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
9/27/2021

Chapter 10. Crimes Against the Administration of Justice.

Article 1. Perjury.

§ 18.2-434. What deemed perjury; punishment and penalty.

If any person to whom an oath is lawfully administered on any occasion willfully swears falsely on such occasion touching any material matter or thing, or if a person falsely make oath that any other person is 18 years of age or older in order to obtain a marriage license for such other person, or if any person in any written declaration, certificate, verification, or statement under penalty of perjury pursuant to § 8.01-4.3 willfully subscribes as true any material matter which he does not believe is true, he is guilty of perjury, punishable as a Class 5 felony. Upon the conviction of any person for perjury, such person thereby shall be adjudged forever incapable of holding any office of honor, profit or trust under the Constitution of Virginia, or of serving as a juror.

Code 1950, §§ 18.1-273 through 18.1-275; 1960, c. 358; 1972, c. 823; 1975, cc. 14, 15; 2005, c. 423.

§ 18.2-435. Giving conflicting testimony on separate occasions as to same matter; indictment; sufficiency of evidence.

It shall likewise constitute perjury for any person, with the intent to testify falsely, to knowingly give testimony under oath as to any material matter or thing and subsequently to give conflicting testimony under oath as to the same matter or thing. In any indictment for such perjury, it shall be sufficient to allege the offense by stating that the person charged therewith did, knowingly and with the intent to testify falsely, on one occasion give testimony upon a certain matter and, on a subsequent occasion, give different testimony upon the same matter. Upon the trial on such indictment, it shall be sufficient to prove that the defendant, knowingly and with the intent to testify falsely, gave such differing testimony and that the differing testimony was given on two separate occasions.

Code 1950, § 18.1-276; 1960, c. 358; 1975, cc. 14, 15.

§ 18.2-436. Inducing another to give false testimony; sufficiency of evidence.

If any person procure or induce another to commit perjury or to give false testimony under oath in violation of any provision of this article, he shall be punished as prescribed in § 18.2-434.

In any prosecution under this section, it shall be sufficient to prove that the person alleged to have given false testimony shall have been procured, induced, counselled or advised to give such testimony by the party charged.

Code 1950, § 18.1-277; 1960, c. 358; 1975, cc. 14, 15.

§ 18.2-437. Immunity of witnesses.

No witness called by the attorney for the Commonwealth, or by the court, and required to give evidence for the prosecution in a proceeding under this article shall ever be proceeded against for the offense concerning which he testified. Such witness shall be compelled to testify and may be punished for contempt for refusing to do so.

Code 1950, § 18.1-277; 1960, c. 358; 1975, cc. 14, 15.

Article 2. Bribery and Related Offenses.

§ 18.2-438. Bribes to officers or candidates for office.

If any person corruptly give, offer or promise to any executive, legislative or judicial officer, sheriff or police officer, or to any candidate for such office, either before or after he shall have taken his seat, any gift or gratuity, with intent to influence his act, vote, opinion, decision or judgment on any matter, question, cause or proceeding, which is or may be then pending, or may by law come or be brought before him in his official capacity, he shall be guilty of a Class 4 felony and shall forfeit to the Commonwealth any such gift or gratuity given. This section shall also apply to a resident of this Commonwealth who, while temporarily absent therefrom for that purpose, shall make such gift, offer or promise.

Code 1950, § 18.1-278; 1960, c. 358; 1975, cc. 14, 15; 1978, c. 123.

§ 18.2-439. Acceptance of bribe by officer or candidate.

If any executive, legislative or judicial officer, sheriff or police officer, or any candidate for such office, accept in this Commonwealth, or if, being resident in this Commonwealth, such officer or candidate shall go out of this Commonwealth and accept and afterwards return to and reside in this Commonwealth, any gift or gratuity or any promise to make a gift or do any act beneficial to such officer or candidate under an agreement, or with an understanding, that his vote, opinion or judgment shall be given on any particular side of any question, cause or proceeding which is or may be by law brought before him in his official capacity or that in such capacity he shall make any particular nomination or appointment or take or fail to take any particular action or perform any duty required by law, he shall be guilty of a Class 4 felony and shall forfeit his office and be forever incapable of holding any office of honor, profit or trust under the Constitution of Virginia. The word candidate as used in this section and § 18.2-438, shall mean anyone who has filed his candidacy with the appropriate electoral official or who is a candidate as defined in § 24.2-101.

Code 1950, § 18.1-279; 1960, c. 358; 1975, cc. 14, 15.

§ 18.2-440. Bribes to officers to prevent service of process.

If any officer authorized to serve legal process receive any money or other thing of value for omitting or delaying to perform any duty pertaining to his office, he shall be guilty of a Class 2 misdemeanor.

Code 1950, § 18.1-281; 1960, c. 358; 1975, cc. 14, 15.

§ 18.2-441. Giving bribes to, or receiving bribes by, commissioners, jurors, etc.

If any person give, offer or promise to give any money or other thing of value to a commissioner appointed by a court, auditor, arbitrator, umpire or juror (although not impaneled), with intent to bias his opinion or influence his decision in relation to any matter in which he is acting or is to act, or if any such commissioner, auditor, arbitrator, umpire or juror corruptly take or receive such money or other thing, he shall be guilty of a Class 4 felony.

Code 1950, § 18.1-282; 1960, c. 358; 1975, cc. 14, 15.

§ 18.2-441.1. Bribery of witnesses.

If any person give, offer, or promise to give any money or other thing of value to anyone with intent to prevent such person from testifying as a witness in any civil or criminal proceeding or with intent to cause that person to testify falsely, he shall be guilty of a Class 6 felony.

1978, c. 612.

§ 18.2-442. Bribery of participants in games, contests or sports.

