RE “Trip” Chalkley, III, Commonwealth Attorney, Hanover County.
Finally – finally, almost finally – the General Assembly has finished its special session and has left Richmond for the time being. Marijuana legislation is still awaiting the governor’s signature. What follows does not deal with every new law or modification of existing law, only those which I believe are of interest to my fellow citizens. Unless otherwise noted, all changes became effective July 1, 2022.
n The prohibition against selling, exchanging, giving, providing or possessing with the intention of selling, exchanging, giving or providing a switchblade is removed.
n Effective March 22, 2022, no passenger car, pickup truck or panel truck shall be driven on the road that has been modified to increase the height of the front bumper more than four (4) inches higher. more than the height of the rear bumper.
n Sunday hunting on public or private land is permitted as long as it takes place more than 200 meters from a place of worship.
n Prosecution of an alleged offense of causing or encouraging child delinquent acts where an alleged adult offender has consensual sexual relations with a minor 15 years of age or older at the time of the offense shall be commenced no later than later than five years after the victim reaches the age of majority (18 years old) if the adult offender was more than three years older than the victim at the time of the offence.
People also read…
– The term “incompetent adult” is replaced with “vulnerable adult” for the purposes of the crime of abuse and neglect of such adults. A vulnerable adult is defined as a person 18 years of age or older who is impaired due to mental illness, intellectual or developmental disability, physical illness or disability or other causes, including age, insofar as the adult does not have sufficient understanding or capacity to do, communicate or make reasonable decisions concerning his or her well-being or has one or more limitations which substantially impair the adult’s capacity to meet their daily needs independently or to protect their person, property or legal interests. It is now a Class 1 misdemeanor for an agent under power of attorney to knowingly or intentionally engage in the financial abuse of an incapable adult who is that agent’s principal.
– A person may be prosecuted for a charge of harassment in the jurisdiction where they reside at the time of the harassment. Evidence of any conduct that occurred outside of Virginia may be admissible, if appropriate, in any stalking lawsuit. Law enforcement officers may make an arrest without a warrant when in close pursuit and the arrest is made beyond the boundaries of the jurisdiction from which the arrested person fled. The law enforcement officer must obtain a warrant or warrants from the magistrate sitting in the jurisdiction where the arrest was made amending the person arrested with an offense or offenses in the jurisdiction where the arrest was made, charging the person arrested with an offense in the jurisdiction from which he fled and any offense(s) committed during the close pursuit where such offense or offenses were committed.
– Those who ride bicycles, electric personal mobility devices, power-assisted bicycles, or two-abreast motorized skateboards or scooters may not impede the normal and reasonable flow of traffic and must, as quickly as possible, stand in single file when overtaken by a faster vehicle.
– Criminal investigative records related to a criminal investigation or proceeding that is not in progress are excluded from the mandatory disclosure provisions of the Virginia Freedom of Information Act. Exceptions are made for lawyers representing a petitioner or an inspection by a lawyer or a person proceeding pro se (without the assistance of a lawyer) in a petition for habeas corpus or in a case of an act of innocence real. No criminal investigation record shall be disclosed to any applicant except the victim, immediate family members, if the victim is deceased, or the victim’s parents or guardian if the victim is a minor. If the immediate family member and/or parent or guardian is considered a person of interest or suspect in the investigation or proceeding, there is a provision that the circuit court in the jurisdiction may issue a injunction preventing disclosure.
– Credit for time spent in custody pending trial will now include any time spent in pre-trial detention or teething on separate charges that arise from the same act as the offense for which the person was convicted and whether remanded or not continued.
– New legislation specifies that if the owner of a place to be searched under a search warrant is not present, a copy of the search warrant and affidavit must be given to at least one adult occupant of the place to search.
n As of July 1, a person is guilty of a class 1 misdemeanor if they operate a motor vehicle in a careless or distracted manner and cause death or serious bodily injury to a vulnerable road user. The previous law only mentioned serious bodily harm. Upon conviction, the privilege to operate a motor vehicle may be suspended or restricted for up to six months.
– Anyone who knowingly (i) engages in sexual contact with an animal; (ii) causes another person by force, threat or intimidation to have sexual contact with an animal; (iii) advertises, solicits, offers, sells, buys or possesses an animal with the intention that the animal be subjected to sexual contact; (iv) allows sexual contact with an animal in any place under its ownership or control; or (v) produces, distributes, publishes, sells, transmits, finances, owns or possesses with the intent to distribute, publish, sell or transmit an obscene article depicting a person engaged in a sexual contract with an animal is guilty of a class 6 felony (one to five years in penitentiary or up to 12 months in prison).
– A law enforcement officer or animal control officer is required to apply to a magistrate for a summons for a vicious dog if that officer is in the jurisdiction where the dog resides or in which the dog committed an act stated in the definition of vicious dog. . Currently, such action is only required if the officer is in the jurisdiction where the dog resides. Any dog engaged in legal hunting must wear a sturdy collar with a tag that identifies the name of the dog’s owner or custodian and a current phone number.
– Willfully breaking, altering, injuring or removing any part of a motor vehicle, aircraft, boat, vessel or temporarily or permanently preventing its useful functioning when such actions involve breaking, injuring , tampering with or removing a catalytic converter or parts thereof is a class 6 crime. This new legislation is clearly a response to the drastic increase in the theft of catalytic converters.
– Motor vehicles, trailers and semi-trailers exempt from the registration requirement must be covered by motor vehicle insurance, a general liability policy or an umbrella or excess policy. A homeowner must provide proof of the above insurance within 30 days of a law enforcement officer’s request or be subject to a $600 fine to be paid into the Uninsured Motorist Fund .
Again, I emphasize that the previous documents do not address all the changes to the law or all the new legislation from the last General Assembly. Any questions can be directed by calling my hotline at (804) 365-6186.
As always, my thanks to my fellow citizens for the privilege of being your Commonwealth Attorney and for your support.