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Criminal Law

Hiring a Criminal Defense Attorney

Once a person has been charged with a criminal offense he/she faces numerous life-altering legal consequences if he/she is convicted. State laws are very harsh, and criminal convictions can result in serious penalties such as jail time, fines, probation, community service, and court-ordered treatment. These penalties can be enhanced or prolonged if the person has prior criminal offenses or if the person committed a felony. With the legal penalties being so severe, it is important that people who are facing criminal charges speak with a reputable criminal defense attorney.

When a person is facing a criminal conviction in any state, it is usually in his/her best interest to obtain the services of a skilled criminal defense attorney. By hiring a criminal defense attorney, a person ensures that his/her rights will remain protected and that he/she receives knowledgeable legal counsel. A criminal defense attorney can inform a person of his/her legal options, negotiate charges and sentences with leading prosecutors, and challenge evidence presented in court.


What To Do If You Are Arrested?

It happens to all of us. One second we’re driving down the road, the next second there is a flashing light and a siren behind us. Although these encounters, and the cases that evolve from them, are rarely pleasant, they don’t have to be unpleasant or nightmarish. Here are some tips to keep in mind if one ever happens to you.

1. Do not discuss the facts of your case with anyone except your lawyer, ever. You have the absolute right, protected by the Constitution, to remain silent. Take advantage of it. You do not have to say anything and saying something is almost always a bad idea. That includes your family and friends. Anything you say to them could come back to haunt you if your case ever went to trial. The only person you can talk to with guaranteed confidentiality is your lawyer.

2. “Innocent until proven guilty” isn’t just a cool catch-phrase it’s the law. The Commonwealth has to prove you did it; you do not have to prove you didn’t. You do not have to convince the officer or the judge that you weren’t speeding, it is up to the Commonwealth to prove that you were. Don’t help them by trying to prove something that you don’t have to prove.

3. If a police officer asks to search you or your car, you do not have to say yes. A police officer can be an intimidating presence. It’s hard to say no when he/she asks to search your car or your purse. But you can. If he asks, “Do you mind if I search your trunk?” You have every right to say “Yes I do mind. Please don’t”. Even worse don’t say anything like: “Gee Officer, I don’t have anything on me; see for yourself”. Bad idea.

4. Keep your hands where the police officer can see them — 10 and 2 on the steering wheel is best. The Officer who stops you doesn’t know you from Charles Manson and he wants to go home at the end of his workday, just like you do. Don’t give him any reason to be nervous about safety. Make sure the officer knows where your hands are at all times. Don’t use those minutes when he’s sitting in his squad car running your plates to reach into your glove box to find your registration. For all he knows, you may be reaching for a gun.

5. Be polite. You may believe that you have done absolutely nothing wrong and you may believe that the officer stopped you for any of a number of dishonorable reasons. But the street is no place to argue about those reasons. You may not know all of the facts that the officer had at his disposal when he decided to pull you over. Maybe someone driving a car just like yours was just seen accosting a minor. You would have no way of knowing that, but the officer would. If the stop was indeed improper or illegal, then you and your lawyer can help the judge reach that conclusion later on in court and then, by all means, hold the officer accountable. But don’t take the officer on at the scene. It will always end badly for you if you do. It is impressive how many additional officers can come out of the woodwork if you become a problem. So being polite means being safe.

Most importantly, if the police officer takes you into custody, do not say anything to him about your case or the facts of your case. Retain the services of an experienced criminal defense lawyer immediately. He or she will be the only person guaranteed to be on your side when your freedom is at stake.


Different Crimes

Crimes often result in severe penalties that can change a person’s life forever, especially if they are not a citizen of the United States. If you’ve been arrested and charged with a crime, it is crucial to hire an experienced criminal defense attorney who will fight aggressively on your behalf. Thoronka Law Offices represents individuals who have been charged with crimes in Virginia charged with:

    • Alcohol-related Crimes
    • Assault and Battery
    • Arson
    • Bribery
    • Carjacking
    • Concealed Weapon Offenses
    • Child Abuse
    • Domestic Violence
    • Drug-related Crimes
    • -Drug Possession
    • -Drug Smuggling
    • -Drug Trafficking
    • Embezzlement
    • Extortion
    • Felony Firearm
    • Fighting
    • Firearm Possession
    • Forgery
    • Fraud
    • Hate Crimes
    • Motor Vehicle & Traffic Crimes
    • -Hit and Run
    • -Joyriding
    • -Suspended or Revoked License
    • -Vehicular Manslaughter
    • Property Crimes
    • Prostitution
    • Rape
    • Receiving & Concealing Stolen Property
    • Stalking
    • Theft
    • -Identity Theft
    • -Grand Theft
    • -Larceny
    • -Petty Theft

    Alcohol-related Crimes


    Driving Under the Influence of Alcohol and Drugs: When operating a motor vehicle, boat or watercraft in Virginia, you are legally considered driving or operating under the influence (DUI) if your blood alcohol content (BAC) is 0.08 percent or higher. You may be considered under the influence with a lower BAC if your ability to operate a motor vehicle, boat or water craft is impaired. If your driving is affected because you are under the influence of any drug, you may face the same penalties as driving under the influence of alcohol.