Whoever gives, promises or offers any valuable thing to any professional or amateur participant or prospective participant in any game, contest or sport, with intent to influence him to lose or try to lose or cause to be lost or to limit his or his team's margin of victory in any professional or amateur game, contest or sport in which such participant is taking part or expects to take part, or has any duty or connection therewith, shall be guilty of a Class 5 felony.

Code 1950, § 18.1-402; 1960, c. 358; 1975, cc. 14, 15.

§ 18.2-443. Solicitation or acceptance of bribes by participants or by managers, coaches or trainers.

A professional or amateur participant or prospective participant in any game, contest or sport or a manager, coach or trainer of any team or individual participant or prospective participant in any such game, contest or sport, who solicits or accepts any valuable thing to influence him to lose or try to lose or cause to be lost or to limit his or his team's margin of victory in any game, contest or sport in which he is taking part, or expects to take part, or has any duty or connection therewith, shall be guilty of a Class 5 felony.

Code 1950, § 18.1-403; 1960, c. 358; 1975, cc. 14, 15.

§ 18.2-444. Corruptly influencing, or being influenced as, agents, etc.

(1) Any person who gives, offers or promises to an agent, employee or servant any gift or gratuity whatever, without the knowledge and consent of the principal, employer or master of such agent, employee or servant, with intent to influence his action to the prejudice of his principal's, employer's or master's business; or

(2) An agent, employee or servant who, without the knowledge and consent of his principal, employer or master requests or accepts a gift or gratuity or a promise to make a gift or to do an act beneficial to himself, under an agreement or with an understanding that he shall act in any particular manner as to his principal's, employer's or master's business; or

(3) An agent, employee or servant who, being authorized to procure materials, supplies or other articles either by purchase or contract for his principal, employer or master or to employ service or labor for his principal, employer or master receives directly or indirectly, for himself or for another, a commission, discount or bonus from the person who makes such sale or contract, or furnishes such materials, supplies or other articles, or from a person who renders such service or labor; or

(4) Any person who gives or offers such an agent, employee or servant such commission, discount or bonus;

shall be guilty of a Class 3 misdemeanor.

Code 1950, § 18.1-404; 1960, c. 358; 1975, cc. 14, 15.

§ 18.2-444.1. Reserved.

Reserved.

§ 18.2-444.2. Giving or accepting a fee or gift for purposes of influencing decisions of financial institution.

A. No officer, director, or employee of a financial institution or subsidiary, affiliate or holding company thereof, or stockholder owning ten percent or more of the issued capital stock of any such financial institution or holding company, shall accept, receive or acquire any fee, gift, property interest, or other thing of value with the intent to influence the decision of the financial institution, subsidiary, affiliate or holding company with regard to any extension of credit, investment, or purchase or sale of assets by such financial institution, subsidiary, affiliate or holding company. No person shall give, provide or cause to be transferred to any such officer, director, employee or stockholder, any fee, gift, property interest or other thing of value with the intent to influence the decision of the financial institution, subsidiary, affiliate or holding company with regard to any extension of credit, investment or purchase or sale of assets by the financial institution, subsidiary, affiliate or holding company. The foregoing provisions shall not apply to salary, wages, fees or other compensation or consideration paid by, or expenses paid or reimbursed by, such financial institution, subsidiary, affiliate or holding company. The violation of this section shall be punishable as a Class 6 felony.

B. The provisions of this section shall not apply to any such officer, director, employee or stockholder who is a member of a firm of licensed brokers, in buying for or from or selling to, or for the account of, the financial institution, in the ordinary course of business, real estate or bonds, stocks, or other evidences of debt at the usual rate of commission for such service, if the officer, director, employee or stockholder notifies the board of directors of the financial institution, its cashier or secretary, in writing, that such services will be rendered for compensation prior to the rendition of the services or within five business days following the commencement of the services. If a continuing business relationship exists, an annual disclosure may be made.

C. The provisions of this section shall not apply to fees paid to any such officer, director, employee, or stockholder who renders services to a borrower outside of his relationship with the financial institution in connection with the preparation of a loan application, or in connection with the closing of a loan, in evaluating the security or affecting a lien on the collateral, where the fact of rendition of such services for compensation is disclosed in writing to the board of directors of the financial institution, or its cashier or secretary, prior to the time such services are rendered or within five business days following the commencement of the services. If a continuing business relationship exists, an annual disclosure may be made.

Code 1950, § 6.1-121; 1966, c. 584; 1981, c. 339; 1991, c. 501; 1992, c. 318.

§ 18.2-445. Immunity of witnesses.

No witness called by the court or attorney for the Commonwealth and giving evidence for the prosecution, either before the grand jury or the court in any prosecution, under this article shall ever be proceeded against for any offense of giving, or offering to give, or accepting a bribe committed by him at the time and place indicated in such prosecution; but such witness shall be compelled to testify, and for refusing to answer questions may, by the court, be punished for contempt.

Code 1950, §§ 18.1-280, 18.1-405; 1960, c. 358; 1975, cc. 14, 15.

Article 3. Bribery of Public Servants and Party Officials.

§ 18.2-446. Definitions.

The following words and phrases when used in this article shall have the meanings respectively ascribed to them in this section except where the context clearly requires a different meaning:

(1) "Benefits" means a gain or advantage, or anything regarded by the beneficiary as a gain or advantage, including a benefit to any other person or entity in whose welfare he is interested, but shall not mean an advantage promised generally to a group or class of voters as a consequence of public measures which a candidate engages to support or oppose;

(2) "Party official" means a person who holds an elective or appointive post in a political party in the United States by virtue of which he directs or conducts, or participates in directing or conducting party affairs at any level of responsibility;

(3) "Pecuniary benefit" means a benefit in the form of money, property, commercial interest or anything else the primary significance of which is economic gain;

(4) "Public servant" means any officer or employee of this Commonwealth or any political subdivision thereof, including members of the General Assembly and judges, and any person participating as a juror, advisor, consultant or otherwise, in performing any governmental function; but the term does not include witnesses;

(5) "Administrative proceeding" means any proceeding other than a judicial proceeding, the outcome of which is required to be based on a record or documentation prescribed by law including specifically, but not limited to, proceedings before a planning commission and board of zoning appeals.

