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
12/4/2022

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.