Code of Virginia

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Code of Virginia
Title 19.2. Criminal Procedure
Chapter 13. Grand Juries
1/20/2021

Article 4. Multi-Jurisdiction Grand Juries.

§ 19.2-215.1. Functions of a multi-jurisdiction grand jury.

The functions of a multi-jurisdiction grand jury are:

1. To investigate any condition that involves or tends to promote criminal violations of:

a. Title 10.1 for which punishment as a felony is authorized;

b. § 13.1-520;

c. §§ 18.2-47 and 18.2-48;

d. §§ 18.2-111 and 18.2-112;

e. Article 6 (§ 18.2-59 et seq.) of Chapter 4 of Title 18.2;

f. Article 7.1 (§ 18.2-152.1 et seq.) of Chapter 5 of Title 18.2;

g. Article 1 (§ 18.2-247 et seq.) and Article 1.1 (§ 18.2-265.1 et seq.) of Chapter 7 of Title 18.2;

h. Article 1 (§ 18.2-325 et seq.) and Article 1.1:1 (§ 18.2-340.15 et seq.) of Chapter 8 of Title 18.2, Chapter 29 (§ 59.1-364 et seq.) of Title 59.1 or any other provision prohibiting, limiting, regulating, or otherwise affecting gaming or gambling activity;

i. § 18.2-434, when violations occur before a multi-jurisdiction grand jury;

j. Article 2 (§ 18.2-438 et seq.) and Article 3 (§ 18.2-446 et seq.) of Chapter 10 of Title 18.2;

k. § 18.2-460 for which punishment as a felony is authorized;

l. Article 1.1 (§ 18.2-498.1 et seq.) of Chapter 12 of Title 18.2;

m. Article 1 (§ 32.1-310 et seq.) of Chapter 9 of Title 32.1;

n. Chapter 4.2 (§ 59.1-68.6 et seq.) of Title 59.1;

o. Article 9 (§ 3.2-6570 et seq.) of Chapter 65 of Title 3.2;

p. Article 1 (§ 18.2-30 et seq.) of Chapter 4 of Title 18.2;

q. Article 2.1 (§ 18.2-46.1 et seq.) and Article 2.2 (§ 18.2-46.4 et seq.) of Chapter 4 of Title 18.2;

r. Article 5 (§ 18.2-186 et seq.) and Article 6 (§ 18.2-191 et seq.) of Chapter 6 of Title 18.2;

s. Chapter 6.1 (§ 59.1-92.1 et seq.) of Title 59.1;

t. § 18.2-178 where the violation involves insurance fraud;

u. § 18.2-346, 18.2-348, or 18.2-349 for which punishment as a felony is authorized or § 18.2-355, 18.2-356, 18.2-357, or 18.2-357.1;

v. Article 9 (§ 18.2-246.1 et seq.) of Chapter 6 of Title 18.2;

w. Article 2 (§ 18.2-38 et seq.) of Chapter 4 of Title 18.2;

x. Malicious felonious assault and malicious bodily wounding under Article 4 (§ 18.2-51 et seq.) of Chapter 4 of Title 18.2;

y. Article 5 (§ 18.2-58 et seq.) of Chapter 4 of Title 18.2;

z. Felonious sexual assault under Article 7 (§ 18.2-61 et seq.) of Chapter 4 of Title 18.2;

aa. Arson in violation of § 18.2-77 when the structure burned was occupied or a Class 3 felony violation of § 18.2-79;

ab. Chapter 13 (§ 18.2-512 et seq.) of Title 18.2;

ac. § 18.2-246.14 and Chapter 10 (§ 58.1-1000 et seq.) of Title 58.1;

ad. Subsection A or B of § 18.2-57 where the victim was selected because of his race, religious conviction, gender, disability, gender identity, sexual orientation, color, or national origin;

ae. § 18.2-121 for which punishment as a felony is authorized;

af. Article 5 (§ 18.2-420 et seq.) of Chapter 9 of Title 18.2; and

ag. Any other provision of law when such condition is discovered in the course of an investigation that a multi-jurisdiction grand jury is otherwise authorized to undertake and to investigate any condition that involves or tends to promote any attempt, solicitation, or conspiracy to violate the laws enumerated in this section.