Code 1950, § 18.1-282.1; 1968, c. 552; 1975, cc. 14, 15.

§ 18.2-447. When person guilty of bribery.

A person shall be guilty of bribery under the provisions of this article:

(1) If he offers, confers or agrees to confer upon another (a) any pecuniary benefit as consideration for or to obtain or influence the recipient's decision, opinion, recommendation, vote or other exercise of discretion as a public servant or party official, or (b) any benefit as consideration for or to obtain or influence either the recipient's decision, opinion, recommendation, vote or other exercise of official discretion in a judicial or administrative proceeding or the recipient's violation of a known legal duty as a public servant or party official; or

(2) If he accepts or agrees to accept from another (a) any pecuniary benefit offered, conferred or agreed to be conferred as consideration for or to obtain or influence the recipient's decision, opinion, recommendation, vote or other exercise of discretion as a public servant or party official, or (b) any benefit offered, conferred or agreed to be conferred as consideration for or to obtain or influence either the recipient's decision, opinion, recommendation, vote or other exercise of official discretion in a judicial or administrative proceeding or the recipient's violation of a known legal duty as a public servant or party official; or

(3) If he solicits from another (a) any pecuniary benefit or promise of pecuniary benefit as consideration for or in exchange for his decision, opinion, recommendation, vote or other exercise of discretion as a public servant or party official, or (b) any benefit or promise of benefit as consideration for or in exchange for his decision, opinion, recommendation, vote or other exercise of official discretion in a judicial or administrative proceeding or his violation of a known legal duty as a public servant or party official.

Code 1950, § 18.1-282.2; 1968, c. 552; 1975, cc. 14, 15.

§ 18.2-448. Certain matters not to constitute defenses.

It shall be no defense to any prosecution under § 18.2-447 that a person whom the actor sought to influence was not qualified to act in the desired way, whether because he had not yet assumed office, or lacked jurisdiction, or for any other reason. Also it shall be no defense to a prosecution under § 18.2-447 that a resident of this Commonwealth charged with committing an act of bribery was temporarily absent from this Commonwealth at the time such act was committed.

Code 1950, § 18.1-282.3; 1968, c. 552; 1975, cc. 14, 15.

§ 18.2-449. Punishment.

Any person found guilty of bribery under the provisions of this article shall be guilty of a Class 4 felony, and if such person be a public servant he shall in addition forfeit his public office and shall be forever incapable of holding any public office in this Commonwealth.

Code 1950, § 18.1-282.4; 1968, c. 552; 1975, cc. 14, 15.

§ 18.2-450. Immunity of witnesses.

No witness called by the court or attorney for the Commonwealth and giving evidence for the prosecution, either before the grand jury or the court in any prosecution under this article shall ever be proceeded against for any offense of giving, or offering to give, or accepting a bribe committed by him at the time and place indicated in such prosecution; but such witness shall be compelled to testify, and for refusing to answer questions, may by the court, be punished for contempt.

Code 1950, § 18.1-282.3; 1968, c. 552; 1975, cc. 14, 15.

Article 4. Barratry.

§ 18.2-451. Definitions; application and construction of article.

(a) "Barratry" is the offense of stirring up litigation.

(b) A "barrator" is an individual, partnership, association or corporation who or which stirs up litigation.

(c) "Stirring up litigation" means instigating or attempting to instigate a person or persons to institute a suit at law or equity.

(d) "Instigating" means bringing it about that all or part of the expenses of the litigation are paid by the barrator or by a person or persons (other than the plaintiffs) acting in concert with the barrator, unless the instigation is justified.

(e) "Justified" means that the instigator is related by blood or marriage to the plaintiff whom he instigates, or that the instigator is entitled by law to share with the plaintiff in money or property that is the subject of the litigation or that the instigator has a direct interest in the subject matter of the litigation or occupies a position of trust in relation to the plaintiff; or that the instigator is acting on behalf of a duly constituted legal aid society approved by the Virginia State Bar which offers advice or assistance in all kinds of legal matters to all members of the public who come to it for advice or assistance and are unable because of poverty to pay legal fees.

(f) "Direct interest" means a personal right or a pecuniary right or liability.

This article shall not be applicable to attorneys who are parties to contingent fee contracts with their clients where the attorney does not protect the client from payment of the costs and expense of litigation, nor shall this article apply to any matter involving annexation, zoning, bond issues, or the holding or results of any election or referendum, nor shall this article apply to suits pertaining to or affecting possession of or title to real or personal property, regardless of ownership, nor shall this article apply to suits involving the legality of assessment or collection of taxes or the rates thereof, nor shall this article apply to suits involving rates or charges or services by common carriers or public utilities, nor shall this article apply to criminal prosecutions, nor to the payment of attorneys by legal aid societies approved by the Virginia State Bar, nor to proceedings to abate nuisances. Nothing herein shall be construed to be in derogation of the constitutional rights of real parties in interest to employ counsel or to prosecute any available legal remedy under the laws of this Commonwealth.

Code 1950, § 18.1-388; 1960, c. 358; 1975, cc. 14, 15.

§ 18.2-452. Barratry unlawful.

Any person, if an individual, who shall engage in barratry shall be guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor; and if a corporation, may be fined not more than $10,000. If the corporation be a foreign corporation, its certificate of authority to transact business in Virginia shall be revoked by the State Corporation Commission.

Code 1950, §§ 18.1-389, 18.1-390; 1960, c. 358; 1975, cc. 14, 15.

§ 18.2-453. Aiders and abettors.

