Code of Virginia

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Code of Virginia
Title 18.2. Crimes and Offenses Generally
Chapter 1. In General
11/26/2021

Chapter 1. In General.

Article 1. Transition Provisions.

§ 18.2-1. Repealing clause.

All acts and parts of acts, all sections of this Code, and all provisions of municipal charters, inconsistent with the provisions of this title, are, except as herein otherwise provided, repealed to the extent of such inconsistency.

1975, cc. 14, 15.

§ 18.2-2. Effect of repeal of Title 18.1 and enactment of this title.

The repeal of Title 18.1, effective as of October 1, 1975, shall not affect any act or offense done or committed, or any penalty or forfeiture incurred, or any right established, accrued or accruing on or before such date, or any prosecution, suit or action pending on that day. Except as herein otherwise provided, neither the repeal of Title 18.1 nor the enactment of this title shall apply to offenses committed prior to October 1, 1975, and prosecutions for such offenses shall be governed by the prior law, which is continued in effect for that purpose. For the purposes of this section, an offense was committed prior to October 1, 1975, if any of the essential elements of the offense occurred prior thereto.

1975, cc. 14, 15.

§ 18.2-3. Certain notices, recognizances and processes validated.

Any notice given, recognizance taken, or process or writ issued before October 1, 1975, shall be valid although given, taken or to be returned to a day after such date, in like manner as if this title had been effective before the same was given, taken or issued.

1975, cc. 14, 15.

§ 18.2-4. References to former sections, articles and chapters of Title 18.1 and others.

Whenever in this title any of the conditions, requirements, provisions or contents of any section, article or chapter of Title 18.1 or any other title of this Code as such titles existed prior to October 1, 1975, are transferred in the same or in modified form to a new section, article or chapter of this title or any other title of this Code and whenever any such former section, article or chapter is given a new number in this or any other title, all references to any such former section, article or chapter of Title 18.1 or such other title appearing elsewhere in this Code than in this title shall be construed to apply to the new or renumbered section, article or chapter containing such conditions, requirements, provisions or contents or portions thereof.

1975, cc. 14, 15.

Article 2. Construction and Definitions.

§ 18.2-5. Repealed.

Repealed by Acts 2005, c. 839, cl. 10, effective October 1, 2005.

§ 18.2-6. Meaning of certain terms.

As used in this title:

The word "court," unless otherwise clearly indicated by the context in which it appears, shall mean and include any court vested with appropriate jurisdiction under the Constitution and laws of the Commonwealth.

The words "driver's license" and "license to operate a motor vehicle" shall mean any document issued under Chapter 3 (§ 46.2-300 et seq.) of Title 46.2, or the comparable law of another jurisdiction, authorizing the operation of a motor vehicle upon the highways.

The word "judge," unless otherwise clearly indicated by the context in which it appears, shall mean and include any judge, associate judge or substitute judge, or police justice, of any court.

The words "motor vehicle," "semitrailer," "trailer" and "vehicle" shall have the respective meanings assigned to them by § 46.2-100.

Code 1950, § 18.1-5; 1960, c. 358; 1975, cc. 14, 15; 2020, cc. 1227, 1246.

§ 18.2-7. Criminal act not to merge civil remedy.

The commission of a crime shall not stay or merge any civil remedy.

Code 1950, § 18.1-7; 1960, c. 358; 1975, cc. 14, 15.

Article 3. Classification of Criminal Offenses and Punishment Therefor.

§ 18.2-8. Felonies, misdemeanors and traffic infractions defined.

Offenses are either felonies or misdemeanors. Such offenses as are punishable with confinement in a state correctional facility are felonies; all other offenses are misdemeanors. Traffic infractions are violations of public order as defined in § 46.2-100 and not deemed to be criminal in nature.

Code 1950, § 18.1-6; 1960, c. 358; 1975, cc. 14, 15; 1977, c. 585; 2021, Sp. Sess. I, cc. 344, 345.

§ 18.2-9. Classification of criminal offenses.

(1) Felonies are classified, for the purposes of punishment and sentencing, into six classes:

(a) Class 1 felony

(b) Class 2 felony

(c) Class 3 felony

(d) Class 4 felony

(e) Class 5 felony

(f) Class 6 felony.

(2) Misdemeanors are classified, for the purposes of punishment and sentencing, into four classes:

(a) Class 1 misdemeanor

(b) Class 2 misdemeanor

(c) Class 3 misdemeanor

(d) Class 4 misdemeanor.

1975, cc. 14, 15.

§ 18.2-10. Punishment for conviction of felony; penalty.

The authorized punishments for conviction of a felony are:

(a) For Class 1 felonies, imprisonment for life and, subject to subdivision (g), a fine of not more than $100,000. Any person who was 18 years of age or older at the time of the offense and who is sentenced to imprisonment for life upon conviction of a Class 1 felony shall not be eligible for (i) parole, (ii) any good conduct allowance or any earned sentence credits under Chapter 6 (§ 53.1-186 et seq.) of Title 53.1, or (iii) conditional release pursuant to § 53.1-40.01 or 53.1-40.02.

