Code of Virginia

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Code of Virginia
Title 19.2. Criminal Procedure
Chapter 21. Recovery of Fines and Penalties
9/30/2022

Article 6. Relief from Fines and Penalties.

§ 19.2-362. Court not to remit fine or penalty, other than fine for contempt, except as provided in § 19.2-358.

No court shall remit any fine or penalty, except for a contempt, which the court during the same term may remit either wholly or in part, and except as provided in § 19.2-358. This section shall not impair the judicial power of the court to set aside a verdict or judgment, or to grant a new trial.

Code 1950, § 19.1-351; 1960, c. 366; 1971, Ex. Sess., c. 250; 1975, c. 495.

§ 19.2-363. Authority of Governor to grant relief from fines and penalties.

The Governor shall have power, in his discretion, to remit, in whole or in part, fines and penalties, in all cases of felony or misdemeanor, after conviction, whether paid into the state treasury or not, except when judgment shall have been rendered against any person for contempt of court, for nonperformance of or disobedience to some order, decree or judgment of such court, or when the fine or penalty has been imposed by the State Corporation Commission, or when the prosecution has been carried on by the House of Delegates. The Governor may, in his discretion, remit, refund or release, in whole or in part, any forfeited recognizance or any judgment rendered thereon, provided, in the opinion of the Governor, the evidence accompanying such application warrants the granting of the relief asked for. But the provisions of the three following sections and § 19.2-368 shall be complied with as a condition precedent to such action by the Governor; provided, that when the party against whom the fine or penalty has been imposed and judgment rendered therefor has departed this life leaving a spouse or children surviving, the Governor may remit such fine or penalty upon the certificate of the judge of the circuit court of the county or city wherein such fine or penalty was imposed and judgment rendered, that to enforce the same against the estate, real or personal, of the decedent, would impose hardship upon the spouse or children. In any case when the Governor remits, in whole or in part, a fine or penalty, if the same has been paid into the state treasury, on the order of the Governor such fine or penalty or so much thereof as is remitted shall be paid by the State Treasurer, on the warrant of the Comptroller, out of the fund into which the fine or penalty was paid.

Code 1950, § 19.1-352; 1960, c. 366; 1975, c. 495.

§ 19.2-364. Petition for relief; in what court filed; notice to attorney for Commonwealth.

Such person or his personal representative, as the case may be, shall file a petition in the clerk's office of the circuit court of the county or city wherein such fine or penalty was imposed, or such liability established, at least fifteen days before the term of the court at which the same is to be heard, and shall set forth the grounds upon which relief is asked. Ten days' notice thereof in writing shall be given to the attorney for the Commonwealth of the county or city.

Code 1950, § 19.1-353; 1960, c. 366; 1975, c. 495.

§ 19.2-365. Duties of attorney for Commonwealth upon filing of such petition.

The attorney for the Commonwealth, at or before the hearing of such petition, shall file an answer to the same. He shall cause to be summoned such witnesses and shall introduce all such testimony as may be necessary and proper to protect the interest of the Commonwealth; and the petitioner may cause to be summoned such witnesses and shall introduce all such testimony as may be necessary and proper to protect his interest.

Code 1950, § 19.1-354; 1960, c. 366; 1975, c. 495.

§ 19.2-366. Duty of court in which petition filed; certificate and opinion.

The court wherein such petition is filed shall hear all such testimony as may be offered, either by the petitioner or attorney for the Commonwealth, and after the evidence has been heard shall cause to be made out by the clerk of the court a certificate of the facts proved, and file with the same an opinion, in writing, as to the propriety of granting the relief prayed for.

Code 1950, § 19.1-355; 1960, c. 366; 1975, c. 495.

§ 19.2-367. Proceedings to be according to common law.

All proceedings had before the court under the provisions of the three preceding sections shall be according to the course of the common-law practice, except that no formal pleadings shall be necessary.

Code 1950, § 19.1-356; 1960, c. 366; 1975, c. 495.

§ 19.2-368. Course of proceeding when relief asked of the Governor.

Whenever application shall be made to the Governor by or on behalf of any person desiring to be relieved, in whole or in part, of any such fine or penalty, the petition, answer, certificate of facts, and opinion of the court provided for in §§ 19.2-364, 19.2-365 and 19.2-366, duly authenticated by the clerk of the court, shall accompany the application, which shall be in writing. In all cases in which the Governor shall remit a fine or penalty he shall issue his order to the clerk of the court by which such fine or penalty was imposed; or if such fine or penalty was imposed by a court not of record, to the clerk of the circuit court of the county or city in which the judge of such court not of record holds office, and such court shall, at its next term, or immediately, if then in session, cause such order to be spread upon the law order book of its court; and the clerk of such court shall immediately, upon the receipt of such order, mark the judgment for such fine or penalty, and costs, or so much thereof as the person may have been relieved of, "remitted by the Governor," upon the Judgment Lien Docket of the court of the county or city in which it may have been recorded. The Governor shall communicate to the General Assembly at each session the particulars of every case of fine or penalty remitted, with his reason for remitting the same.

Code 1950, § 19.1-357; 1960, c. 366; 1975, c. 495.