A person who aids and abets a barrator by giving money or rendering services to or for the use or benefit of the barrator for committing barratry shall be guilty of barratry and punished as provided in § 18.2-452.

Code 1950, § 18.1-391; 1960, c. 358; 1975, cc. 14, 15.

§ 18.2-454. Enjoining barratry.

Suits to enjoin barratry may be brought by the Attorney General or the attorney for the Commonwealth in the appropriate circuit court.

Code 1950, § 18.1-392; 1960, c. 358; 1975, cc. 14, 15.

§ 18.2-455. Unprofessional conduct; revocation of license.

Conduct that is made illegal by this article on the part of an attorney at law or any person holding license from the Commonwealth to engage in a profession is unprofessional conduct. Upon hearing pursuant to the provisions of § 54.1-3935, or other statute applicable to the profession concerned, if the defendant be found guilty of barratry, his license to practice law or any other profession shall be revoked for such period as provided by law.

Code 1950, § 18.1-393; 1960, c. 358; 1975, cc. 14, 15.

Article 5. Contempt of Court.

§ 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.

§ 18.2-457. Fine and imprisonment by court limited unless jury impaneled.

No court shall, without a jury, for any such contempt as is mentioned in the first class embraced in § 18.2-456, impose a fine exceeding $250 or imprison more than ten days; but in any such case the court may, without an indictment, information or any formal pleading, impanel a jury to ascertain the fine or imprisonment proper to be inflicted and may give judgment according to the verdict.

Code 1950, § 18.1-295; 1960, c. 358; 1975, cc. 14, 15; 1999, c. 626.

§ 18.2-458. Power of judge of district court to punish for contempt.

A judge of a district court shall have the same power and jurisdiction as a judge of a circuit court to punish summarily for contempt, but in no case shall the fine exceed $250, or the imprisonment exceed ten days, for the same contempt.

Code 1950, § 18.1-293; 1960, c. 358; 1975, cc. 14, 15; 1999, c. 626.

§ 18.2-459. Appeal from sentence of such judge.

Any person sentenced to pay a fine, or to confinement, under § 18.2-458, may appeal therefrom to the circuit court of the county or city in which the sentence was pronounced, upon entering into recognizance before the sentencing judge, with surety and in penalty deemed sufficient, to appear before such circuit court to answer for the offense. If such appeal be taken, a certificate of the conviction and the particular circumstances of the offense, together with the recognizance, shall forthwith be transmitted by the sentencing judge to the clerk of such circuit court, who shall immediately deliver the same to the judge thereof. Such judge, sitting without a jury, shall hear the case upon the certificate and any legal testimony adduced on either side, and make such order therein as may seem to him proper.

Code 1950, § 18.1-294; 1960, c. 358; 1975, cc. 14, 15; 2013, c. 615.

Article 6. Interference with Administration of Justice.

§ 18.2-460. Obstructing justice; resisting arrest; fleeing from a law-enforcement officer; penalties.

A. If any person without just cause knowingly obstructs a judge, magistrate, justice, juror, attorney for the Commonwealth, witness, any law-enforcement officer, or animal control officer employed pursuant to § 3.2-6555 in the performance of his duties as such or fails or refuses without just cause to cease such obstruction when requested to do so by such judge, magistrate, justice, juror, attorney for the Commonwealth, witness, law-enforcement officer, or animal control officer employed pursuant to § 3.2-6555, he is guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor.

B. Except as provided in subsection C, any person who, by threats or force, knowingly attempts to intimidate or impede a judge, magistrate, justice, juror, attorney for the Commonwealth, witness, any law-enforcement officer, or an animal control officer employed pursuant to § 3.2-6555 lawfully engaged in his duties as such, or to obstruct or impede the administration of justice in any court, is guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor.

C. If any person by threats of bodily harm or force knowingly attempts to intimidate or impede a judge, magistrate, justice, juror, attorney for the Commonwealth, witness, any law-enforcement officer, lawfully engaged in the discharge of his duty, or to obstruct or impede the administration of justice in any court relating to a violation of or conspiracy to violate § 18.2-248 or subdivision (a)(3), (b) or (c) of § 18.2-248.1, or § 18.2-46.2 or § 18.2-46.3, or relating to the violation of or conspiracy to violate any violent felony offense listed in subsection C of § 17.1-805, he is guilty of a Class 5 felony.

D. Any person who knowingly and willfully makes any materially false statement or representation to a law-enforcement officer or an animal control officer employed pursuant to § 3.2-6555 who is in the course of conducting an investigation of a crime by another is guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor.

E. Any person who intentionally prevents or attempts to prevent a law-enforcement officer from lawfully arresting him, with or without a warrant, is guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor. For purposes of this subsection, intentionally preventing or attempting to prevent a lawful arrest means fleeing from a law-enforcement officer when (i) the officer applies physical force to the person, or (ii) the officer communicates to the person that he is under arrest and (a) the officer has the legal authority and the immediate physical ability to place the person under arrest, and (b) a reasonable person who receives such communication knows or should know that he is not free to leave.

Code 1950, § 18.1-310; 1960, c. 358; 1975, cc. 14, 15; 1976, c. 269; 1984, c. 571; 1989, c. 506; 1993, c. 747; 1996, c. 718; 1999, cc. 770, 800; 2002, cc. 527, 810, 818; 2003, cc. 111, 149; 2004, cc. 396, 435; 2007, cc. 220, 282; 2009, c. 242; 2018, c. 417.

§ 18.2-460.1. Unlawful disclosure of existence of order authorizing wire or oral interception of communication.

Except as provided in Chapter 6 (§ 19.2-61 et seq.) of Title 19.2, it shall be unlawful for any person who, by virtue of his position of authority or in the course of his employment by a court, a public utility, a law-enforcement agency, or by any other agency of state or local government, obtains knowledge of the fact that an order authorizing interception of wire or oral communication has been entered or is sought to be entered, intentionally to disclose such information to any person, except in the performance of his duties. Persons violating this section shall be guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor.