(b) For Class 2 felonies, imprisonment for life or for any term not less than 20 years and, subject to subdivision (g), a fine of not more than $100,000.

(c) For Class 3 felonies, a term of imprisonment of not less than five years nor more than 20 years and, subject to subdivision (g), a fine of not more than $100,000.

(d) For Class 4 felonies, a term of imprisonment of not less than two years nor more than 10 years and, subject to subdivision (g), a fine of not more than $100,000.

(e) For Class 5 felonies, a term of imprisonment of not less than one year nor more than 10 years, or in the discretion of the jury or the court trying the case without a jury, confinement in jail for not more than 12 months and a fine of not more than $2,500, either or both.

(f) For Class 6 felonies, a term of imprisonment of not less than one year nor more than five years, or in the discretion of the jury or the court trying the case without a jury, confinement in jail for not more than 12 months and a fine of not more than $2,500, either or both.

(g) Except as specifically authorized in subdivision (e) or (f), the court shall impose either a sentence of imprisonment together with a fine, or imprisonment only. However, if the defendant is not a natural person, the court shall impose only a fine.

For any felony offense committed (i) on or after January 1, 1995, the court may, and (ii) on or after July 1, 2000, shall, except in cases in which the court orders a suspended term of confinement of at least six months, impose an additional term of incarceration of not less than six months nor more than three years, which shall be suspended conditioned upon successful completion of a period of post-release supervision pursuant to § 19.2-295.2 and compliance with such other terms as the sentencing court may require. However, such additional term may only be imposed when the sentence includes an active term of incarceration in a correctional facility.

For a felony offense prohibiting proximity to children as described in subsection A of § 18.2-370.2, the sentencing court is authorized to impose the punishment set forth in that section in addition to any other penalty provided by law.

1975, cc. 14, 15; 1977, c. 492; 1990, c. 788; 1991, c. 7; 1994, 2nd Sp. Sess., cc. 1, 2; 1995, c. 427; 2000, cc. 361, 767, 770; 2003, cc. 1031, 1040; 2006, cc. 36, 733; 2008, c. 579; 2017, cc. 86, 212; 2020, cc. 1115, 1116; 2021, Sp. Sess. I, cc. 344, 345.

§ 18.2-11. Punishment for conviction of misdemeanor.

The authorized punishments for conviction of a misdemeanor are:

(a) For Class 1 misdemeanors, confinement in jail for not more than twelve months and a fine of not more than $2,500, either or both.

(b) For Class 2 misdemeanors, confinement in jail for not more than six months and a fine of not more than $1,000, either or both.

(c) For Class 3 misdemeanors, a fine of not more than $500.

(d) For Class 4 misdemeanors, a fine of not more than $250.

For a misdemeanor offense prohibiting proximity to children as described in subsection A of § 18.2-370.2, the sentencing court is authorized to impose the punishment set forth in subsection B of that section in addition to any other penalty provided by law.

1975, cc. 14, 15; 1990, c. 788; 2000, c. 770.

§ 18.2-12. Same; where no punishment or maximum punishment prescribed.

A misdemeanor for which no punishment or no maximum punishment is prescribed by statute shall be punishable as a Class 1 misdemeanor.

Code 1950, § 18.1-9; 1960, c. 358; 1975, cc. 14, 15.

§ 18.2-12.1. Mandatory minimum punishment; definition.

"Mandatory minimum" wherever it appears in this Code means, for purposes of imposing punishment upon a person convicted of a crime, that the court shall impose the entire term of confinement, the full amount of the fine and the complete requirement of community service prescribed by law. The court shall not suspend in full or in part any punishment described as mandatory minimum punishment.

2004, c. 461.

§ 18.2-13. Same; by reference.

Where a statute in this Code prescribes punishment by stating that the offense is a misdemeanor, or that it is punishable as provided for in § 18.2-12, the offense shall be deemed to be a Class 1 misdemeanor.

1975, cc. 14, 15.

§ 18.2-14. How unclassified offenses punished.

Offenses defined in Title 18.2 and in other titles in the Code, for which punishment is prescribed without specification as to the class of the offense, shall be punished according to the punishment prescribed in the section or sections thus defining the offense.

1975, cc. 14, 15.

§ 18.2-15. Place of punishment.

Imprisonment for conviction of a felony shall be by confinement in a state correctional facility, unless in Class 5 and Class 6 felonies the jury or court trying the case without a jury fixes the punishment at confinement in jail. Imprisonment for conviction of a misdemeanor shall be by confinement in jail.

1975, cc. 14, 15.

§ 18.2-16. How common-law offenses punished.

A common-law offense, for which punishment is prescribed by statute, shall be punished only in the mode so prescribed.

Code 1950, § 18.1-8; 1960, c. 358; 1975, cc. 14, 15.

§ 18.2-17. Repealed.

Repealed by Acts 2021, Sp. Sess. I, cc. 344 and 345, cl. 2, effective July 1, 2021.