2. To report evidence of any criminal offense enumerated in subdivision 1 and for which a court reporter has recorded all oral testimony as provided by § 19.2-215.9 to the attorney for the Commonwealth or United States attorney of any jurisdiction where such offense could be prosecuted or investigated, or to the chief law-enforcement officer of any jurisdiction where such offense could be prosecuted or investigated, or to a sworn investigator designated pursuant to § 19.2-215.6, or, when appropriate, to the Attorney General.

3. To consider bills of indictment prepared by a special counsel to determine whether there is sufficient probable cause to return each such indictment as a "true bill." Only bills of indictment which allege an offense enumerated in subdivision 1 may be submitted to a multi-jurisdiction grand jury.

4. The provisions of this section shall not abrogate the authority of an attorney for the Commonwealth in a particular jurisdiction to determine the course of a prosecution in that jurisdiction.

1983, c. 543; 1991, c. 616; 1995, c. 552; 2000, c. 359; 2002, cc. 588, 623; 2004, cc. 396, 435; 2008, c. 704; 2009, c. 491; 2011, c. 504; 2013, cc. 83, 314, 459; 2014, cc. 389, 422, 534; 2015, cc. 690, 691; 2019, c. 617; 2020, c. 747.

§ 19.2-215.2. Application for such grand jury.

Provided the Attorney General has approved the application in writing prior to submission, application for a multi-jurisdiction grand jury may be made to the Supreme Court of Virginia by two or more attorneys for the Commonwealth from jurisdictions which would be within the original scope of the investigation. The application shall be in writing and shall state (i) which jurisdictions will be involved in the original scope of the investigation, (ii) in which jurisdiction it is requested that the multi-jurisdiction grand jury be convened, (iii) the name or names of the attorneys for the Commonwealth or their assistants who will serve as special counsel to the grand jury, (iv) the name of the attorney who shall direct the grand jury proceedings. The presiding judge may extend or limit the jurisdictional territory of the investigation, for good cause shown, upon the motion of a grand jury already convened. Notice of every such application shall be given to the attorneys for the Commonwealth in the jurisdictions named in the application and, if the original scope of the investigation is extended into other jurisdictions, notice of such extension shall be given to the attorneys for the Commonwealth in the jurisdictions into which the investigation is extended.

1983, c. 543.

§ 19.2-215.3. When impaneled; impaneling order.

Upon application by two or more attorneys for the Commonwealth, the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, or any justice designated by the Chief Justice, may within twenty days thereafter order the impaneling of a multi-jurisdiction grand jury for a term of twelve months. The term of such a grand jury may be extended for successive periods of not more than six months by the Chief Justice, or by any justice designated by the Chief Justice, upon the petition of a majority of the members of the grand jury.

The impaneling order shall designate the jurisdiction requested on the application as the jurisdiction where the multi-jurisdiction grand jury shall be convened and shall, unless all judges of that circuit have recused themselves, appoint a judge of the circuit court of that jurisdiction as the presiding judge. The impaneling order shall also designate special counsel and each special counsel who will assist the multi-jurisdiction grand jury as listed in the application. The presiding judge shall substitute or appoint additional special counsel upon motion of special counsel.

1983, c. 543; 2010, c. 438.

§ 19.2-215.4. Number and qualifications of jurors; grand jury list; when convened; compensation of jurors.

A. A multi-jurisdiction grand jury shall consist of not less than seven nor more than 11 members. Each member of a multi-jurisdiction grand jury shall be a citizen of this Commonwealth, 18 years of age or older, and a resident of this Commonwealth for one year and of one of the jurisdictions named in the application for six months.

B. The presiding judge shall determine the number of grand jurors to be drawn and shall draw them so that, to the extent practicable, each of the jurisdictions named in the application is represented by at least one juror residing in that jurisdiction, but in no event shall said panel have more than 11 members. The grand jurors shall be summoned from a list prepared by the presiding judge. In the preparation of this list, the presiding judge shall select only persons who have been selected as regular grand jurors pursuant to the provisions of § 19.2-194 in the jurisdiction named in the application. Members of a multi-jurisdiction grand jury shall possess the same qualifications as those prescribed for members of a regular grand jury, including indifference in the cause.

C. The provisions of § 19.2-192 dealing with secrecy in grand jury proceedings are incorporated herein by reference.

D. The presiding judge shall determine the time, date and place within the designated jurisdiction where the multi-jurisdiction grand jury is to be convened. The presiding judge shall also appoint one of the grand jurors to serve as foreman. Members of the multi-jurisdiction grand jury shall be compensated according to the provisions of § 19.2-205. The expense of a multi-jurisdiction grand jury shall be borne by the Commonwealth.