Nothing herein precludes a court authorizing an interception under this chapter from prohibiting any other person from disclosing the existence of an order, interception, or device and imposing contempt sanctions for any willful disclosure.

1980, c. 339.

§ 18.2-461. Falsely summoning or giving false reports to law-enforcement officials.

It shall be unlawful for any person (i) to knowingly give a false report as to the commission of any crime to any law-enforcement official with intent to mislead; (ii) to knowingly, with the intent to mislead a law-enforcement agency, cause another to give a false report to any law-enforcement official by publicly simulating a violation of Chapter 4 (§ 18.2-30 et seq.) or Chapter 5 (§ 18.2-77 et seq.); or (iii) without just cause and with intent to interfere with the operations of any law-enforcement official, to call or summon any law-enforcement official by telephone or other means, including engagement or activation of an automatic emergency alarm. Violation of the provisions of this section shall be punishable as a Class 1 misdemeanor. However, if a person intentionally gives a false report as to the commission of any crime to any law-enforcement official, causes another to give a false report to any law-enforcement official, or calls or summons any law-enforcement official against another person because of his race, religious conviction, gender, disability, gender identity, sexual orientation, color, or national origin, the person is guilty of a Class 6 felony.

Code 1950, § 18.1-401; 1960, c. 358; 1975, cc. 14, 15; 1996, cc. 753, 815; 2019, cc. 471, 498; 2020, Sp. Sess. I, c. 22.

§ 18.2-462. Concealing or compounding offenses; penalties.

A. Except as provided in subsection B, if any person knowing of the commission of an offense takes any money or reward, or an engagement therefor, upon an agreement or understanding, expressed or implied, to compound or conceal such offense, or not to prosecute therefor, or not to give evidence thereof, he shall, if such offense is a felony, be guilty of a Class 2 misdemeanor; and if such offense is not a felony, unless it is punishable merely by forfeiture to him, he shall be guilty of a Class 4 misdemeanor.

B. Any person, other than the victim of the crime or the husband, wife, parent, grandparent, child, grandchild, brother, or sister, by consanguinity or affinity of the offender, who with actual knowledge of the commission by another of any felony offense under Chapter 4 (§ 18.2-30 et seq.) of this title, willfully conceals, alters, dismembers, or destroys any item of physical evidence with the intent to delay, impede, obstruct, prevent, or hinder the investigation, apprehension, prosecution, conviction, or punishment of any person regarding such offense is guilty of a Class 6 felony.

Code 1950, § 18.1-303; 1960, c. 358; 1975, cc. 14, 15; 2005, c. 408.

§ 18.2-462.1. Use of police radio during commission of crime.

Any person who has in his possession or who uses a device capable of receiving a police radio signal, message, or transmission, while in the commission of a felony, is guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor. A prosecution for or conviction of the crime of use or possession of a police radio is not a bar to conviction for any other crime committed while possessing or using the police radio.

1992, c. 499.

§ 18.2-463. Refusal to aid officer in execution of his office.

If any person on being required by any sheriff or other officer refuse or neglect to assist him: (1) in the execution of his office in a criminal case, (2) in the preservation of the peace, (3) in the apprehending or securing of any person for a breach of the peace, or (4) in any case of escape or rescue, he shall be guilty of a Class 2 misdemeanor.

Code 1950, § 18.301; 1960, c. 358; 1975, cc. 14, 15.

§ 18.2-464. Failure to obey order of conservator of the peace.

If any person, being required by a conservator of the peace on view of a breach of the peace or other offense to bring before him the offender, refuse or neglect to obey the conservator of the peace, he shall be guilty of a Class 2 misdemeanor; and if the conservator of the peace declare himself or be known to be such to the person so refusing or neglecting, ignorance of his office shall not be pleaded as an excuse.

Code 1950, § 18.1-302; 1960, c. 358; 1975, cc. 14, 15.

§ 18.2-465. Officer summoning juror to act impartially.

If any sheriff or other officer corruptly, or through favor or ill-will, summon a juror, with intent that such juror shall find a verdict for or against either party, he shall be guilty of a Class 3 misdemeanor, and forfeit his office; and he shall be forever incapable of holding any office of honor, profit or trust under the Constitution of Virginia.

Code 1950, § 18.1-296; 1960, c. 358; 1975, cc. 14, 15.

§ 18.2-465.1. Penalizing employee for court appearance or service on jury panel.

Any person who is summoned to serve on jury duty or any person, except a defendant in a criminal case, who is summoned or subpoenaed to appear in any court of law or equity when a case is to be heard or who, having appeared, is required in writing by the court to appear at any future hearing, shall neither be discharged from employment, nor have any adverse personnel action taken against him, nor shall he be required to use sick leave or vacation time, as a result of his absence from employment due to such jury duty or court appearance, upon giving reasonable notice to his employer of such court appearance or summons. No person who is summoned and appears for jury duty for four or more hours, including travel time, in one day shall be required to start any work shift that begins on or after 5:00 p.m. on the day of his appearance for jury duty or begins before 3:00 a.m. on the day following the day of his appearance for jury duty. Any employer violating the provisions of this section is guilty of a Class 3 misdemeanor.

1981, c. 609; 1985, c. 436; 1988, c. 415; 2000, c. 295; 2002, c. 423; 2004, c. 800; 2005, c. 931.

§ 18.2-466. Corruptly procuring juror to be summoned.

If any person procure or attempt to procure a juror to be summoned, with intent that such juror shall find a verdict for or against either party, he shall be guilty of a Class 3 misdemeanor.

Code 1950, § 18.1-297; 1960, c. 358; 1975, cc. 14, 15.

§ 18.2-467. Fraud in drawing jurors, etc.

