A recent article in The Charleston Gazette noted that for many years in West Virginia, there were more arrests related to marijuana than for all other drugs combined. In 2012 alone, there were approximately 3,700 arrests for possession of marijuana in West Virginia. Why so many arrests in West Virginia for possession of marijuana?
The most likely reason is that marijuana is so widely used. Even in mainstream pop culture, the use of marijuana is present in television shows such as “The Office” and “Mad Men” having characters that use marijuana, to movies such as “Dazed and Confused.” With so many images in pop culture, and with the current legislative landscape in several states, one may think that it is “ok” to possess marijuana. However, the laws of the State of West Virginia tell us that it is not “ok” to possession marijuana in any amount. Our state laws not only prohibit the possession of marijuana, but an individual can find themselves with a permanent criminal record due to possession of marijuana.
So, what do you do if you are a first time pot user who gets caught with possession of marijuana? You may want to look to a special provision in the West Virginia Code located at Section 60A-4-407. If you have never been convicted of any drug related offense and you possessed less than 15 grams of marijuana at the time of your arrest, then you may qualify to have the Court dismiss the charge of possession of marijuana against you after successful completion of a probation period. Typically, a probation period will require that you not be arrested or convicted of any other state or federal law during the probation period, and you may be required to complete community service hours and/or drug classes related to living a drug-free lifestyle. At the end of your probation period, you or your attorney will ask the Court to dismiss your case. If the Court grants your dismissal, then you might be eligible to have the charge completely expunged from your criminal record.
If you find yourself in the possession of being charged with possession of marijuana, take time to review West Virginia Code Section 60A-4-407 and consult with an attorney to see if you might be eligible for the special provisions this code section provides. Here at Adams Legal Group, PLLC, we have helped numerous individuals keep their criminal record clean by utilizing the benefits of West Virginia Code Section 60A-4-407. We hope to be able to help YOU too!