Code of Virginia

Creating a Report: Check the sections you'd like to appear in the report, then use the "Create Report" button at the bottom of the page to generate your report. Once the report is generated you'll then have the option to download it as a pdf, print or email the report.

Code of Virginia
Title 19.2. Criminal Procedure
Subtitle .
Chapter 5. Search Warrants
12/9/2022

Chapter 5. Search Warrants.

§ 19.2-52. When search warrant may issue.

Except as provided in § 19.2-56.1, search warrants, based upon complaint on oath supported by an affidavit as required in § 19.2-54, may be issued by any judge, magistrate or other person having authority to issue criminal warrants, if he be satisfied from such complaint and affidavit that there is reasonable and probable cause for the issuance of such search warrant.

An application for a search warrant to withdraw blood from a person suspected of violating § 18.2-266, 18.2-266.1, 18.2-272, 29.1-738, 29.1-738.02, or 46.2-341.24 shall be given priority over any pending matters not involving an imminent risk to another's health or safety before such judge, magistrate, or other person having authority to issue criminal warrants.

Code 1950, § 19.1-83; 1960, c. 366; 1975, c. 495; 1986, c. 636; 2017, cc. 623, 673.

§ 19.2-53. What may be searched and seized.

A. Search warrants may be issued for the search of or for specified places, things or persons, and seizure therefrom of the following things as specified in the warrant:

1. Weapons or other objects used in the commission of crime;

2. Articles or things the sale or possession of which is unlawful;

3. Stolen property or the fruits of any crime;

4. Any object, thing, or person, including without limitation, documents, books, papers, records or body fluids, constituting evidence of the commission of crime; or

5. Any person to be arrested for whom a warrant or process for arrest has been issued.

Notwithstanding any other provision in this chapter to the contrary, no search warrant may be issued as a substitute for a witness subpoena.

B. Any search warrant issued for the search and seizure of a computer, computer network, or other device containing electronic or digital information shall be deemed to include the search and seizure of the physical components and the electronic or digital information contained in any such computer, computer network, or other device.

C. Any search, including the search of the contents of any computer, computer network, or other device conducted pursuant to subsection B, may be conducted in any location and is not limited to the location where the evidence was seized.

Code 1950, § 19.1-84; 1960, c. 366; 1962, c. 519; 1966, c. 363; 1970, c. 650; 1974, c. 113; 1975, c. 495; 1981, c. 559; 2015, c. 501; 2017, cc. 233, 242.

§ 19.2-53.1. Taking blood samples pursuant to search warrant; immunity.

No cause of action shall lie in any court against any person authorized by law to withdraw blood pursuant to a search warrant issued in accordance with § 19.2-53 when that person is acting in accordance with such warrant, except in cases of negligence in the withdrawing of blood or willful misconduct.

2015, c. 425.

§ 19.2-54. Affidavit preliminary to issuance of search warrant; general search warrant prohibited; effect of failure to file affidavit.

No search warrant shall be issued until there is filed with the officer authorized to issue the same an affidavit of some person reasonably describing the place, thing, or person to be searched, the things or persons to be searched for thereunder, alleging briefly material facts, constituting the probable cause for the issuance of such warrant and alleging substantially the offense or the identity of the person to be arrested for whom a warrant or process for arrest has been issued in relation to which such search is to be made and that the object, thing, or person searched for constitutes evidence of the commission of such offense or is the person to be arrested for whom a warrant or process for arrest has been issued. The affidavit may be filed by electronically transmitted (i) facsimile process or (ii) electronic record as defined in § 59.1-480. Such affidavit shall be certified by the officer who issues such warrant and delivered in person; mailed by certified mail, return receipt requested; or delivered by electronically transmitted facsimile process or by use of filing and security procedures as defined in the Uniform Electronic Transactions Act (§ 59.1-479 et seq.) for transmitting signed documents, by such officer or his designee or agent, to the clerk of the circuit court of the county or city wherein the search is made, within seven days after the issuance of such warrant and shall by such clerk be preserved as a record and shall at all times be subject to inspection by the public after the warrant that is the subject of the affidavit has been executed or 15 days after issuance of the warrant, whichever is earlier; however, such affidavit, any warrant issued pursuant thereto, any return made thereon, and any order sealing the affidavit, warrant, or return may be temporarily sealed for a specific period of time by the appropriate court upon application of the attorney for the Commonwealth for good cause shown in an ex parte hearing. Any individual arrested and claiming to be aggrieved by such search and seizure or any person who claims to be entitled to lawful possession of such property seized may move the appropriate court for the unsealing of such affidavit, warrant, and return. The burden of proof with respect to continued sealing shall be upon the Commonwealth. Each such clerk shall maintain an index of all such affidavits filed in his office in order to facilitate inspection. No such warrant shall be issued on an affidavit omitting such essentials, and no general warrant for the search of a house, place, compartment, vehicle or baggage shall be issued. The term "affidavit" as used in this section, means statements made under oath or affirmation and preserved verbatim.