If any person be guilty of any fraud, either by tampering with the jury box prior to a draft, or in drawing a juror, or in returning into the jury box the name of any person which has lawfully been drawn out and drawing and substituting another in his stead, or in any other way in drawing of jurors, he shall be guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor.

Code 1950, § 18.1-298; 1960, c. 358; 1975, cc. 14, 15.

§ 18.2-468. Making sound recordings of jury deliberations.

If any person shall install or cause to be installed or use or cause to be used any microphone or device designed for recording or transmitting for recording sound in any jury room in this Commonwealth for the purpose of recording the deliberations of any jury or for the purpose of preparing a summary of such deliberations, he shall be guilty of a Class 6 felony.

Code 1950, § 18.1-299; 1960, c. 358; 1975, cc. 14, 15.

§ 18.2-469. Officer refusing, delaying, etc., to execute process for criminal.

If any officer willfully and corruptly refuse to execute any lawful process requiring him to apprehend or confine a person convicted of, or charged with, an offense, or willfully and corruptly omit or delay to execute such process, whereby such person shall escape and go at large, such officer shall be guilty of a Class 3 misdemeanor.

Code 1950, § 18.1-300; 1960, c. 358; 1975, cc. 14, 15.

§ 18.2-470. Extortion by officer.

If any officer, for performing an official duty for which a fee or compensation is allowed or provided by law, knowingly demand and receive a greater fee or compensation than is so allowed or provided, he shall be guilty of a Class 4 misdemeanor.

Code 1950, § 18.1-304; 1960, c. 358; 1975, cc. 14, 15.

§ 18.2-471. Fraudulent issue of fee bills.

If any person authorized by law to charge fees for services performed by him and issue bills therefor fraudulently issue a fee bill for a service not performed by him, or for more than he is entitled to, he shall be guilty of a Class 3 misdemeanor and shall forfeit his office and be forever incapable of holding office of honor, profit or trust under the Constitution of Virginia.

Code 1950, §§ 18.1-305, 18.1-307; 1960, c. 358; 1975, cc. 14, 15.

§ 18.2-471.1. Destruction of human biological evidence; penalty.

Any clerk of court or other public official who willfully violates an order entered pursuant to § 19.2-270.4:1 is guilty of a Class 6 felony.

2006, c. 913.

§ 18.2-472. False entries or destruction of records by officers.

If a clerk of any court or other public officer fraudulently make a false entry, or erase, alter, secrete or destroy any record, including a microphotographic copy, in his keeping and belonging to his office, he shall be guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor and shall forfeit his office and be forever incapable of holding any office of honor, profit or trust under the Constitution of Virginia.

Code 1950, §§ 18.1-306, 18.1-307; 1960, c. 358; 1975, cc. 14, 15; 1977, c. 107.

§ 18.2-472.1. Providing false information or failing to provide registration information; penalty; prima facie evidence.

A. Any person subject to Chapter 9 (§ 9.1-900 et seq.) of Title 9.1, other than a person convicted of a Tier III offense or murder as defined in § 9.1-902, who knowingly fails to register, reregister, or verify his registration information, or who knowingly provides materially false information to the Sex Offender and Crimes Against Minors Registry is guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor. A second or subsequent conviction for an offense under this subsection is a Class 6 felony.

B. Any person convicted of a Tier III offense or murder, as defined in § 9.1-902, who knowingly fails to register, reregister, or verify his registration information, or who knowingly provides materially false information to the Sex Offender and Crimes Against Minors Registry is guilty of a Class 6 felony. A second or subsequent conviction for an offense under this subsection is a Class 5 felony.

C. A prosecution pursuant to this section shall be brought in the city or county where the offender can be found or where the offender last registered, reregistered, or verified his registration information or, if the offender failed to comply with the duty to register, where the offender was last convicted of an offense for which registration or reregistration is required.

D. At any preliminary hearing pursuant to this section, an affidavit from the State Police issued as required in § 9.1-907 shall be admitted into evidence as prima facie evidence of the failure to comply with the duty to register, reregister, or verify his registration information. A copy of such affidavit shall be provided to the registrant or his counsel seven days prior to hearing or trial by the attorney for the Commonwealth.

E. The accused in any preliminary hearing in which an affidavit from the State Police issued as required in § 9.1-907 is offered into evidence pursuant to this section shall have the right to summon and call a custodian of records issuing the affidavit and examine him in the same manner as if he had been called as an adverse witness. Such witness shall appear at the cost of the Commonwealth.

F. At any trial or hearing other than a preliminary hearing conducted pursuant to this section, an affidavit from the State Police issued as required in § 9.1-907 shall constitute prima facie evidence of the failure to comply with the duty to register, reregister, or verify his registration information, provided the requirements of subsection G have been satisfied and the accused has not objected to the admission of the affidavit pursuant to subsection H.

G. If the attorney for the Commonwealth intends to offer the affidavit into evidence in lieu of testimony at a trial or hearing, other than a preliminary hearing, he shall:

1. Provide by mail, delivery, or otherwise, a copy of the affidavit to counsel of record for the accused, or to the accused if he is proceeding pro se, at no charge, no later than 28 days prior to the hearing or trial;

2. Provide simultaneously with the copy of the affidavit so provided under subdivision 1 a notice to the accused of his right to object to having the affidavit admitted without the presence and testimony of a custodian of the records; and

3. File a copy of the affidavit and notice with the clerk of the court hearing the matter on the day that the affidavit and notice are provided to the accused.

H. In any trial or hearing, other than a preliminary hearing, the accused may object in writing to admission of the affidavit, in lieu of testimony, as evidence of the facts stated therein. Such objection shall be filed with the court hearing the matter, with a copy to the attorney for the Commonwealth, no more than 14 days after the affidavit and notice were filed with the clerk by the attorney for the Commonwealth, or the objection shall be deemed waived. If timely objection is made, the affidavit shall not be admissible into evidence unless (i) the objection is waived by the accused or his counsel in writing or before the court, or (ii) the parties stipulate before the court to the admissibility of the affidavit.