    If you are involved in a motor vehicle crash and a law enforcement officer has probable cause, you can be arrested for DUI within three hours of the crash without a warrant and at any location.

    If you are arrested for DUI a third or subsequent time within a five-year period, you will not be granted bail while you wait to go to trial.

    All DUI laws apply to mopeds operated on public highways.

    Open Container: You may be charged with drinking while operating a motor vehicle if you are stopped by law enforcement and you have an open container of alcohol in the passenger area, the contents of which have been partially removed, and you exhibit signs that you have been drinking. The passenger area refers to the area designed to seat the driver and passengers and any area within the driver’s reach, including an unlocked glove compartment.

    License Suspension (ALS): For a first DUI offense and/or breath test refusal, your driver’s license will be automatically suspended for seven days if your BAC is 0.08 percent or higher. For a second DUI offense and/or breath test refusal, your license will be automatically suspended for 60 days or until you go to trial, whichever comes first. For a third DUI offense and/or breath test refusal, your license will be automatically suspended until you go to trial. Conviction of a DUI offense will result in suspension of your driver’s license and other penalties in addition to the administrative suspension.

    Breath Test Refusal: By operating a vehicle on Virginia highways, you have consented to a breath or blood test upon arrest for DUI. If you unreasonably refuse a breath or blood test, Virginia law requires the court to suspend your driver’s license for one year. A second breath or blood test refusal shall result in a three-year suspension. A second breath test refusal is also a Class 1 misdemeanor.

    If you are also convicted of DUI, the DUI driver’s license revocation period will run consecutively with the breath or blood test refusal revocation. You are not eligible for a restricted driver’s license during the suspension for a breath or blood test refusal.

    Penalties

    Conviction for DUI first offense
     Mandatory, minimum $250 fine
     Driver’s license revocation for one year

    Conviction for DUI second offense
     Mandatory, minimum $500 fine
     Driver’s license revocation for three years
     Possible jail term up to one year

    Conviction for DUI second offense within ten years of prior offense carries the following additional penalty
     Mandatory, minimum ten-day jail term.

    Conviction for DUI second offense within five years of prior offense carries the following additional penalty
     Mandatory, minimum 20-day jail term

    Three DUI convictions within a ten-year period
     Mandatory, indefinite driver’s license revocation
     If your driving privilege is revoked for a first or second DUI offense conviction and you receive another DUI, the license revocation period will run consecutively with the existing revocation period.

    Conviction for DUI third offense or DWI felony
     Mandatory, minimum $1,000 fine
     Mandatory indefinite driver’s license revocation
     Prosecution as a Class 6 felony

    Conviction for DUI third offense within five years carries the following additional penalty
     Mandatory, minimum six-month jail term

    Conviction for DUI third offense within ten years carries the following additional penalty
     Mandatory, minimum 90-day jail term
     Permanent forfeiture of your vehicle (if you are the sole owner)

    Conviction for DUI fourth or subsequent offense
     Mandatory, minimum one-year jail term

    BAC of 0.15% and not higher than 0.20% at the time of arrest
     First offense carries a mandatory, minimum five-day jail term in addition to all other penalties
     Second offense within ten years carries a mandatory, minimum ten-day jail term in addition to all other penalties

    BAC of 0.20% or higher at the time of arrest
     First offense carries a mandatory, minimum ten-day jail term in addition to all other penalties
     Second offense within ten years carries a mandatory, minimum 20-day jail term in addition to all other penalties

    Driving on a Suspended License: A third conviction within ten years for driving on a license suspended because of a DUI-related offense is a class 6 felony and carries a mandatory term of one to five years or a fine of $2,500 or both.

    Criminal Record: Any DUI offense will be reported to the Central Criminal Records Exchange by law enforcement at the time of your arrest. In other words, you could end up with a criminal record because of a DUI arrest.

    Zero Tolerance: If you are under age 21, you cannot purchase, possess or consume alcohol.

    If law enforcement stops you while driving after illegal consumption of alcohol, you are subject to administrative license suspension (ALS). If you are convicted of driving after illegally consuming alcohol and were found to have a BAC of 0.02 and less than 0.08, the court penalty will include a suspension of your driving privilege for one year from the date of conviction, and a minimum mandatory fine of $500, or the requirement that you complete at least 50 hours of community service.