Failure of the officer issuing such warrant to file the required affidavit shall not invalidate any search made under the warrant unless such failure shall continue for a period of 30 days. If the affidavit is filed prior to the expiration of the 30-day period, nevertheless, evidence obtained in any such search shall not be admissible until a reasonable time after the filing of the required affidavit.

Code 1950, § 19.1-85; 1960, c. 366; 1973, c. 502; 1975, c. 495; 1976, c. 552; 1977, c. 109; 1979, c. 583; 1980, c. 362; 1981, c. 559; 1989, c. 719; 2006, c. 285; 2007, c. 212; 2008, cc. 147, 183; 2011, cc. 196, 219; 2012, c. 5; 2017, cc. 228, 233, 242, 641.

§ 19.2-55. Issuing general search warrant or search warrant without affidavit deemed malfeasance.

Any person having authority to issue criminal warrants who wilfully and knowingly issues a general search warrant or a search warrant without the affidavit required by § 19.2-54 shall be deemed guilty of a malfeasance.

Code 1950, § 19.1-89; 1960, c. 366; 1975, c. 495.

§ 19.2-56. To whom search warrant directed; what it shall command; warrant to show date and time of issuance; copy of affidavit to be part of warrant and served therewith; warrants not executed within 15 days.

A. The judge, magistrate, or other official authorized to issue criminal warrants shall issue a search warrant only if he finds from the facts or circumstances recited in the affidavit that there is probable cause for the issuance thereof.

Every search warrant shall be directed (i) to the sheriff, sergeant, or any policeman of the county, city, or town in which the place to be searched is located; (ii) to any law-enforcement officer or agent employed by the Commonwealth and vested with the powers of sheriffs and police; or (iii) jointly to any such sheriff, sergeant, policeman, or law-enforcement officer or agent and an agent, special agent, or officer of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms of the United States Treasury, the United States Naval Criminal Investigative Service, the United States Department of Homeland Security, any inspector, law-enforcement official, or police personnel of the United States Postal Service, or the Drug Enforcement Administration. The warrant shall (a) name the affiant, (b) recite the offense or the identity of the person to be arrested for whom a warrant or process for arrest has been issued in relation to which the search is to be made, (c) name or describe the place to be searched, (d) describe the property or person to be searched for, and (e) recite that the magistrate has found probable cause to believe that the property or person constitutes evidence of a crime (identified in the warrant) or tends to show that a person (named or described therein) has committed or is committing a crime or that the person to be arrested for whom a warrant or process for arrest has been issued is located at the place to be searched.

The warrant shall command that the place be forthwith searched and that the objects or persons described in the warrant, if found there, be seized. An inventory shall be produced before a court having jurisdiction of the offense or over the person to be arrested for whom a warrant or process for arrest has been issued in relation to which the warrant was issued as provided in § 19.2-57.

Any such warrant as provided in this section shall be executed by the policeman or other law-enforcement officer or agent into whose hands it shall come or be delivered. If the warrant is directed jointly to a sheriff, sergeant, policeman, or law-enforcement officer or agent of the Commonwealth and a federal agent or officer as otherwise provided in this section, the warrant may be executed jointly or by the policeman, law-enforcement officer, or agent into whose hands it is delivered. No other person may be permitted to be present during or participate in the execution of a warrant to search a place except (1) the owners and occupants of the place to be searched when permitted to be present by the officer in charge of the conduct of the search and (2) persons designated by the officer in charge of the conduct of the search to assist or provide expertise in the conduct of the search.