I. Where a custodian of the records is not available for hearing or trial and the attorney for the Commonwealth has used due diligence to secure the presence of the person, the court shall order a continuance. Any continuances ordered pursuant to this subsection shall total not more than 90 days if the accused has been held continuously in custody and not more than 180 days if the accused has not been held continuously in custody.

J. Any objection by counsel for the accused, or the accused if he is proceeding pro se, to timeliness of the receipt of notice required by subsection G shall be made before hearing or trial upon his receipt of actual notice unless the accused did not receive actual notice prior to hearing or trial. A showing by the Commonwealth that the notice was mailed, delivered, or otherwise provided in compliance with the time requirements of this section shall constitute prima facie evidence that the notice was timely received by the accused. If the court finds upon the accused's objection made pursuant to this subsection, that he did not receive timely notice pursuant to subsection G, the accused's objection shall not be deemed waived and if the objection is made prior to hearing or trial, a continuance shall be ordered if requested by either party. Any continuance ordered pursuant to this subsection shall be subject to the time limitations set forth in subsection I.

K. For the purposes of this section any conviction for a substantially similar offense under the laws of (i) any foreign country or any political subdivision thereof, or (ii) any state or territory of the United States or any political subdivision thereof, the District of Columbia, or the United States shall be considered a prior conviction.

1997, c. 747; 1999, c. 845; 2001, c. 365; 2003, c. 584; 2006, cc. 857, 914, 931; 2008, c. 218; 2009, Sp. Sess. I, cc. 1, 4; 2010, c. 656; 2011, c. 285; 2020, c. 829.

Article 7. Escape of, Communications with and Deliveries to Prisoners.

§ 18.2-473. Persons aiding escape of prisoner or child.

When a person is lawfully detained as a prisoner in any jail or prison or held in custody, or when a child is placed in a local juvenile detention home, or committed to the Department of Juvenile Justice in any juvenile correctional center, or Reception and Diagnostic Center for Children or held in custody, if any person: (1) conveys anything into the jail, prison, juvenile detention home, juvenile correctional center or Reception and Diagnostic Center for Children with intent to facilitate a person's escape therefrom, (2) in any way aids such prisoner or child to escape, or in an attempt to escape, from such jail, prison, juvenile detention home, juvenile correctional center, Reception and Diagnostic Center for Children or custody, or (3) forcibly takes, or attempts to take him therefrom, such person, if the taking or escape is effected, shall, if the prisoner or child was detained on conviction, commitment or charge of felony, be confined in a state correctional facility not less than one year nor more than five years. If the same is not effected, or if the prisoner or child was not detained on such conviction, commitment or charge, he shall be guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor.

Code 1950, § 18.1-284; 1960, c. 358; 1975, cc. 14, 15; 1984, c. 587; 1989, c. 733; 1996, cc. 755, 914.

§ 18.2-473.1. Communication with prisoners or committed person; penalty.

It shall be unlawful for any person outside of any state or local correctional facility or any juvenile correctional center, other than the jailers or custodial officers in charge of the prisoners or in charge of the persons committed to the Department of Juvenile Justice, to communicate without authority by word or sign with the intent to disrupt institutional operations with any prisoner confined within a state or local correctional facility or with any person committed to the Department of Juvenile Justice in any juvenile correctional center. Any person violating this section is guilty of a Class 4 misdemeanor.

1982, c. 636; 2000, c. 286; 2013, cc. 707, 782.

§ 18.2-474. Delivery of articles to prisoners or committed person.

No person shall willfully in any manner deliver, or attempt to deliver, to any prisoner confined under authority of the Commonwealth of Virginia, or of any political subdivision thereof, or to any person committed to the Department of Juvenile Justice in any juvenile correctional center, any article of any nature whatsoever, without first securing the permission of the person in whose charge such prisoner or committed person is, and who may in his discretion grant or refuse permission. Any person violating this section is guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor.

Nothing herein contained shall be construed to repeal or amend § 18.2-473.

Code 1950, § 18.1-285; 1960, c. 358; 1975, cc. 14, 15; 2013, cc. 707, 782.

§ 18.2-474.1. Delivery of drugs, firearms, explosives, etc., to prisoners or committed persons.

Notwithstanding the provisions of § 18.2-474, any person who shall willfully in any manner deliver, attempt to deliver, or conspire with another to deliver to any prisoner confined under authority of the Commonwealth of Virginia, or of any political subdivision thereof, or to any person committed to the Department of Juvenile Justice in any juvenile correctional center, any drug which is a controlled substance regulated by the Drug Control Act in Chapter 34 (§ 54.1-3400 et seq.) of Title 54.1 or marijuana is guilty of a Class 5 felony. Any person who shall willfully in any manner so deliver or attempt to deliver or conspire to deliver to any such prisoner or confined or committed person, firearms, ammunitions, or explosives of any nature is guilty of a Class 3 felony.

Nothing herein contained shall be construed to repeal or amend § 18.2-473.

1975, c. 608; 1982, c. 490; 2011, cc. 384, 410; 2013, cc. 707, 782; 2014, cc. 674, 719.

§ 18.2-474.2. Bribery in correctional facilities; penalty.

A. Any person who receives any pecuniary benefit or other consideration to act in violation of § 18.2-474 or 18.2-474.1 is guilty of bribery, punishable as a Class 4 felony.

B. Any law-enforcement officer as defined in § 9.1-101, jail officer as defined in § 53.1-1, or correctional officer as defined in § 53.1-1 who violates this section shall be decertified in accordance with § 15.2-1707, if applicable, and shall be forever ineligible for reemployment as a law-enforcement officer, jail officer, or correctional officer in the Commonwealth.