1983, c. 543; 2008, c. 644.

§ 19.2-215.5. Subpoena power; counsel for witness; oath.

A multi-jurisdiction grand jury has statewide subpoena power and, through special counsel, may subpoena persons to appear before it to testify and may subpoena the production of evidence, with or without the custodian of records at the election of special counsel, in the form of specified records, papers, documents, or other tangible things. Such subpoenas shall be returnable for a specific meeting of the multi-jurisdiction grand jury. Mileage and such other reasonable expenses as are approved by the presiding judge shall be paid such persons from funds appropriated for such purpose.

A witness before a multi-jurisdiction grand jury shall be entitled to the presence of counsel in the grand jury room, but he may not participate in the proceedings.

The foreman shall administer the oath required by law for witnesses.

1983, c. 543; 2014, c. 389.

§ 19.2-215.6. Role and presence of special counsel; examination of witnesses; sworn investigators.

Special counsel may be present during the investigatory stage of a multi-jurisdiction grand jury proceeding and may examine any witness who is called to testify or produce evidence. The examination of a witness by special counsel shall in no way affect the right of any grand juror to examine the witness.

At the request of special counsel, the presiding judge shall designate specialized personnel for investigative purposes. Such personnel shall be designated as a sworn investigator and shall be administered an oath to maintain the secrecy of all proceedings of the multi-jurisdiction grand jury. A sworn investigator is permitted to discuss multi-jurisdiction grand jury proceedings with any other sworn investigator or special counsel and may participate in multi-jurisdiction grand jury proceedings at the request of special counsel or the grand jury. Any specialized personnel who have been administered an oath to maintain the secrecy of all proceedings of the multi-jurisdiction grand jury before July 1, 2014, and who continue to serve in that position are deemed to be sworn investigators under this section.

Special counsel and sworn investigators, however, may not be present at any time during the deliberations of a multi-jurisdiction grand jury except when the grand jury requests the legal advice of special counsel as to specific questions of law.

1983, c. 543; 2014, c. 389.

§ 19.2-215.7. Warnings given to witnesses; when witness in contempt; use of testimony compelled after witness invokes right against self-incrimination.

A. Every witness testifying before a multi-jurisdiction grand jury shall be warned by special counsel or by the foreman of the grand jury that he need not answer any question that would tend to incriminate him, and that he may later be called upon to testify in any case that may result from the grand jury proceedings.

B. A witness who has been called to testify or produce evidence before a multi-jurisdiction grand jury, and who refuses to testify or produce evidence by expressly invoking his right not to incriminate himself, may be compelled to testify or produce evidence by the presiding judge. A witness who refuses to testify or produce evidence after being ordered to do so by the presiding judge may be held in contempt and may be incarcerated until the contempt is purged by compliance with the order.

C. When a witness is compelled to testify or produce evidence after expressly invoking his right not to incriminate himself, and the presiding judge has determined that the assertion of the right is bona fide, the compelled testimony, or any information directly or indirectly derived from such testimony or other information, shall not be used against the witness in any criminal proceeding except a prosecution for perjury.

1983, c. 543.

§ 19.2-215.8. Returning a "true bill" of indictment; jurisdiction to be set out.

In order to return a "true bill" of indictment, a majority, but in no instance less than five, of the multi-jurisdiction grand jurors must concur in that finding. A multi-jurisdiction grand jury may return a "true bill" of indictment upon the testimony of, or evidence produced by, any witness who was called by the grand jury, upon evidence presented to it by special counsel, or upon evidence sent to it by the presiding judge.

Every "true bill" of indictment returned by a multi-jurisdiction grand jury shall state in which jurisdiction or jurisdictions the offense is alleged to have occurred. Thereafter, when venue is proper in more than one jurisdiction, the presiding judge who directed the grand jury proceeding shall elect in which one of the jurisdictions named in the indictment the indictment is to be prosecuted.

1983, c. 543.

§ 19.2-215.9. Court reporter provided; safekeeping of transcripts, notes, etc.; when disclosure permitted; access to record of testimony and evidence.