Any search warrant for records or other information pertaining to a subscriber to, or customer of, an electronic communication service or remote computing service, whether a domestic corporation or foreign corporation, that is transacting or has transacted any business in the Commonwealth, to be executed upon such service provider may be executed within or outside the Commonwealth by hand, United States mail, commercial delivery service, facsimile, or other electronic means upon the service provider. Notwithstanding the provisions of § 19.2-57, the officer executing a warrant pursuant to this paragraph shall endorse the date of execution thereon and shall file the warrant, with the inventory attached (or a notation that no property was seized) and the accompanying affidavit, unless such affidavit was made by voice or videotape recording, within three days after the materials ordered to be produced are received by the officer from the service provider. The return shall be made in the circuit court clerk's office for the jurisdiction wherein the warrant was (A) executed, if executed within the Commonwealth, and a copy of the return shall also be delivered to the clerk of the circuit court of the county or city where the warrant was issued or (B) issued, if executed outside the Commonwealth. Saturdays, Sundays, or any federal or state legal holiday shall not be used in computing the three-day filing period.

Electronic communication service or remote computing service providers, whether a foreign or domestic corporation, shall also provide the contents of electronic communications pursuant to a search warrant issued under this section and § 19.2-70.3 using the same process described in the preceding paragraph.

Notwithstanding the provisions of § 19.2-57, any search warrant for records or other information pertaining to a customer of a financial institution as defined in § 6.2-604, money transmitter as defined in § 6.2-1900, commercial business providing credit history or credit reports, or issuer as defined in § 6.2-424 may be executed within the Commonwealth by hand, United States mail, commercial delivery service, facsimile, or other electronic means upon the financial institution, money transmitter, commercial business providing credit history or credit reports, or issuer. The officer executing such warrant shall endorse the date of execution thereon and shall file the warrant, with the inventory attached (or a notation that no property was seized) and the accompanying affidavit, unless such affidavit was made by voice or videotape recording, within three days after the materials ordered to be produced are received by the officer from the financial institution, money transmitter, commercial business providing credit history or credit reports, or issuer. The return shall be made in the circuit court clerk's office for the jurisdiction wherein the warrant was executed. Saturdays, Sundays, or any federal or state legal holiday shall not be used in computing the three-day filing period. For the purposes of this section, the warrant will be considered executed in the jurisdiction where the entity on which the warrant is served is located.

Every search warrant shall contain the date and time it was issued. However, the failure of any such search warrant to contain the date and time it was issued shall not render the warrant void, provided that the date and time of issuing of said warrant is established by competent evidence.

The judge, magistrate, or other official authorized to issue criminal warrants shall attach a copy of the affidavit required by § 19.2-54, which shall become a part of the search warrant and served therewith. However, this provision shall not be applicable in any case in which the affidavit is made by means of a voice or videotape recording or where the affidavit has been sealed pursuant to § 19.2-54.

Any search warrant not executed within 15 days after issuance thereof shall be returned to, and voided by, the officer who issued such search warrant.

B. No law-enforcement officer shall seek, execute, or participate in the execution of a no-knock search warrant. A search warrant for any place of abode authorized under this section shall require that a law-enforcement officer be recognizable and identifiable as a uniformed law-enforcement officer and provide audible notice of his authority and purpose reasonably designed to be heard by the occupants of such place to be searched prior to the execution of such search warrant.

After entering and securing the place to be searched and prior to undertaking any search or seizure pursuant to the search warrant, the executing law-enforcement officer shall give a copy of the search warrant and affidavit to the person to be searched or the owner of the place to be searched or, if the owner is not present, to at least one adult occupant of the place to be searched. If the place to be searched is unoccupied by an adult, the executing law-enforcement officer shall leave a copy of the search warrant and affidavit in a conspicuous place within or affixed to the place to be searched.

Search warrants authorized under this section for the search of any place of abode shall be executed by initial entry of the abode only in the daytime hours between 8:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. unless (i) a judge or a magistrate, if a judge is not available, authorizes the execution of such search warrant at another time for good cause shown by particularized facts in an affidavit or (ii) prior to the issuance of the search warrant, law-enforcement officers lawfully entered and secured the place to be searched and remained at such place continuously.

A law-enforcement officer shall make reasonable efforts to locate a judge before seeking authorization to execute the warrant at another time, unless circumstances require the issuance of the warrant after 5:00 p.m., pursuant to the provisions of this subsection, in which case the law-enforcement officer may seek such authorization from a magistrate without first making reasonable efforts to locate a judge. Such reasonable efforts shall be documented in an affidavit and submitted to a magistrate when seeking such authorization.

