Code of Virginia

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Code of Virginia
Title 18.2. Crimes and Offenses Generally
Chapter 4. Crimes Against the Person
12/1/2021

§ 18.2-60. Threats of death or bodily injury to a person or member of his family; threats of death or bodily injury to persons on school property; threats of death or bodily injury to health care providers; penalty.

A. 1. Any person who knowingly communicates, in a writing, including an electronically transmitted communication producing a visual or electronic message, a threat to kill or do bodily injury to a person, regarding that person or any member of his family, and the threat places such person in reasonable apprehension of death or bodily injury to himself or his family member, is guilty of a Class 6 felony. However, any person who violates this subsection with the intent to commit an act of terrorism as defined in § 18.2-46.4 is guilty of a Class 5 felony.

2. Any person who communicates a threat, in a writing, including an electronically transmitted communication producing a visual or electronic message, to kill or do bodily harm, (i) on the grounds or premises of any elementary, middle or secondary school property, (ii) at any elementary, middle or secondary school-sponsored event or (iii) on a school bus to any person or persons, regardless of whether the person who is the object of the threat actually receives the threat, and the threat would place the person who is the object of the threat in reasonable apprehension of death or bodily harm, is guilty of a Class 6 felony.

3. Any person 18 years of age or older who communicates a threat in writing, including an electronically transmitted communication producing a visual or electronic message, to another to kill or to do serious bodily injury to any other person and makes such threat with the intent to (i) intimidate a civilian population at large; (ii) influence the conduct or activities of a government, including the government of the United States, a state, or a locality, through intimidation; or (iii) compel the emergency evacuation, or avoidance, of any place of assembly, any building or other structure, or any means of mass transportation is guilty of a Class 5 felony. Any person younger than 18 years of age who commits such offense is guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor.

B. Any person who orally makes a threat to kill or to do bodily injury to (i) any employee of any elementary, middle, or secondary school, while on a school bus, on school property, or at a school-sponsored activity or (ii) any health care provider as defined in § 8.01-581.1 who is engaged in the performance of his duties in a hospital as defined in § 18.2-57 or in an emergency room on the premises of any clinic or other facility rendering emergency medical care, unless the person is on the premises of the hospital or emergency room of the clinic or other facility rendering emergency medical care as a result of an emergency custody order pursuant to § 37.2-808, involuntary temporary detention order pursuant to § 37.2-809, involuntary hospitalization order pursuant to § 37.2-817, or emergency custody order of a conditionally released acquittee pursuant to § 19.2-182.9, is guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor.

C. A prosecution pursuant to this section may be either in the county, city, or town in which the communication was made or received or in the City of Richmond if venue cannot otherwise be established and the person threatened is one of the following officials or employees of the Commonwealth and such official or employee was threatened while engaged in the performance of his public duties or because of his position with the Commonwealth: the Governor, Governor-elect, Lieutenant Governor, Lieutenant Governor-elect, Attorney General, or Attorney General-elect, a member or employee of the General Assembly, a justice of the Supreme Court of Virginia, or a judge of the Court of Appeals of Virginia.

Code 1950, § 18.1-257; 1960, c. 358; 1973, c. 118; 1975, cc. 14, 15; 1994, c. 265; 1998, cc. 687, 788; 2001, cc. 644, 653; 2002, cc. 588, 623; 2019, c. 506; 2020, c. 1002; 2021, Sp. Sess. I, cc. 83, 84.

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.