A. A court reporter shall be provided for a multi-jurisdiction grand jury to record, manually or electronically, and transcribe all oral testimony taken before a multi-jurisdiction grand jury, but such a reporter shall not be present during any stage of its deliberations. Such transcription shall include the original or copies of all documents, reports, or other evidence presented to the multi-jurisdiction grand jury. The notes, tapes, and transcriptions of the reporter are for the use of the multi-jurisdiction grand jury, and the contents thereof shall not be used or divulged by anyone except as provided in this article. After the multi-jurisdiction grand jury has completed its use of the notes, tapes, and transcriptions, the foreman shall cause them to be delivered to the clerk of the circuit court in whose jurisdiction the multi-jurisdiction grand jury sits, with copies provided to special counsel. Upon motion of special counsel, the presiding judge may order that such notes, tapes, and transcriptions be destroyed at the direction of special counsel by any means the presiding judge deems sufficient, provided that at least seven years have passed from the date of the multi-jurisdiction grand jury proceeding where such notes, tapes, and transcriptions were made.

B. The clerk shall cause the notes, tapes, and transcriptions or other evidence to be kept safely. Upon motion to the presiding judge, special counsel or the attorney for the Commonwealth or United States attorney of any jurisdiction where the offense could be prosecuted or investigated shall be permitted to review any of the evidence which was presented to the multi-jurisdiction grand jury and shall be permitted to make notes and to duplicate portions of the evidence as he deems necessary for use in a criminal investigation or proceeding. Special counsel, the attorney for the Commonwealth, or the United States attorney shall maintain the secrecy of all information obtained from a review or duplication of the evidence presented to the multi-jurisdiction grand jury, except that this information may be disclosed pursuant to the provisions of subdivision 2 of § 19.2-215.1. A United States attorney satisfies his duty to maintain secrecy of information obtained from a review or duplication of evidence presented to the multi-jurisdiction grand jury if such information is maintained in accordance with the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure. After a person has been indicted by a grand jury, the attorney for the Commonwealth shall notify such person that the multi-jurisdiction grand jury was used to obtain evidence for a prosecution. Upon motion to the presiding judge by a person indicted by a multi-jurisdiction grand jury or by a person being prosecuted with evidence presented to a multi-jurisdiction grand jury, similar permission to review, note, or duplicate evidence shall be extended.

Any person granted permission to make notes and to duplicate portions of the evidence given before the multi-jurisdiction grand jury shall maintain the secrecy of all information obtained from a review or duplication of the evidence presented to the multi-jurisdiction grand jury, except for disclosure as he deems necessary for use in a criminal investigation or proceeding. The timing of the access to such evidence shall be determined by the presiding judge after a hearing on the matter, if the parties do not otherwise agree. Any person granted permission herein is precluded from making additional copies of these materials, except as he deems necessary for use in a criminal investigation or proceeding, without permission of the presiding judge and is to notify the presiding judge and the attorney for the Commonwealth immediately if these materials are lost or their secrecy has not been maintained.

C. If any witness who testified or produced evidence before the multi-jurisdiction grand jury is prosecuted on the basis of his testimony or the evidence he produced, or if any witness is prosecuted for perjury on the basis of his testimony or the evidence he produced before the multi-jurisdiction grand jury, the presiding judge, on motion of either special counsel or the defendant, shall permit the defendant access to the testimony of or evidence produced by the defendant before the multi-jurisdiction grand jury. The testimony and the evidence produced by the defendant before the multi-jurisdiction grand jury shall then be admissible in the trial of the criminal offense with which the defendant is charged (i) to establish a charge of perjury in the Commonwealth's case-in-chief on the basis of his testimony before the multi-jurisdiction grand jury and (ii) for the purpose of impeaching the defendant in the trial of any other criminal matter, provided the testimony or evidence being used for impeachment was produced by the defendant voluntarily before the multi-jurisdiction grand jury.

1983, c. 543; 2014, c. 389; 2016, c. 262; 2019, c. 522.

§ 19.2-215.10. Participation by Office of Attorney General; assistance of special counsel permitted in certain prosecutions.

Upon request by the applicants or upon motion to the presiding judge by special counsel, the Office of Attorney General may participate as special counsel in the multi-jurisdiction grand jury proceedings and any prosecutions arising therefrom. In any prosecution arising out of the multi-jurisdiction grand jury, the attorney for the Commonwealth may also obtain the assistance of the special counsel to the grand jury as a special assistant attorney for the Commonwealth.

1983, c. 543.

§ 19.2-215.11. Discharge of grand jury.

At any time during the original or extended term of a multi-jurisdiction grand jury, the presiding judge may discharge the grand jury if, in the opinion of the presiding judge, the existence of the multi-jurisdiction grand jury is no longer necessary.

1983, c. 543.