Any evidence obtained from a search warrant executed in violation of this subsection shall not be admitted into evidence for the Commonwealth in any prosecution.

C. For the purposes of this section:

"Foreign corporation" means any corporation or other entity, whose primary place of business is located outside of the boundaries of the Commonwealth, that makes a contract or engages in a terms of service agreement with a resident of the Commonwealth to be performed in whole or in part by either party in the Commonwealth, or a corporation that has been issued a certificate of authority pursuant to § 13.1-759 to transact business in the Commonwealth. The making of the contract or terms of service agreement or the issuance of a certificate of authority shall be considered to be the agreement of the foreign corporation or entity that a search warrant or subpoena, which has been properly served on it, has the same legal force and effect as if served personally within the Commonwealth.

"Properly served" means delivery of a search warrant or subpoena by hand, by United States mail, by commercial delivery service, by facsimile or by any other manner to any officer of a corporation or its general manager in the Commonwealth, to any natural person designated by it as agent for the service of process, or if such corporation has designated a corporate agent, to any person named in the latest annual report filed pursuant to § 13.1-775.

Code 1950, § 19.1-86; 1960, c. 366; 1968, c. 572; 1975, c. 495; 1977, c. 289; 1979, c. 584; 1980, c. 573; 1981, c. 559; 1984, cc. 491, 598; 1988, c. 50; 1989, c. 719; 2000, c. 783; 2001, cc. 183, 205; 2007, c. 416; 2009, c. 725; 2015, cc. 75, 126; 2017, cc. 228, 233, 242, 641; 2018, c. 410; 2020, Sp. Sess. I, cc. 31, 37; 2021, Sp. Sess. I, c. 34; 2022, c. 403.

§ 19.2-56.1. Warrant issued for search of attorney's office.

A. Any warrant sought for the search of a premises or the contents thereof belonging to or under the control of any licensed attorney-at-law to search for evidence of any crime solely involving a client of such attorney shall be issued only by a circuit court judge. Any evidence seized pursuant to this section shall be inventoried forthwith by the clerk of the issuing court and sealed by the issuing judge. As soon thereafter as is practicable, the issuing judge shall conduct an in camera inspection of the seized evidence in the presence of the attorney from whom the evidence was seized. Following such inspection the issuing judge shall return any evidence so seized which is determined to be within the scope of the attorney-client privilege and not otherwise subject to seizure.

B. Nothing herein shall bar the standing of the client to challenge the admissibility of any evidence seized pursuant to this section in any trial or proceeding.

1986, c. 636.

§ 19.2-56.2. Application for and issuance of search warrant for a tracking device; installation and use.

A. As used in this section, unless the context requires a different meaning:

"Judicial officer" means a judge, magistrate, or other person authorized to issue criminal warrants.

"Law-enforcement officer" shall have the same meaning as in § 9.1-101.

"Tracking device" means an electronic or mechanical device that permits a person to remotely determine or track the position or movement of a person or object. "Tracking device" includes devices that store geographic data for subsequent access or analysis and devices that allow for the real-time monitoring of movement.

"Use of a tracking device" includes the installation, maintenance, and monitoring of a tracking device but does not include the interception of wire, electronic, or oral communications or the capture, collection, monitoring, or viewing of images.

B. A law-enforcement officer may apply for a search warrant from a judicial officer to permit the use of a tracking device. Each application for a search warrant authorizing the use of a tracking device shall be made in writing, upon oath or affirmation, to a judicial officer for the circuit in which the tracking device is to be installed, or where there is probable cause to believe the offense for which the tracking device is sought has been committed, is being committed, or will be committed.

The law-enforcement officer shall submit an affidavit, which may be filed by electronically transmitted (i) facsimile process or (ii) electronic record as defined in § 59.1-480, and shall include:

1. The identity of the applicant and the identity of the law-enforcement agency conducting the investigation;

2. The identity of the vehicle, container, item, or object to which, in which, or on which the tracking device is to be attached, placed, or otherwise installed; the name of the owner or possessor of the vehicle, container, item, or object described, if known; and the jurisdictional area in which the vehicle, container, item, or object described is expected to be found, if known;

3. Material facts constituting the probable cause for the issuance of the search warrant and alleging substantially the offense in relation to which such tracking device is to be used and a showing that probable cause exists that the information likely to be obtained will be evidence of the commission of such offense; and

4. The name of the county or city where there is probable cause to believe the offense for which the tracking device is sought has been committed, is being committed, or will be committed.