    Regardless of age, if driving on a DUI suspended or restricted license, you may be charged with DUI if you drive with a BAC of 0.02 percent or higher.

    Equal Penalties for Under Age 21: Persons under age 21 who drive while under the influence of drugs or with a blood alcohol content of 0.08 percent or higher are subject to the same penalties as persons age 21 or older.

    Transporting Children While Under the Influence: Conviction of any DUI offense involving a juvenile passenger (age 17 or younger) in the vehicle at the time of the offense carries an additional mandatory five-day jail term in addition to all other fines and jail sentences. You may also be assessed an additional fine of at least $500 and up to $1,000. A second DUI offense with a juvenile (age 17 or younger) in the vehicle carries an additional 80-hour community service requirement in addition to all other fines and jail sentences.

    Ignition Interlock Device: If you are convicted of a DUI first offense, the court will require that you have an ignition interlock device installed on at least one vehicle and any vehicles you operate as a condition of restricted driving privileges.

    If the court does not require ignition interlock, DMV will require you to have an ignition interlock device installed on at least one vehicle and any vehicles you operate as a condition of restricted driving privileges.

    If you are convicted of the following:
     Convicted of a DUI second offense within ten years, or
     Convicted of a DUI third or subsequent offense within ten years
    the court will require that you have an ignition interlock device installed on every vehicle you own, co-own or operate as a condition of restricted driving privileges or full restoration of driving privileges:

    In the following cases:
     Convicted of a DUI second offense within ten years, or
     Convicted of a DUI third or subsequent offense within ten years, or
     Convicted of three separate DUI offenses within ten years
    DMV will require you to have an ignition interlock device installed as a condition of restricted driving privileges or full restoration of driving privileges, even if the court does not require it.

    Convictions for a first offense violation of the ignition interlock restriction or other restricted license provisions will result in a DMV revocation of your driving privilege for one year. Two or more convictions of violating restricted privileges will result in a three-year revocation. Restricted privileges will not be available during these revocation periods.

    Persons convicted of a DUI in a U. S. District Court are able to petition for restrictions in a General District Court in their residential jurisdictions. They are also subject to the above requirements.

    Alcohol Education Program: If you are convicted of DUI, you must report to an Alcohol Safety Action Program (ASAP) in your area for screening and probationary oversight to have your license reinstated. This process will determine the intervention services that are most appropriate. At your own expense, you may be assigned to an education program and/or referred to treatment. You will spend a minimum of 20 hours during a 10- week period in ASAP classes if you are assigned to education. Those convicted of a first offense will be on probation for a year. For a second or subsequent offense, three years probation is required. If ignition interlock is required, Virginia ASAP will monitor your compliance with the court’s requirements.

    Vehicle Impoundment: The vehicle you are driving will be immediately impounded or immobilized for 90 days if you are caught driving after your license has been suspended for an alcohol-related offense. The court can impound the vehicle for an additional 90 days following conviction. The owner of the vehicle impounded (other than the driver) may petition the court for release of the vehicle. Anyone who knowingly permits operation of their motor vehicle by a person known to have a revoked or suspended license for an alcohol-related offense can be charged with a Class 1 misdemeanor.

    Restitution: Depending on local ordinances, you may be liable (for up to $1,000) for the cost of law enforcement, emergency medical services, fire fighting and rescue personnel who respond to a crash or incident resulting from your DUI violation.

    Penalties for Providing Alcoholic Beverages to Persons Under Age 21: If you provide or sell alcoholic beverages to a person under age 21, intoxicated or ordered by a court to refrain from consuming alcohol, you are subject to a fine up to $2,500, 12 months in jail and mandatory suspension of your driver’s license for up to one year. These same penalties apply if you assist someone under age 21 in obtaining or purchasing alcohol.

    Penalties for Persons Under Age 21 Purchasing, Possessing or Consuming Alcohol: If you’re under age 21 and you purchase, possess and/or consume alcohol, you face a fine ranging from $500 to $2,500, up to 12 months in jail and mandatory suspension of your driver’s license for at least six months but not more than one year.

    Penalties for Possessing Alcohol Beverages at Public Schools: Drinking or possessing alcoholic beverages on public school grounds can result in a fine of up to $1,000 and up to six months in jail regardless of your age.

    Misrepresentation of Age: If you are under age 21 and you use or attempt to use an altered, fictitious or simulated document or student ID to establish a false age in an attempt to consume or purchase alcoholic beverages, you will:
     be fined at least $500 or, be required to perform at least 50 hours of community service
     face up to 12 months in jail and,
     face mandatory suspension of your drivers’s license for at least six months but not more than one year.

