(a) Criminal penalties. — Any person, firm, association or corporation violating a provision of this article or the rules, is guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction, shall be fined not less than $250 nor more than $500 for the first offense, and not less than $500 nor more than $1,000 for the second and subsequent offenses. Magistrates have concurrent jurisdiction with circuit courts to enforce the provisions of this article.
(b) Civil penalties. — Any person violating a provision of this article or the rules, may be assessed a civil penalty by the commissioner.
(1) In determining the amount of the civil penalty, the commissioner shall give due consideration to the history of previous violations by the person, the seriousness of the violation, and the demonstrated good faith of the person charged in attempting to achieve compliance with this article before and after written notification of the violation. The commissioner may assess a penalty of not more than $500 for a first offense, and not more than $1,000 for each second and subsequent offense.
(2) In addition to a penalty assessed against an unlicensed auctioneer for practicing without the required license, the commissioner may assess penalties against an unlicensed auctioneer for violations of the provisions of this article that would have applied to the individual’s conduct had he or she held the required license.
(3) The civil penalty is payable to the State of West Virginia and is collectible in any manner provided for collection of debt. If any person liable to pay the civil penalty neglects or refuses to pay the penalty, the amount of the civil penalty, together with interest at 10 percent, is a lien in favor of the State of West Virginia upon the property, both real and personal, of the person after the same has been entered and docketed to record in the county where the property is situated. The clerk of the county, upon receipt of the certified copy of the lien, shall enter it to record without requiring the payment of costs as a condition precedent to recording.
(c) No state court may allow for the recovery of damages for any administrative action taken if the court finds that there was probable cause for such action.