While West Virginia does not have specific laws related to deportation and drug offenses, there are Federal laws at play. Section 237 of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) outlines the various grounds for deportability. When it comes to drug offenses, several subsections within Section 237 are particularly relevant. Generally, state drug charges interact with federal law.
This section addresses deportability for non-citizens convicted of violating any law or regulation of a state, the United States, or a foreign country relating to a controlled substance (as defined in section 102 of the Controlled Substances Act). In states where marijuana is legal, simple possession of less than 30 grams of marijuana will not be grounds alone for deportation. Possession of any amount of other controlled substances are grounds deportation.
Non-citizens can be subject to deportation if they are found to have participated in the illicit trafficking of a controlled substance or if they have been convicted of a drug trafficking crime.
This section renders individuals deportable if they are determined to be drug abusers or addicts, as defined by the Immigration and Nationality Act.
While not specific to drug offenses, this section is important as many drug-related crimes may be considered crimes of moral turpitude. Convictions for crimes involving moral turpitude can trigger deportability.
It’s essential to note that the severity of consequences under Section 237 of the INA can vary based on factors such as the specific drug offense, the quantity of drugs involved, and whether the offense is considered an aggravated felony. Generally, possession of less than 30 grams of marijuana in states where marijuana is legal are less severe, possession of any amount of drugs other than marijuana are a deportable offense. Recreational marijuana is not legal in West Virginia.
Individuals facing potential deportation for drug offenses should seek an experienced criminal deportation attorney to understand the specific implications of their cases, explore potential defenses, and consider any available forms of relief or waivers.
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