Code of Virginia

Code of Virginia
Title 18.2. Crimes and Offenses Generally
4/23/2019

Article 1. Riot and Unlawful Assembly.

§ 18.2-404. Obstructing free passage of others.

Any person or persons who in any public place or on any private property open to the public unreasonably or unnecessarily obstructs the free passage of other persons to and from or within such place or property and who shall fail or refuse to cease such obstruction or move on when requested to do so by the owner or lessee or agent or employee of such owner or lessee or by a duly authorized law-enforcement officer shall be guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor. Nothing in this section shall be construed to prohibit lawful picketing.

Code 1950, § 18.1-254.01; 1968, c. 608; 1975, cc. 14, 15.

§ 18.2-405. What constitutes a riot; punishment.

Any unlawful use, by three or more persons acting together, of force or violence which seriously jeopardizes the public safety, peace or order is riot.

Every person convicted of participating in any riot shall be guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor.

If such person carried, at the time of such riot, any firearm or other deadly or dangerous weapon, he shall be guilty of a Class 5 felony.

Code 1950, §§ 18.1-254.1, 18.1-254.2; 1968, c. 460; 1971, Ex. Sess., c. 251; 1975, cc. 14, 15.

§ 18.2-406. What constitutes an unlawful assembly; punishment.

Whenever three or more persons assembled share the common intent to advance some lawful or unlawful purpose by the commission of an act or acts of unlawful force or violence likely to jeopardize seriously public safety, peace or order, and the assembly actually tends to inspire persons of ordinary courage with well-grounded fear of serious and immediate breaches of public safety, peace or order, then such assembly is an unlawful assembly. Every person who participates in any unlawful assembly shall be guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor. If any such person carried, at the time of his participation in an unlawful assembly, any firearm or other deadly or dangerous weapon, he shall be guilty of a Class 5 felony.

Code 1950, §§ 18.1-254.1, 18.1-254.3; 1968, c. 460; 1971, Ex. Sess., c. 251; 1975, cc. 14, 15.

§ 18.2-407. Remaining at place of riot or unlawful assembly after warning to disperse.

Every person, except the owner or lessee of the premises, his family and nonrioting guests, and public officers and persons assisting them, who remains at the place of any riot or unlawful assembly after having been lawfully warned to disperse, shall be guilty of a Class 3 misdemeanor.

Code 1950, § 18.1-254.4; 1968, c. 460; 1971, Ex. Sess., c. 251; 1975, cc. 14, 15.

§ 18.2-408. Conspiracy; incitement, etc., to riot.

Any person who conspires with others to cause or produce a riot, or directs, incites, or solicits other persons who participate in a riot to acts of force or violence, shall be guilty of a Class 5 felony.

Code 1950, § 18.1-254.5:1; 1971, Ex. Sess., c. 251; 1975, cc. 14, 15.

§ 18.2-409. Resisting or obstructing execution of legal process.

Every person acting jointly or in combination with any other person to resist or obstruct the execution of any legal process shall be guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor.

Code 1950, § 18.1-254.6; 1968, c. 460; 1975, cc. 14, 15.

§ 18.2-410. Power of Governor to summon law-enforcement agencies, national guard, etc., to execute process or preserve the peace.

If it appears to the Governor that the power of the locality is not sufficient to enable the sheriff or other officer to execute process delivered to him or to suppress riots and to preserve the peace, he may order law-enforcement agencies, national guard, militia or other agencies of the Commonwealth or localities as may be necessary to execute such process and to preserve the peace. All persons so ordered or summoned by the Governor are required to attend and act. Any person who, without lawful cause, refuses or neglects to obey the command, shall be guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor.

Code 1950, § 18.1-254.7; 1968, c. 460; 1975, cc. 14, 15.

§ 18.2-411. Dispersal of unlawful or riotous assemblies; duties of officers.

When any number of persons, whether armed or not, are unlawfully or riotously assembled, the sheriff of the county and his deputies, the police officials of the county, city or town, and any assigned militia, or any of them, shall go among the persons assembled or as near to them as safety will permit and command them in the name of the Commonwealth immediately to disperse. If upon such command the persons unlawfully assembled do not disperse immediately, such sheriff, officer or militia may use such force as is reasonably necessary to disperse them and to arrest those who fail or refuse to disperse. To accomplish this end, the sheriff or other law-enforcement officer may request and use the assistance and services of private citizens. Every endeavor shall be used, both by such sheriff or other officers and by the officer commanding any other force, which can be made consistently with the preservation of life, to induce or force those unlawfully assembled to disperse before an attack is made upon those unlawfully assembled by which their lives may be endangered.

Code 1950, §§ 18.1-254.8, 18.1-254.9; 1968, c. 460; 1975, cc. 14, 15.

§ 18.2-412. Immunity of officers and others in quelling a riot or unlawful assembly.

No liability, criminal or civil, shall be imposed upon any person authorized to disperse or assist in dispersing a riot or unlawful assembly for any action of such person which was taken after those rioting or unlawfully assembled had been commanded to disperse, and which action was reasonably necessary under all the circumstances to disperse such riot or unlawful assembly or to arrest those who failed or refused to disperse.

Code 1950, §§ 18.1-254.8, 18.1-254.9; 1968, c. 460; 1975, cc. 14, 15.

§ 18.2-413. Commission of certain offenses in county, city or town declared by Governor to be in state of riot or insurrection.

Any person, who after the publication of a proclamation by the Governor, or who after lawful notice to disperse and retire, resists or aids in resisting the execution of process in any county, city or town declared to be in a state of riot or insurrection, or who aids or attempts the rescue or escape of another from lawful custody or confinement, or who resists or aids in resisting a force ordered out by the Governor or any sheriff or other officer to quell or suppress an insurrection or riot, shall be guilty of a Class 5 felony.

Code 1950, § 18.1-254.10; 1968, c. 460; 1975, cc. 14, 15.

§ 18.2-414. Injury to property or persons by persons unlawfully or riotously assembled.

If any person or persons, unlawfully or riotously assembled, pull down, injure, or destroy, or begin to pull down, injure or destroy any dwelling house or other building, or assist therein, or perpetrate any premeditated injury on the person of another, he shall be guilty of a Class 6 felony.

Code 1950, § 18.1-254.11; 1968, c. 460; 1975, cc. 14, 15.

§ 18.2-414.1. Obstructing emergency medical services agency personnel in performance of mission; penalty.

Any person who unreasonably or unnecessarily obstructs the delivery of emergency medical services by emergency medical services agency personnel, whether governmental, private, or volunteer, or who fails or refuses to cease such obstruction or move on when requested to do so by emergency medical services personnel going to or at the site at which emergency medical services are required is guilty of a Class 2 misdemeanor.

1976, c. 233; 2002, c. 560; 2015, cc. 502, 503.

§ 18.2-414.2. Crossing established police lines, perimeters or barricades.

It shall be unlawful for any person to cross or remain within police lines or barricades which have been established pursuant to § 15.2-1714 without proper authorization.

Any person violating the provisions of this section shall be guilty of a Class 3 misdemeanor.

1984, c. 533; 1990, c. 327.

The chapters of the acts of assembly referenced in the historical citation at the end of these sections may not constitute a comprehensive list of such chapters and may exclude chapters whose provisions have expired.

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