Code of Virginia

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Code of Virginia
Title 18.2. Crimes and Offenses Generally
Chapter 9. Crimes Against Peace and Order
6/19/2021

Article 6. Unlawful Use of Telephones.

§ 18.2-424. Repealed.

Repealed by Acts 2007, c. 467, cl. 2.

§ 18.2-425.1. Repealed.

Repealed by Acts 2009, c. 699, cl. 2.

§ 18.2-426. "Emergency call" and "emergency personnel" defined.

As used in this article:

"Emergency call" means a call to report a fire or summon police, or for emergency medical services, in a situation where human life or property is in jeopardy and the prompt summoning of aid is essential.

"Emergency personnel" means any persons, paid or volunteer, who receive calls for dispatch of police, fire, or emergency medical services personnel, and includes law-enforcement officers, firefighters, including special forest wardens designated pursuant to § 10.1-1135, and emergency medical services personnel.

Code 1950, § 18.1-370; 1960, c. 358; 1975, cc. 14, 15; 1995, c. 791; 2000, c. 962; 2007, c. 467; 2015, cc. 502, 503.

§ 18.2-427. Use of profane, threatening, or indecent language over public airways or by other methods.

Any person who uses obscene, vulgar, profane, lewd, lascivious, or indecent language, or makes any suggestion or proposal of an obscene nature, or threatens any illegal or immoral act with the intent to coerce, intimidate, or harass any person, over any telephone or citizens band radio, in this Commonwealth, is guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor.

"Over any telephone" includes, for purposes of this section, any electronically transmitted communication producing a visual or electronic message that is received or transmitted by cellular telephone or other wireless telecommunications device.

Code 1950, § 18.1-238; 1960, c. 358; 1964, c. 577; 1975, cc. 14, 15; 1976, c. 312; 1984, c. 592; 2010, c. 565; 2011, c. 246.

§ 18.2-428. Giving certain false information to another by telephone.

If any person maliciously advises or informs another over any telephone in this Commonwealth of the death of, accident to, injury to, illness of, or disappearance of some third party, knowing the same to be false, he shall be guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor.

Code 1950, § 18.1-238.1; 1962, c. 225; 1975, cc. 14, 15.

§ 18.2-429. Causing telephone or pager to ring with intent to annoy.

A. Any person who, with or without intent to communicate but with intent to annoy any other person, causes any telephone or digital pager, not his own, to ring or to otherwise signal, and any person who permits or condones the use of any telephone under his control for such purpose, is guilty of a Class 3 misdemeanor. A second or subsequent conviction under this subsection is punishable as a Class 2 misdemeanor if such prior conviction occurred before the date of the offense charged.

B. Any person who, with or without intent to converse, but with intent to annoy, harass, hinder or delay emergency personnel in the performance of their duties as such, causes a telephone to ring, which is owned or leased for the purpose of receiving emergency calls by a public or private entity providing fire, police or emergency medical services, and any person who knowingly permits the use of a telephone under his control for such purpose, is guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor.

Code 1950, § 18.1-238.2; 1962, c. 495; 1975, cc. 14, 15; 1989, c. 59; 1995, cc. 410, 478, 791; 2012, c. 133; 2015, cc. 502, 503.

§ 18.2-429.1. False caller identification information; penalty.

A. For the purposes of this section:

"Caller identification information" means data that identifies the identity of the caller or the caller's telephone number to the recipient of a telephone call or to the recipient's telephone network.

"False caller identification information" means data that misrepresents the identity of the caller or the caller's telephone number to the recipient of a telephone call or to the recipient's telephone network.

B. Any person who, with the intent to defraud, intimidate, or harass, causes a telephone to ring and engages in conduct that results in the display of false caller identification information on the called party's telephone is guilty of a Class 3 misdemeanor. A second or subsequent conviction under this subsection is punishable as a Class 2 misdemeanor if the prior conviction occurred before the date of the offense charged.

C. This section shall not apply to:

1. The blocking of caller identification information;

2. Any law-enforcement agencies or any law-enforcement officer while he is engaged in the performance of his official duties;

3. Any intelligence or security agency of the federal government or any employee of such agency while he is engaged in the performance of his official duties; or

4. Any telecommunications, broadband, or Voice-over-Internet protocol service provider that is (i) acting in its capacity as an intermediary for the transmission of telephone service between the caller and the recipient, (ii) providing or configuring a service or service feature as requested by a customer, (iii) acting in a manner that is authorized or required by law, or (iv) engaging in other conduct that is a necessary incident to the provision of service.

2019, c. 476.

§ 18.2-430. Venue for offenses under this article.

Any person violating any of the provisions of this article may be prosecuted either in the county or city from which he called or in the county or city in which the call was received, or in the City of Richmond if venue cannot otherwise be established and the person subjected to the act is one of the following officials or employees of the Commonwealth and such official or employee was subjected to the act while engaged in the performance of his public duties or because of his position with the Commonwealth: the Governor, Governor-elect, Lieutenant Governor, Lieutenant Governor-elect, Attorney General, or Attorney General-elect, a member or employee of the General Assembly, a justice of the Supreme Court of Virginia or a judge of the Court of Appeals of Virginia.

Code 1950, § 18.1-238; 1960, c. 358; 1964, c. 577; 1975, cc. 14, 15; 2020, c. 1002.

§ 18.2-431. Duty of telephone companies; notices in directories.

(1) It shall be the duty, on pain of contempt of court, of each telephone company in this Commonwealth to furnish immediately in response to a subpoena issued by a circuit court such information as it, its officers and employees may possess which, in the opinion of the court, may aid in the apprehension of persons suspected of violating the provisions of this article or the provisions of § 18.2-83 or § 18.2-212.

(2) Every telephone directory distributed to the public which lists the calling numbers of telephones or of any telephone exchange located in this Commonwealth shall contain a notice which explains the offenses made punishable under this article, such notice to be printed in type which conforms with and is comparable to other type on the same page, and to be placed in a prominent place in such directory. Any violation of this subsection shall be punishable as a Class 4 misdemeanor.

Code 1950, §§ 18.1-238, 18.1-371; 1960, c. 358; 1964, c. 577; 1975, cc. 14, 15; 1982, c. 502.

§ 18.2-431.1. Illegal conveyance or possession of cellular telephone or other wireless telecommunications device by prisoner or committed person; penalty.

A. It is unlawful for any person without authorization to provide or cause to be provided a cellular telephone or other wireless telecommunications device to an incarcerated prisoner or person committed to the Department of Juvenile Justice in any juvenile correctional center.

B. It is unlawful for an incarcerated prisoner or person committed to the Department of Juvenile Justice in any juvenile correctional center without authorization to possess a cellular telephone or other wireless telecommunications device during the period of his incarceration.

C. Any violation of this section is a Class 6 felony.

2005, c. 171; 2013, cc. 707, 782; 2015, c. 601.