    Boating and Hunting Under the Influence: It’s unlawful to operate a boat or watercraft while under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs. It is also unlawful to hunt wildlife using a firearm, bow and arrow, or crossbow while under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs.


    Arson

    Any willful or malicious burning or attempting to burn, with or without intent to defraud, a dwelling house, public building, motor vehicle or aircraft, personal property of another, etc.


    Assault: An unlawful physical attack or threat of attack. Assaults may be classified as aggravated or simple. Rape, attempted rape, and sexual assaults are excluded from this category, as well as robbery and attempted robbery. The severity of assaults ranges from minor threats to nearly fatal incidents.

    A. Simple Assault: Attack without a weapon resulting either in no injury, minor injury (e.g., bruises, black eyes, cuts, scratches, or swelling), or an undetermined injury requiring fewer than two days of hospitalization. Also includes attempted assault without a weapon.

    With minor injury – An attack without a weapon resulting in injuries such as bruises, black eyes, cuts, or an undetermined injury requiring fewer than two days of hospitalization.

    Without injury – An attempted assault without a weapon but not resulting in injury.

    B. Aggravated Assault: An attack or attempted attack with a weapon, regardless of whether an injury occurred, and an attack without a weapon when serious injury results.

    With injury – An attack without a weapon when serious injury results or an attack with a weapon involving any injury. Serious injury includes broken bones, lost teeth, internal injuries, loss of consciousness, and any unspecified injury requiring two or more days of hospitalization.

    Threatened with a weapon – Threat or attempted attack by an offender armed with a gun, knife, or other object used as a weapon that does not result in victim injury.

    C. Crimes of Violence: Rape, sexual assault, personal robbery, or assault. This category includes both attempted and completed crimes. It does not include purse snatching and pocket picking. Murder is not measured by the National Crime Victimization Survey because of an inability to question the victim.

    Completed violence – The sum of all completed rapes, sexual assaults, robberies, and assaults. See individual crime types for definitions of completed crimes.

    Attempted/threatened violence – The unsuccessful attempt of rape, sexual assault, personal robbery, or assault. Includes attempted attacks or sexual assaults by means of verbal threats. See individual crime types for definitions of attempted crimes.


    Blackmail

    Threats to injure or accuse of crime.

    (1) Whoever, either verbally or by any written or printed communication, maliciously threatens to accuse or accuses another of any crime or offense, or threatens or commits any injury to the person, property, business, profession, calling or trade, or the profits and income of any business, profession, calling or trade of another, with intent thereby to extort money or any pecuniary advantage whatever, or with intent to compel the person so threatened to do any act against the person’s will or omit to do any lawful act, is guilty of a Class H felony.

    Threats to communicate derogatory information. Whoever maliciously threatens, with intent to extort money or any pecuniary advantage whatever, or with intent to compel the person so threatened to do any act against the person’s will, to disseminate or to communicate to anyone information, whether true or false, that would humiliate or injure the reputation of the threatened person or another is guilty of a Class I felony. For the purpose of this section, “information” includes any photograph, exposed film, motion picture, videotape, or data that represents a visual image, a sound recording, or any data that represents or produces an audio signal.


    Bribery

    Section 201 of Title 18 is entitled “Bribery of public officials and witnesses.” The statute comprises two distinct offenses, however, and in common parlance only the first of these is true “bribery.”

    The first offense, codified in section 201(b), prohibits the giving or accepting of anything of value to or by a public official, if the thing is given “with intent to influence” an official act, or if it is received by the official “in return for being influenced.”

    The second offense, codified in section 201(c), concerns what are commonly known as “gratuities,” although that word does not appear anywhere in the statute. Section 201(c) prohibits that same public official from accepting the same thing of value, if he does so “for or because of” any official act, and prohibits anyone from giving any such thing to him for such a reason.

    The specific subsections of the statute are:
    Bribery
    a. § 201(b)(1): offering a bribe to a public official
    b. § 201(b)(2): acceptance of a bribe by a public official

    Gratuities
    a. § 201(c)(1)(A): offering a gratuity to a public official
    b. § 201(c)(1)(B): acceptance of a gratuity by a public official.

    The two offenses differ in several respects. The most important of these differences concerns how close a connection there is between the giving (or receiving) of the thing of value, on the one hand, and the doing of the official act, on the other. If the connection is causally direct – if money was given essentially to purchase or ensure an official act, as a “quid pro quo” then the crime is bribery. If the connection is looser – if money was given after the fact, as “thanks” for an act but not in exchange for it, or if it was given with a nonspecific intent to “curry favor” with the public official to whom it was given -then it is a gratuity.