2021, Sp. Sess. I, c. 289.

§ 18.2-475. Officers, etc., voluntarily allowing person convicted, charged, or adjudicated delinquent of felony to escape; penalty.

If any sheriff, jailer, or other officer, or any guard or other person summoned or employed by any such sheriff, jailer, or other officer, voluntarily allows a prisoner or person committed to the Department of Juvenile Justice convicted of, charged with, or adjudicated delinquent of a felony to escape from his custody, he is guilty of a Class 4 felony.

Code 1950, § 18.1-286; 1960, c. 358; 1975, cc. 14, 15; 1983, c. 360; 2013, cc. 707, 782.

§ 18.2-476. Officers, etc., willfully and deliberately permitting person convicted of, charged with, or adjudicated delinquent of a nonfelonious offense to escape or willfully refusing to receive person; penalty.

If any sheriff, jailer, or other officer, or any guard or other person summoned or employed by such sheriff, jailer, or other officer, willfully and deliberately permits a prisoner or person committed to the Department of Juvenile Justice convicted of, charged with, or adjudicated delinquent of an offense not a felony, to escape from his custody, or willfully refuses to receive into his custody a person lawfully committed thereto, he is guilty of a Class 2 misdemeanor.

Code 1950, § 18.1-287; 1960, c. 358; 1975, cc. 14, 15; 1983, c. 360; 2013, cc. 707, 782.

§ 18.2-477. Prisoner escaping from jail; how punished.

If any person confined in jail or in custody after conviction of a criminal offense shall escape by force or violence, other than by setting fire thereto, he shall be guilty of a Class 6 felony. The term of confinement under this section shall commence from the expiration of the former sentence.

Code 1950, § 18.1-288; 1960, c. 358; 1962, c. 506; 1975, cc. 14, 15; 1985, c. 555.

§ 18.2-477.1. Escapes from juvenile facility; penalty.

A. It shall be unlawful for any person to escape or remain away without proper authority from a group home or other residential care facility for children in need of services, delinquent or alleged delinquent youths in which he had been placed by the juvenile and domestic relations court or as a result of his commitment as a juvenile to the Department of Juvenile Justice. Any person violating this subsection shall be taken into custody and brought before the juvenile and domestic relations court. The court may find the person in violation of § 16.1-292 or, if the court finds the person amenable to further treatment in a juvenile facility, the court may return him to the custody of the Department.

B. It shall be unlawful for any person to escape or remain away without proper authority from a secure facility operated by or under contract with the Department of Juvenile Justice or from a secure juvenile detention facility in which he had been placed by the juvenile and domestic relations court or as a result of his commitment as a juvenile to the Department of Juvenile Justice. Any person who escapes from a facility specified in this subsection by force or by violence shall be guilty of a Class 6 felony or, if violation of this subsection occurs other than by force or violence, a Class 1 misdemeanor.

1985, c. 435; 1989, c. 733; 1993, c. 840; 1994, c. 490; 1997, c. 749.

§ 18.2-477.2. Punishment for certain offenses committed within a secure juvenile facility or detention home.

It shall be unlawful for a person committed to the Department of Juvenile Justice in any juvenile correctional center or detained in a secure juvenile facility or detention home to commit any of the offenses enumerated in § 53.1-203. A violation of this section shall be punishable as a Class 6 felony, except that a violation of subdivision 6 of § 53.1-203 is a Class 5 felony.

1999, c. 21; 2007, c. 521; 2013, cc. 707, 782.

§ 18.2-478. Escape from jail or custody by force or violence without setting fire to jail.

If any person lawfully imprisoned in jail and not tried or sentenced on a criminal offense escapes from jail by force or violence, other than by setting fire thereto or if any person lawfully in the custody of any police officer on a charge of criminal offense escapes from such custody by force or violence, he shall be guilty of a Class 6 felony.

Code 1950, § 18.1-289; 1960, c. 358; 1975, cc. 14, 15; 1985, c. 555.

§ 18.2-479. Escape without force or violence or setting fire to jail.

A. Except as provided in subsection B, any person lawfully confined in jail or lawfully in the custody of any court, officer of the court, or of any law-enforcement officer for violation of his probation or parole or on a charge or conviction of a misdemeanor, who escapes, other than by force or violence or by setting fire to the jail, is guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor.

B. Any person, lawfully confined in jail or lawfully in the custody of any court, officer of the court, or of any law-enforcement officer on a charge or conviction of a felony, who escapes, other than by force or violence or by setting fire to the jail, is guilty of a Class 6 felony.

Code 1950, § 18.1-290; 1960, c. 358; 1975, cc. 14, 15; 1985, c. 555; 2005, c. 573.

§ 18.2-479.1. Repealed.

Repealed by Acts 2018, c. 417, cl. 2.

§ 18.2-480. Escape, etc., by setting fire to jail.

If any person lawfully imprisoned in jail escape, or attempt to escape therefrom, by setting fire thereto, he shall be guilty of a Class 4 felony.

Code 1950, § 18.1-291; 1960, c. 358; 1975, cc. 14, 15.

§ 18.2-480.1. Admissibility of records of Department of Corrections in escape cases.

In any prosecution for, or preliminary hearing for, the offense of escape under this article or Title 53.1, the records maintained by the Department of Corrections or the Department of Juvenile Justice, when such records are duly attested by the custodian of such records, shall be admissible in evidence as evidence of the fact, location and dates of confinement, provided that the records shall be filed with the clerk of the court hearing the case at least seven days prior to the trial or preliminary hearing. On motion of the accused, the court may require the custodian to appear as a witness and be subject to cross-examination; provided such motion is made within a reasonable time prior to the day on which the case is set for trial; and provided further, that the custodian so appearing shall be considered the Commonwealth's witness.

1976, c. 394; 1989, c. 733.