Code of Virginia

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Code of Virginia
Title 18.2. Crimes and Offenses Generally
Chapter 5. Crimes Against Property
6/13/2021

Article 6. Damage to Realty and Personalty Thereon.

§ 18.2-137. Injuring, etc., any property, monument, etc.

A. If any person unlawfully destroys, defaces, damages, or removes without the intent to steal any property, real or personal, not his own, or breaks down, destroys, defaces, damages, or removes without the intent to steal, any monument or memorial for war veterans, not his own, described in § 15.2-1812; any monument erected to mark the site of any engagement fought during the Civil War, or any memorial to designate the boundaries of any city, town, tract of land, or any tree marked for that purpose, he shall be guilty of a Class 3 misdemeanor, provided that the court may, in its discretion, dismiss the charge if the locality or organization that owns or is responsible for maintaining the injured property, monument, or memorial files a written affidavit with the court stating it has received full payment for the injury.

B. If any person who is not the owner of such property intentionally causes such injury, he is guilty of (i) a Class 1 misdemeanor if the value of or damage to the property, memorial, or monument is less than $1,000 or (ii) a Class 6 felony if the value of or damage to the property, memorial, or monument is $1,000 or more. The amount of loss caused by the destruction, defacing, damage, or removal of such property, memorial, or monument may be established by proof of the fair market cost of repair or fair market replacement value. Upon conviction, the court may order that the defendant pay restitution.

Code 1950, § 18.1-172; 1960, c. 358; 1975, cc. 14, 15, 598; 1990, c. 933; 1999, c. 625; 2020, cc. 1100, 1101.

§ 18.2-138. Damaging public buildings, etc.; penalty.

Any person who willfully and maliciously (i) breaks any window or door of the Capitol, any courthouse, house of public worship, institution of higher education, school house, city or town hall, or other public building or library, (ii) damages or defaces the Capitol or any other public building or any statuary in the Capitol, on the Capitol Square, or in or on any other public buildings or public grounds, or (iii) destroys any property in any of such buildings shall be guilty of a Class 6 felony if damage to the property is $1,000 or more or a Class 1 misdemeanor if the damage is less than $1,000.

Any person who willfully and unlawfully damages or defaces any book, newspaper, magazine, pamphlet, map, picture, manuscript, or other property located in any library, reading room, museum, or other educational institution shall be guilty of a Class 6 felony if damage to the property is $1,000 or more or a Class 1 misdemeanor if the damage is less than $1,000.

Code 1950, § 18.1-177; 1960, c. 358; 1975, cc. 14, 15; 1990, c. 454.

§ 18.2-138.1. Repealed.

Repealed by Acts 2004, c. 462.

§ 18.2-139. Injuries to trees, fences or herbage on grounds of Capitol, or in any public square.

If any person:

(1) Cut down, pull up, girdle or otherwise injure or destroy any tree growing in the grounds of the Capitol, or in any public square or grounds, without the consent of the Governor, or of the circuit court of the county or city in which such grounds or square is situated; or

(2) Willfully and maliciously injure the fences or herbage of the Capitol grounds, or of any such square or grounds,

he shall be guilty of a Class 3 misdemeanor.

Code 1950, § 18.1-180; 1960, c. 358; 1975, cc. 14, 15.

§ 18.2-140. Destruction of trees, shrubs, etc.

It shall be unlawful for any person to pick, pull, pull up, tear, tear up, dig, dig up, cut, break, injure, burn or destroy, in whole or in part, any tree, shrub, vine, plant, flower or turf found, growing or being upon the land of another, or upon any land reserved, set aside or maintained by the Commonwealth as a public park, or as a refuge or sanctuary for wild animals, birds or fish, or upon any land reserved, set aside or maintained as a public park by a park authority created under the provisions of § 15.2-5702, without having previously obtained the permission in writing of such other or his agent or of the superintendent or custodian of such park, refuge or sanctuary so to do, unless the same be done under the personal direction of such owner, his agent, tenant or lessee or superintendent or custodian of such park, refuge or sanctuary.

Any person violating this section shall be guilty of a Class 3 misdemeanor; provided, however, that the approval of the owner, his agent, tenant or lessee, or the superintendent or custodian of such park or sanctuary afterwards given in writing or in open court shall be a bar to further prosecution or suit.

Code 1950, § 18.1-178; 1960, c. 358; 1975, cc. 14, 15; 1976, c. 757; 1998, c. 81.

§ 18.2-141. Cutting or destroying trees; carrying axe, saw, etc., while hunting.

It shall be unlawful for any person while hunting for game or wildlife on the property of another to carry any axe other than a belt axe with a handle less than twenty inches, saw or other tool or instrument customarily used for the purpose of cutting, felling, mutilating or destroying trees without obtaining prior permission of the landowner. Any person violating the provisions of this section shall be guilty of a Class 3 misdemeanor.

Conservation police officers, sheriffs and all law-enforcement officers shall enforce the provisions of this section.

Code 1950, § 18.1-179; 1960, c. 358; 1975, cc. 14, 15.

§ 18.2-142. Repealed.

Repealed by Acts 1979, c. 252.

§ 18.2-143. Pulling down fences or leaving open gates.

If any person, without permission of the owner, pull down the fence of another and leave the same down, or, without permission, open and leave open the gate of another, or any gate across a public road established by order of court, or if any person other than the owner or owners of the lands through which a line of railroad runs open and leave open a gate at any public or private crossing of the right-of-way of a railroad, he shall be guilty of a Class 4 misdemeanor.

Code 1950, § 18.1-176; 1960, c. 358; 1975, cc. 14, 15.