C. 1. If the judicial officer finds, based on the affidavit submitted, that there is probable cause to believe that a crime has been committed, is being committed, or will be committed and that there is probable cause to believe the information likely to be obtained from the use of the tracking device will be evidence of the commission of such offense, the judicial officer shall issue a search warrant authorizing the use of the tracking device. The search warrant shall authorize the use of the tracking device from within the Commonwealth to track a person or property for a reasonable period of time, not to exceed 30 days from the issuance of the search warrant. The search warrant shall authorize the collection of the tracking data contained in or obtained from the tracking device but shall not authorize the interception of wire, electronic, or oral communications or the capture, collection, monitoring, or viewing of images.

2. The affidavit shall be certified by the judicial officer who issues the search warrant and shall be delivered to and preserved as a record by the clerk of the circuit court of the county or city where there is probable cause to believe the offense for which the tracking device has been sought has been committed, is being committed, or will be committed. The affidavit shall be delivered by the judicial officer or his designee or agent in person; mailed by certified mail, return receipt requested; or delivered by electronically transmitted facsimile process or by use of filing and security procedures as defined in the Uniform Electronic Transactions Act (§ 59.1-479 et seq.) for transmitting signed documents.

3. By operation of law, the affidavit, search warrant, return, and any other related materials or pleadings shall be sealed. Upon motion of the Commonwealth or the owner or possessor of the vehicle, container, item, or object that was tracked, the circuit court may unseal such documents if it appears that the unsealing is consistent with the ends of justice or is necessary to reasonably inform such person of the nature of the evidence to be presented against him or to adequately prepare for his defense.

4. The circuit court may, for good cause shown, grant one or more extensions, not to exceed 30 days each.

D. 1. The search warrant shall command the law-enforcement officer to complete the installation authorized by the search warrant within 15 days after issuance of the search warrant.

2. The law-enforcement officer executing the search warrant shall enter on it the exact date and time the device was installed and the period during which it was used.

3. Law-enforcement officers shall be permitted to monitor the tracking device during the period authorized in the search warrant, unless the period is extended as provided for in this section.

4. Law-enforcement officers shall remove the tracking device as soon as practical, but not later than 10 days after the use of the tracking device has ended. Upon request, and for good cause shown, the circuit court may grant one or more extensions for such removal for a period not to exceed 10 days each.

5. In the event that law-enforcement officers are unable to remove the tracking device as required by subdivision 4, the law-enforcement officers shall disable the device, if possible, and all use of the tracking device shall cease.

6. Within 10 days after the use of the tracking device has ended, the executed search warrant shall be returned to the circuit court of the county or city where there is probable cause to believe the offense for which the tracking device has been sought has been committed, is being committed, or will be committed, as designated in the search warrant, where it shall be preserved as a record by the clerk of the circuit court.

E. Within 10 days after the use of the tracking device has ended, a copy of the executed search warrant shall be served on the person who was tracked and the person whose property was tracked. Service may be accomplished by delivering a copy to the person who, or whose property, was tracked or by leaving a copy with any individual found at the person's usual place of abode who is a member of the person's family, other than a temporary sojourner or guest, and who is 16 years of age or older and by mailing a copy to the person's last known address. Upon request, and for good cause shown, the circuit court may grant one or more extensions for such service for a period not to exceed 30 days each. Good cause shall include, but not be limited to, a continuing criminal investigation, the potential for intimidation, the endangerment of an individual, or the preservation of evidence.

F. The disclosure or publication, without authorization of a circuit court, by a court officer, law-enforcement officer, or other person responsible for the administration of this section of the existence of a search warrant issued pursuant to this section, application for such search warrant, any affidavit filed in support of such warrant, or any return or data obtained as a result of such search warrant that is sealed by operation of law is punishable as a Class 1 misdemeanor.

2012, cc. 636, 679; 2018, cc. 84, 215.

§ 19.2-57. Execution and return of warrant; list of property seized.