    The distinction is sometimes hard to see, but the statute makes it critical: a § 201(b) “bribe” conviction is punishable by up to 15 years in prison, while a § 201(c) “gratuity” conviction permits only a maximum 2-year sentence. In addition, with a “bribe” the payment may go to anyone or to anything and may include campaign contributions, while with a “gratuity” the payment must inure to the personal benefit of the public official and cannot include campaign contributions.


    Carjacking

    A. Any person who commits carjacking, as herein defined, shall be guilty of a felony punishable by imprisonment for life or a term not less than fifteen years.

    B. As used in this section, “carjacking” means the intentional seizure or seizure of control of a motor vehicle of another with intent to permanently or temporarily deprive another in possession or control of the vehicle of that possession or control by means of partial strangulation, or suffocation, or by striking or beating, or by other violence to the person, or by assault or otherwise putting a person in fear of serious bodily harm, or by the threat or presenting of firearms, or other deadly weapon or instrumentality whatsoever. “Motor vehicle” shall have the same meaning as set forth in § 46.2-100.

    C. The provisions of this section shall not preclude the applicability of any other provision of the criminal law of the Commonwealth which may apply to any course of conduct which violates this section.


    Child Abuse & Neglect

    Federal legislation provides guidance to States by identifying a minimum set of acts or behaviors that define child abuse and neglect. The Federal Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act (CAPTA) (42 U.S.C.A. § 5106g), as amended by the CAPTA Reauthorization Act of 2010, defines child abuse and neglect as, at minimum:

    * “Any recent act or failure to act on the part of a parent or caretaker which results in death, serious physical or emotional harm, sexual abuse or exploitation”; or

    * “An act or failure to act which presents an imminent risk of serious harm.”
    This definition of child abuse and neglect refers specifically to parents and other caregivers. A “child” under this definition generally means a person who is younger than age 18 or who is not an emancipated minor.

    While CAPTA provides definitions for sexual abuse and the special cases of neglect related to withholding or failing to provide medically indicated treatment, it does not provide specific definitions for other types of maltreatment such as physical abuse, neglect, or emotional abuse. While Federal legislation sets minimum standards for States that accept CAPTA funding, each State provides its own definitions of maltreatment within civil and criminal statutes.


    Concealed Weapon Offenses

    § 18.2-308. Carrying concealed weapons; exceptions; penalty.

    A. If any person carries about his person, hidden from common observation, (i) any pistol, revolver, or other weapon designed or intended to propel a missile of any kind by action of an explosion of any combustible material; (ii) any dirk, bowie knife, switchblade knife, ballistic knife, machete, razor, slingshot, spring stick, metal knucks, or blackjack; (iii) any flailing instrument consisting of two or more rigid parts connected in such a manner as to allow them to swing freely, which may be known as a nun chahka, nun chuck, nunchaku, shuriken, or fighting chain; (iv) any disc, of whatever configuration, having at least two points or pointed blades which is designed to be thrown or propelled and which may be known as a throwing star or oriental dart; or (v) any weapon of like kind as those enumerated in this subsection, he is guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor.

    A second violation of this section or a conviction under this section subsequent to any conviction under any substantially similar ordinance of any county, city, or town shall be punishable as a Class 6 felony, and a third or subsequent such violation shall be punishable as a Class 5 felony. For the purpose of this section, a weapon shall be deemed to be hidden from common observation when it is observable but is of such deceptive appearance as to disguise the weapon’s true nature. It shall be an affirmative defense to a violation of clause (i) regarding a handgun, that a person had been issued, at the time of the offense, a valid concealed handgun permit.

    B. This section shall not apply to any person while in his own place of abode or the curtilage thereof.

    C. Except as provided in subsection A of § 18.2-308.012, this section shall not apply to:

    • 1. Any person while in his own place of business;
    • 2. Any law-enforcement officer, or retired law-enforcement officer pursuant to § 18.2-308.016, wherever such law-enforcement officer may travel in the Commonwealth;
    • 3. Any person who is at, or going to or from, an established shooting range, provided that the weapons are unloaded and securely wrapped while being transported;
    • 4. Any regularly enrolled member of a weapons collecting organization who is at, or going to or from, a bona fide weapons exhibition, provided that the weapons are unloaded and securely wrapped while being transported;
    • 5. Any person carrying such weapons between his place of abode and a place of purchase or repair, provided the weapons are unloaded and securely wrapped while being transported;
    • 6. Any person actually engaged in lawful hunting, as authorized by the Board of Game and Inland Fisheries, under inclement weather conditions necessitating temporary protection of his firearm from those conditions, provided that possession of a handgun while engaged in lawful hunting shall not be construed as hunting with a handgun if the person hunting is carrying a valid concealed handgun permit;
    • 7. Any attorney for the Commonwealth or assistant attorney for the Commonwealth, wherever such attorney may travel in the Commonwealth;
    • 8. Any person who may lawfully possess a firearm and is carrying a handgun while in a personal, private motor vehicle or vessel and such handgun is secured in a container or compartment in the vehicle or vessel;
    • 9. Any enrolled participant of a firearms training course who is at, or going to or from, a training location, provided that the weapons are unloaded and securely wrapped while being transported; and
    • 10. Any judge or justice of the Commonwealth, wherever such judge or justice may travel in the Commonwealth.

