Code of Virginia

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Code of Virginia
Title 18.2. Crimes and Offenses Generally
Chapter 5. Crimes Against Property
6/24/2021

§ 18.2-165.1. Tampering with or unlawful use of cable television service.

Any person who (i) shall knowingly obtain or attempt to obtain cable television service from another by means, artifice, trick, deception or device without the payment to the operator of such service of all lawful compensation for each type of service obtained; (ii) shall knowingly, and with intent to profit thereby from any consideration received or expected, assist or instruct any other person in obtaining or attempting to obtain any cable television service without the payment to the operator of said service of all lawful compensation; (iii) shall knowingly tamper or otherwise interfere with or connect to by any means whether mechanical, electrical, acoustical or other, any cables, wires, or other devices used for the distribution of cable television service without authority from the operator of such service; or (iv) shall knowingly sell, rent, lend, promote, offer or advertise for sale, rental or use any device of any description or any plan for making or assembling the same to any person, with knowledge that the person intends to use such device or plan to do any of the acts hereinbefore mentioned or if the device or plan was represented either directly or indirectly by the person distributing it as having the ability to facilitate the doing of any of the acts hereinbefore mentioned, shall be guilty of a Class 6 felony if convicted under clause (ii) or (iv) above and shall be guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor if convicted under clause (i) or (iii) above.

As used herein, cable television service shall include any and all services provided by or through the facilities of any cable television system or closed circuit coaxial cable communications system or any microwave, satellite or similar transmission service used in connection with any cable television system or other similar closed circuit coaxial cable communications system.

In any prosecution under this section, the existence on property in the actual possession of the accused, of any connection, wire, conductor, or any device whatsoever, which permits the use of cable television service without the same being reported for payment to and specifically authorized by the operator of the cable television service shall be prima facie evidence of intent to violate and of the violation of this section by the accused.

Nothing contained in this section shall be construed so as to abrogate or interfere with any contract right or remedy of any person having a contract with the owner of a television coaxial cable, or a cablevision system, or a microwave radio system.

1978, c. 712; 1979, c. 500; 1981, c. 197; 1991, c. 502.

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.