State Laws

West Virginia State Laws


West Virginia Law Articles | West Virginia Felony | West Virginia Gun Laws | West Virginia Divorce | West Virginia Bankruptcy Laws | West Virginia DUI Laws | West Virginia Labor Laws | West Virginia Marijuana Laws

West Virginia broke away from Virginia during the Civil War when Virginia joined the Confederacy. During the war West Virginia played a key role in assisting the Union because it bordered the Confederate states. Following the Civil War's conclusion the population of the new state flourished.

Immigrants from Germany, Ireland, England, Scotland, and Italy currently make up most of West Virginia's current population. Today West Virginian economy thrives from coal mining and is the second in coal production in the entire nation. Coal power plants create a majority of the electricity in West Virginia.

West Virginia is governed by state laws. These kinds of laws exist where federal laws have no jurisdiction. Many state laws include gun laws, labor laws, divorce laws, bankruptcy laws, expungement laws, felony conviction laws, and drunken driving laws.

Bankruptcy
In 2005 the federal government created the Bankruptcy Act. This act put new regulations on who is eligible for different kinds of bankruptcy and is designed to eliminate the abuse the bankruptcy system received in the past. Those who are eligible for bankruptcy will have their personal incomes and debts compared to the mean of the rest of West Virginia. Those that are above the state mean will be granted Chapter Thirteen bankruptcy, while those who are below the state mean will be granted Chapter Seven bankruptcy.

Chapter Thirteen bankruptcy allows individuals to eliminate their debts through personalized repayment plans. These plans can be as few as three years but cannot exceed five years. Chapter Seven bankruptcy allows individuals to eliminate their debts through liquidation of personal property. Different kinds of property are exempt from liquidation.

Divorce
In order to have a West Virginia divorce, individuals are required to be state residents for a minimum of one year prior to filing. Each county circuit court has jurisdiction over its residents' divorces. If a petition is filed to the incorrect court, the case will be dismissed.

Individuals may file to their county of residency or to the county of their spouses, if they reside in different counties. Those who were married in the state of West Virginia, and who are not currently state residents, may also apply for West Virginia divorces. In these cases the one-year requirement is waived.

Expungement
Expungement is the sealing of an individual's criminal records. Once expunged a record can no longer be accessed by the general public. An individual will then be legally allowed to state in written form that he or she never committed the criminal offense. Most misdemeanor, felony, and sexual offenses are not eligible for expungement. In the cases where a governor has granted pardoning, the case is a juvenile record, or the case is drug-related, a crime can be expunged despite prior stipulations.

Gun Laws
Handguns are only permitted under concealed weapons permits. In order to obtain a permit an individual must first demonstrate that he or she can operate, load, and fire a handgun. A provided exam will inform West Virginia citizens of all federal, state, and local gun laws that are lesser-known in regards to carrying conceal weapons.