    D. This section shall also not apply to any of the following individuals while in the discharge of their official duties, or while in transit to or from such duties:

    • 1. Carriers of the United States mail;
    • 2. Officers or guards of any state correctional institution;
    • 3. Conservators of the peace, except that a judge or justice of the Commonwealth, an attorney for the Commonwealth, or an assistant attorney for the Commonwealth may carry a concealed handgun pursuant to subdivisions C 7 and 10. However, the following conservators of the peace shall not be permitted to carry a concealed handgun without obtaining a permit as provided in this article: (i) notaries public; (ii) registrars; (iii) drivers, operators, or other persons in charge of any motor vehicle carrier of passengers for hire; or (iv) commissioners in chancery;
    • 4. Noncustodial employees of the Department of Corrections designated to carry weapons by the Director of the Department of Corrections pursuant to § 53.1-29; and
    • 5. Harbormaster of the City of Hopewell.

    Domestic Violence

    We define domestic violence as a pattern of abusive behavior in any relationship that is used by one partner to gain or maintain power and control over another intimate partner. Domestic violence can be physical, sexual, emotional, economic, or psychological actions or threats of actions that influence another person. This includes any behaviors that intimidate, manipulate, humiliate, isolate, frighten, terrorize, coerce, threaten, blame, hurt, injure, or wound someone.

    Physical Abuse: Hitting, slapping, shoving, grabbing, pinching, biting, hair pulling, etc are types of physical abuse. This type of abuse also includes denying a partner medical care or forcing alcohol and/or drug use upon him or her.

    Sexual Abuse: Coercing or attempting to coerce any sexual contact or behavior without consent. Sexual abuse includes, but is certainly not limited to, marital rape, attacks on sexual parts of the body, forcing sex after physical violence has occurred, or treating one in a sexually demeaning manner.

    Emotional Abuse: Undermining an individual’s sense of self-worth and/or self-esteem is abusive. This may include, but is not limited to constant criticism, diminishing one’s abilities, name-calling, or damaging one’s relationship with his or her children.

    Economic Abuse: Is defined as making or attempting to make an individual financially dependent by maintaining total control over financial resources, withholding one’s access to money, or forbidding one’s attendance at school or employment.

    Psychological Abuse: Elements of psychological abuse include – but are not limited to – causing fear by intimidation; threatening physical harm to self, partner, children, or partner’s family or friends; destruction of pets and property; and forcing isolation from family, friends, or school and/or work.

    Domestic violence can happen to anyone regardless of race, age, sexual orientation, religion, or gender. Domestic violence affects people of all socioeconomic backgrounds and education levels. Domestic violence occurs in both opposite-sex and same-sex relationships and can happen to intimate partners who are married, living together, or dating.

    Domestic violence not only affects those who are abused, but also has a substantial effect on family members, friends, co-workers, other witnesses, and the community at large. Children, who grow up witnessing domestic violence, are among those seriously affected by this crime. Frequent exposure to violence in the home not only predisposes children to numerous social and physical problems, but also teaches them that violence is a normal way of life – therefore, increasing their risk of becoming society’s next generation of victims and abusers.

    A reference to acts of physical and psychological violence, including harassing or intimidating behavior, that occur as part of personal relationships. Included in the concept of domestic violence are spousal abuse, abuse among intimates, as well as sexual and physical abuse of children, elderly, or the infirm.


    Drug possession

    The simple possession of illegal drugs is a criminal offense under federal law and in many state jurisdictions. The offense occurs “when someone has on his or her person, or available for his or her use, a small amount of an illegal substance for the purpose of consuming or using it but without the intent to sell or give it to anyone else.” Simple drug possession is a misdemeanor under federal law which provides that an offender may be sentenced to a term of imprisonment of not more than one year, fined a minimum of $1,000, or both. However, if an offender is convicted of simple possession after a prior drug-related offense has become final, the offender can be charged with a felony simple possession offense.


    Embezzlement

    If any person wrongfully and fraudulently use, dispose of, conceal or embezzle any money, bill, note, check, order, draft, bond, receipt, bill of lading or any other personal property, tangible or intangible, which he shall have received for another or for his employer, principal or bailor, or by virtue of his office, trust, or employment, or which shall have been entrusted or delivered to him by another or by any court, corporation or company, he shall be guilty of embezzlement. Proof of embezzlement shall be sufficient to sustain the charge of larceny. Any person convicted hereunder shall be deemed guilty of larceny and may be indicted as for larceny and upon conviction shall be punished as provided in § 18.2-95 or § 18.2-96.


