Code of Virginia

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Code of Virginia
Title 18.2. Crimes and Offenses Generally
Chapter 10. Crimes Against the Administration of Justice

§ 18.2-456. Cases in which courts and judges may punish summarily for contempt.

A. The courts and judges may issue attachments for contempt, and punish them summarily, only in the following cases:

1. Misbehavior in the presence of the court, or so near thereto as to obstruct or interrupt the administration of justice;

2. Violence, or threats of violence, to a judge or officer of the court, or to a juror, witness, or party going to, attending, or returning from the court, for or in respect of any act or proceeding had, or to be had, in such court;

3. Vile, contemptuous, or insulting language addressed to or published of a judge for or in respect of any act or proceeding had, or to be had, in such court, or like language used in his presence and intended for his hearing for or in respect of such act or proceeding;

4. Misbehavior of an officer of the court in his official character;

5. Disobedience or resistance of an officer of the court, juror, witness, or other person to any lawful process, judgment, decree, or order of the court; and

6. Willful failure to appear before any court or judicial officer as required after having been charged with a felony offense or misdemeanor offense or released on a summons pursuant to § 19.2-73 or 19.2-74.

B. The judge shall indicate, in writing, under which subdivision in subsection A a person is being charged and punished for contempt.

C. Nothing in subdivision A 6 shall be construed to prohibit prosecution under § 19.2-128.

Code 1950, § 18.1-292; 1960, c. 358; 1975, cc. 14, 15; 2019, c. 708.

The chapters of the acts of assembly referenced in the historical citation at the end of this section may not constitute a comprehensive list of such chapters and may exclude chapters whose provisions have expired.