The warrant shall be executed by the search of the place described in the warrant and, if property described in the warrant is found there, by the seizure of the property. The officer who seizes any property shall prepare an inventory thereof, under oath. An inventory of any seized property shall be produced before the circuit court of the county or city where the search was conducted. The officer executing the warrant shall endorse the date of execution thereon and the officer or his designee shall file the warrant, with the inventory attached (or a notation that no property was seized) and the accompanying affidavit, unless such affidavit was made by voice or videotape recording, within three days after the execution of such search warrant in the circuit court clerk's office, wherein the search was made, as provided in § 19.2-54. Saturdays, Sundays, or any federal or state legal holiday shall not be used in computing the three-day filing period. The officer, or his designee or agent, may file the warrant, inventory, and accompanying affidavit by delivering them in person, or by mailing them certified mail, return receipt requested, or delivering them by electronically transmitted facsimile process.

Code 1950, § 19.1-87.1; 1970, c. 416; 1973, c. 11; 1975, c. 495; 1976, cc. 142, 552; 1977, c. 109; 1980, c. 573; 1984, c. 491; 2008, cc. 147, 183.

§ 19.2-58. Disposition of property seized.

If any such warrant be executed by the seizure of property, or of any other of the things aforesaid, the same shall be safely kept by the direction of such judge or court, to be used as evidence, and thereafter be disposed of as provided by law; provided, however, that any such property seized under such warrant which is not used in evidence and any property which is stolen or embezzled property shall be restored to its owner, and the things mentioned in § 19.2-53 may be burnt or otherwise destroyed, under such direction, as soon as there is no further need for its use as evidence unless it is otherwise expressly provided by law.

Code 1950, § 19.1-87; 1960, c. 366; 1975, c. 495.

§ 19.2-59. Search without warrant prohibited; when search without warrant lawful.

No officer of the law or any other person shall search any place, thing or person, except by virtue of and under a warrant issued by a proper officer. Any officer or other person searching any place, thing or person otherwise than by virtue of and under a search warrant, shall be guilty of malfeasance in office. Any officer or person violating the provisions of this section shall be liable to any person aggrieved thereby in both compensatory and punitive damages. Any officer found guilty of a second offense under this section shall, upon conviction thereof, immediately forfeit his office, and such finding shall be deemed to create a vacancy in such office to be filled according to law.

Provided, however, that any officer empowered to enforce the game laws or marine fisheries laws as set forth in Title 28.2 may without a search warrant enter for the purpose of enforcing such laws, any freight yard or room, passenger depot, baggage room or warehouse, storage room or warehouse, train, baggage car, passenger car, express car, Pullman car or freight car of any common carrier, or any boat, automobile or other vehicle; but nothing in this proviso contained shall be construed to permit a search of any occupied berth or compartment on any passenger car or boat or any baggage, bag, trunk, box or other closed container without a search warrant.

Code 1950, § 19.1-88; 1960, c. 366; 1975, c. 495; 1976, c. 293; 1978, c. 721; 1997, c. 147.

§ 19.2-59.1. Strip searches prohibited; exceptions; how strip searches conducted.

A. No person in custodial arrest for a traffic infraction, Class 3 or Class 4 misdemeanor, or a violation of a city, county, or town ordinance, which is punishable by no more than 30 days in jail shall be strip searched unless there is reasonable cause to believe on the part of a law-enforcement officer authorizing the search that the individual is concealing a weapon. All strip searches conducted under this section shall be performed by persons of the same sex as the person arrested and on premises where the search cannot be observed by persons not physically conducting the search.

B. A regional jail superintendent or the chief of police or the sheriff of the county or city shall develop a written policy regarding strip searches.

C. A search of any body cavity must be performed under sanitary conditions and a search of any body cavity, other than the mouth, shall be conducted either by or under the supervision of medically trained personnel.

D. Strip searches authorized pursuant to the exceptions stated in subsection A shall be conducted by a law-enforcement officer as defined in § 9.1-101.

E. The provisions of this section shall not apply when the person is taken into custody by or remanded to a law-enforcement officer pursuant to a circuit or district court order.

F. For purposes of this section, "strip search" means having an arrested person remove or arrange some or all of his clothing so as to permit a visual inspection of the genitals, buttocks, anus, female breasts, or undergarments of such person.