    Extortion

    Extortion of money, property or pecuniary benefit. Any person who (i) threatens injury to the character, person, or property of another person, (ii) accuses him of any offense, (iii) threatens to report him as being illegally present in the United States, or (iv) knowingly destroys, conceals, removes, confiscates, withholds or threatens to withhold, or possesses any actual or purported passport or other immigration document, or any other actual or purported government identification document, of another person, and thereby extorts money, property, or pecuniary benefit or any note, bond, or other evidence of debt from him or any other person, is guilty of a Class 5 felony.
    For the purposes of this section, injury to property includes the sale, distribution, or release of identifying information defined in clauses (iii) through (xii) of subsection C of § 18.2-186.3, but does not include the distribution or release of such information by a person who does so with the intent to obtain money, property or a pecuniary benefit to which he reasonably believes he is lawfully entitled.


    Forgery


    A. Credit card forgery.
    >1. A person is guilty of credit card forgery when:
    a) With intent to defraud a purported issuer, a person or organization providing money, goods, services or anything else of value, or any other person, he falsely makes or falsely embosses a purported credit card or utters such a credit card; or
    b) He, not being the cardholder or a person authorized by him, with intent to defraud the issuer, or a person or organization providing money, goods, services or anything else of value, or any other person, signs a credit card; or
    c) He, not being the cardholder or a person authorized by him, with intent to defraud the issuer, or a person or organization providing money, goods, services or anything else of value, or any other person, forges a sales draft or cash advance/withdrawal draft, or uses a credit card number of a card of which he is not the cardholder, or utters, or attempts to employ as true, such forged draft knowing it to be forged.
    >2. A person falsely makes a credit card when he makes or draws, in whole or in part, a device or instrument which purports to be the credit card of a named issuer but which is not such a credit card because the issuer did not authorize the making or drawing, or alters a credit card which was validly issued.
    >3. A person falsely embosses a credit card when, without the authorization of the named issuer, he completes a credit card by adding any of the matter, other than the signature of the cardholder, which an issuer requires to appear on the credit card before it can be used by a cardholder. Conviction of credit card forgery shall be punishable as a Class 5 felony.


    B. Computer as instrument of forgery.
    The creation, alteration, or deletion of any computer data contained in any computer or computer network, which if done on a tangible document or instrument would constitute forgery under Article 1 (§ 18.2-168 et seq.) of Chapter 6 of this Title, will also be deemed to be forgery. The absence of a tangible writing directly created or altered by the offender shall not be a defense to any crime set forth in Article 1 (§ 18.2-168 et seq.) of Chapter 6 of this Title if a creation, alteration, or deletion of computer data was involved in lieu of a tangible document or instrument.


    C. Manufacture, sale, etc., or possession of fictitious, facsimile or simulated official license or identification; penalty.
    >1. Except as provided in subsection D of § 18.2-204.1, it shall be unlawful for any person to manufacture, advertise for sale, sell or possess any fictitious, facsimile or simulated driver’s license issued by any state, territory or possession of the United States, the District of Columbia, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico or any foreign country or government; United States Armed Forces identification card; United States passport or foreign government visa; Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles special identification card; official identification issued by any other federal, state or foreign government agency; or official student identification card of an institution of higher education, or in any way reproduce any identification card or facsimile thereof in such a manner that it could be mistaken for a valid license or identification of any type specified in this subsection.
    >2. Any person manufacturing, advertising for sale, selling or reproducing such card or facsimile thereof shall be guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor.
    >3. Any person possessing any such card or facsimile thereof shall be guilty of a Class 2 misdemeanor.
    >4. The provisions of this section shall not preclude an election to prosecute under § 18.2-172, except to prosecute for forgery or uttering of such license or identification card or facsimile thereof as proof of age.


    D.Forging, uttering, etc., other writings.
    >If any person forge any writing, other than such as is mentioned in §§ 18.2-168 and 18.2-170, to the prejudice of another’s right, or utter, or attempt to employ as true, such forged writing, knowing it to be forged, he shall be guilty of a Class 5 felony. Any person who shall obtain, by any false pretense or token, the signature of another person, to any such writing, with intent to defraud any other person, shall be deemed guilty of the forgery thereof, and shall be subject to like punishment.
    E.Obtaining money or signature, etc., by false pretense.
    >1.If any person obtain, by any false pretense or token, from any person, with intent to defraud, money, a gift certificate or other property that may be the subject of larceny, he shall be deemed guilty of larceny thereof; or if he obtain, by any false pretense or token, with such intent, the signature of any person to a writing, the false making whereof would be forgery, he shall be guilty of a Class 4 felony.
    >2. Venue for the trial of any person charged with an offense under this section may be in the county or city in which (i) any act was performed in furtherance of the offense, or (ii) the person charged with the offense resided at the time of the offense.


