(1) A judge of any court of record in this state having criminal jurisdiction, and upon proper oath or affirmation showing probable cause, may issue warrants for the purpose of conducting administrative inspections authorized by this act or rules hereunder, and seizures of property appropriate to the inspections. For purposes of the issuance of administrative inspection warrants, probable cause exists upon showing a valid public interest in the effective enforcement of this act or rules hereunder, sufficient to justify administrative inspection of the area, premises, building, or conveyance in the circumstances specified in the application for the warrant;
(2) A warrant shall issue only upon an affidavit of a designated officer or employee having knowledge of the facts alleged, sworn to before the judge and establishing the grounds for issuing the warrant. If the judge is satisfied that grounds for the application exist or that there is probable cause to believe they exist, he shall issue a warrant identifying the area, premises, building, or conveyance to be inspected, the purpose of the inspection, and, if appropriate, the type of property to be inspected, if any. The warrant shall:
(i) State the grounds for its issuance and the name of each person whose affidavit has been taken in support thereof;
(ii) Be directed to a person authorized by section 501 to execute it;
(iii) Command the person to whom it is directed to inspect the area, premises, building, or conveyance identified for the purpose specified and, if appropriate, direct the seizure of the property specified;
(iv) Identify the item or types of property to be seized, if any;
(v) Direct that it be served during normal business hours and designate the judge to whom it shall be returned.
(3) A warrant issued pursuant to this section must be executed and returned within ten days of its date unless, upon a showing of a need for additional time, the court orders otherwise. If property is seized pursuant to a warrant, a copy shall be given to the person from whom or from whose premises the property is taken, together with a receipt for the property taken. The return of the warrant shall be made promptly, accompanied by a written inventory of any property taken. The inventory shall be made in the presence of the person executing the warrant and of the person from whose possession or premises the property was taken, if present, or in the presence of at least one credible person other than the person executing the warrant. A copy of the inventory shall be delivered to the person from whom or from whose premises the property was taken and to the applicant for the warrant;
(4) The judge who has issued a warrant shall attach thereto a copy of the return and all papers returnable in connection therewith and file them with the clerk of the court.
(b) Administrative inspections of controlled premises shall be made in accordance with the following provisions:
(1) For purposes of this section only, "controlled premises" means:
(i) Places where persons registered or exempted from registration requirements under this act are required to keep records; and
(ii) Places including factories, warehouses, establishments, and conveyances in which persons registered or exempted from registration requirements under this act are permitted to hold, manufacture, compound, process, sell, deliver, or otherwise dispose of any controlled substance.
(2) When authorized by an administrative inspection warrant issued pursuant to subsection (a), any person authorized in subsection (b), section 501 of this article to execute and serve the same, upon presenting the warrant and appropriate credentials to the owner, operator, or agent in charge, may enter controlled premises for the purpose of conducting an administrative inspection.
(3) When authorized by an administrative inspection warrant, any such person may:
(i) Inspect and copy records required by this act to be kept;
(ii) Inspect, within reasonable limits and in a reasonable manner, controlled premises and all pertinent equipment, finished and unfinished material, containers and labeling found therein, and, except as provided in subsection (b) (5), all other things therein, including records, files, papers, processes, controls, and facilities bearing on violation of this act; and
(iii) Inventory any stock of any controlled substance therein and obtain samples thereof.
(4) This section does not prevent the inspection without a warrant of books and records pursuant to an administrative subpoena issued in accordance with any pertinent provision of this code, nor does it prevent entries and administrative inspections, including seizures of property, without a warrant:
(i) If the owner, operator, or agent in charge of the controlled premises consents;
(ii) In situations presenting imminent danger to health or safety;
(iii) In situations involving inspection of conveyances if there is reasonable cause to believe that the mobility of the conveyance makes it impracticable to obtain a warrant;
(iv) In any other exceptional or emergency circumstance where time or opportunity to apply for a warrant is lacking; or,
(v) In all other situations in which a warrant is not constitutionally required.
(5) An inspection authorized by this section shall not extend to financial data, sales data, other than shipment data, or pricing data unless the owner, operator, or agent in charge of the controlled premises consents in writing.
Note: WV Code updated with legislation passed through the 2014 1st Special Session
The WV Code Online is an unofficial copy of the annotated WV Code, provided as a convenience. It has NOT been edited for publication, and is not in any way official or authoritative.