1,000 feet of a school.


Trafficking heroin in West Virginia is a felony offense that carries severe penalties. The amount of drugs you are accused of trafficking will determine your penalty. For example, if convicted of trafficking between 1 and 5 grams of heroin, you could be sentenced to up to 15 years and ordered to pay fines of up to $25,000.

If you have been charged with a heroin offense in West Virginia, it is important to know what your rights are and what criminal defense strategies you may have available. With the right knowledge and experience, you can mount a strong defense and potentially have your charges reduced or dismissed.