G. Nothing in this section shall prohibit a sheriff or a regional jail superintendent from requiring that inmates take hot water and soap showers and be subjected to visual inspection upon assignment to the general population area of the jail or upon determination by the sheriff or regional jail superintendent that the inmate must be held at the jail by reason of his inability to post bond after reasonable opportunity to do so.

H. Except for children committed to the Department of Juvenile Justice or confined or detained in a secure local facility for juveniles or a jail or other facility for the detention of adults and except as provided in subsection E, no child under the age of 18 shall be strip searched or subjected to a search of any body cavity by a law-enforcement officer, as defined in § 9.1-101, or a jail officer unless the child is in custodial arrest and there is reasonable cause to believe on the part of a law-enforcement officer or jail officer authorizing the search that the child is concealing a weapon.

1981, c. 608; 1995, c. 112; 2020, c. 1236.

§ 19.2-60. Motion for return of seized property and to suppress.

A person aggrieved by an allegedly unlawful search or seizure may move the court to return any seized property and to suppress it for use as evidence. The court shall receive evidence on any issue of fact necessary to the decision of the motion. If the motion is granted by a court of record, any seized property shall be restored as soon as practicable unless otherwise subject to lawful detention, and such property shall not be admissible in evidence at any hearing or trial. If the motion is granted by a court not of record, such property shall not be admissible in evidence at any hearing or trial before that court, but the ruling shall have no effect on any hearing or trial in a court of record.

1975, c. 495.

§ 19.2-60.1. Use of unmanned aircraft systems by public bodies; search warrant required.

A. As used in this section, unless the context requires a different meaning:

"Unmanned aircraft" means an aircraft that is operated without the possibility of human intervention from within or on the aircraft.

"Unmanned aircraft system" means an unmanned aircraft and associated elements, including communication links, sensing devices, and the components that control the unmanned aircraft.

B. No state or local government department, agency, or instrumentality having jurisdiction over criminal law enforcement or regulatory violations, including but not limited to the Department of State Police, and no department of law enforcement as defined in § 15.2-836 of any county, city, or town shall utilize an unmanned aircraft system except during the execution of a search warrant issued pursuant to this chapter or an administrative or inspection warrant issued pursuant to law.

C. Notwithstanding the prohibition in this section, an unmanned aircraft system may be deployed without a warrant (i) when an Amber Alert is activated pursuant to § 52-34.3; (ii) when a Senior Alert is activated pursuant to § 52-34.6; (iii) when a Blue Alert is activated pursuant to § 52-34.9; (iv) where use of an unmanned aircraft system is determined to be necessary to alleviate an immediate danger to any person; (v) by a law-enforcement officer following an accident where a report is required pursuant to § 46.2-373, to survey the scene of such accident for the purpose of crash reconstruction and record the scene by photographic or video images; (vi) by the Department of Transportation when assisting a law-enforcement officer to prepare a report pursuant to § 46.2-373; (vii) for training exercises related to such uses; (viii) if a person with legal authority consents to the warrantless search; or (ix) by a law-enforcement officer to (a) aerially survey a primary residence of the subject of the arrest warrant to formulate a plan to execute an existing arrest warrant or capias for a felony offense or (b) locate a person sought for arrest when such person has fled from a law-enforcement officer and a law-enforcement officer remains in hot pursuit of such person.

D. The warrant requirements of this section shall not apply when such systems are utilized to support the Commonwealth or any locality for purposes other than law enforcement, including damage assessment, traffic assessment, flood stage assessment, and wildfire assessment. Nothing herein shall prohibit use of unmanned aircraft systems for private, commercial, or recreational use or solely for research and development purposes by institutions of higher education and other research organizations or institutions.

E. Evidence obtained through the utilization of an unmanned aircraft system in violation of this section is not admissible in any criminal or civil proceeding.

F. In no case may a weaponized unmanned aircraft system be deployed in the Commonwealth or its use facilitated in the Commonwealth by a state or local government department, agency, or instrumentality or department of law enforcement in the Commonwealth except in operations at the Space Port and Naval/Aegis facilities at Wallops Island.

G. Nothing herein shall apply to the Armed Forces of the United States or the Virginia National Guard while utilizing unmanned aircraft systems during training required to maintain readiness for its federal mission or when facilitating training for other U.S. Department of Defense units.

2015, cc. 764, 774; 2018, cc. 419, 546, 654; 2019, c. 781.