    Fraud


    Credit card fraud; conspiracy; penalties.
    >1. A person is guilty of credit card fraud when, with intent to defraud any person, he:
    (a) Uses for the purpose of obtaining money, goods, services or anything else of value a credit card or credit card number obtained or retained in violation of § 18.2-192 or a credit card or credit card number which he knows is expired or revoked;
    (b) Obtains money, goods, services or anything else of value by representing (i) without the consent of the cardholder that he is the holder of a specified card or credit card number or (ii) that he is the holder of a card or credit card number and such card or credit card number has not in fact been issued;
    (c) Obtains control over a credit card or credit card number as security for debt; or
    (d) Obtains money from an issuer by use of an unmanned device of the issuer or through a person other than the issuer when he knows that such advance will exceed his available credit with the issuer and any available balances held by the issuer.
    >.2) A person who is authorized by an issuer to furnish money, goods, services or anything else of value upon presentation of a credit card or credit card number by the cardholder, or any agent or employee of such person, is guilty of a credit card fraud when, with intent to defraud the issuer or the cardholder, he:
    (a) Furnishes money, goods, services or anything else of value upon presentation of a credit card or credit card number obtained or retained in violation of § 18.2-192, or a credit card or credit card number which he knows is expired or revoked;
    (b) Fails to furnish money, goods, services or anything else of value which he represents or causes to be represented in writing or by any other means to the issuer that he has furnished; or
    (c) Remits to an issuer or acquirer a record of a credit card or credit card number transaction which is in excess of the monetary amount authorized by the cardholder.
    >3. Conviction of credit card fraud is punishable as a Class 1 misdemeanor if the value of all money, goods, services and other things of value furnished in violation of this section, or if the difference between the value of all money, goods, services and anything else of value actually furnished and the value represented to the issuer to have been furnished in violation of this section, does not exceed $200 in any six-month period; conviction of credit card fraud is punishable as a Class 6 felony if such value exceeds $200 in any six-month period.
    >4. Any person who conspires, confederates or combines with another, (i) either within or without the Commonwealth to commit credit card fraud within the Commonwealth or (ii) within the Commonwealth to commit credit card fraud within or without the Commonwealth, is guilty of a Class 6 felony.


    Computer fraud; penalty.
    Any person who uses a computer or computer network, without authority and:
    >1. Obtains property or services by false pretenses;
    >2. Embezzles or commits larceny; or
    >3. Converts the property of another;
    is guilty of the crime of computer fraud. If the value of the property or services obtained is $200 or more, the crime of computer fraud shall be punishable as a Class 5 felony. Where the value of the property or services obtained is less than $200, the crime of computer fraud shall be punishable as a Class 1 misdemeanor.


    Identity fraud; consumer reporting agencies; police reports.
    >1. A consumer may report a case of identity theft to the law-enforcement agency in the jurisdiction where he resides. If a consumer, as defined by the Fair Credit Reporting Act, 15 U.S.C. § 1681 et seq., submits to a consumer reporting agency, as defined by the Fair Credit Reporting Act, 15 U.S.C. § 1681 et seq., a copy of a valid police report, the consumer reporting agency shall, within 30 days of receipt thereof, block the reporting of any information that the consumer alleges appears on his credit report, as defined by the Fair Credit Reporting Act, 15 U.S.C. § 1681 et seq., as a result of a violation of § 18.2-186.3. The consumer reporting agency shall promptly notify the furnisher of the information that a police report has been filed, that a block has been requested, and the effective date of the block.
    >2. Consumer reporting agencies may decline to block or may rescind any block of consumer information if, in the exercise of good faith and reasonable judgment, the consumer reporting agency believes that: (i) the information was blocked due to a misrepresentation of a material fact by the consumer; (ii) the information was blocked due to fraud, in which the consumer participated, or of which the consumer had knowledge, and which may for purposes of this section be demonstrated by circumstantial evidence; (iii) the consumer agrees that portions of the blocked information or all of it were blocked in error; (iv) the consumer knowingly obtained or should have known that he obtained possession of goods, services, or moneys as a result of the blocked transaction or transactions; or (v) the consumer reporting agency, in the exercise of good faith and reasonable judgment, has substantial reason based on specific, verifiable facts to doubt the authenticity of the consumer’s report of a violation of § 18.2-186.3.
    >3. If blocked information is unblocked pursuant to this section, the consumer shall be notified in the same manner as consumers are notified of the reinsertion of information pursuant to the Fair Credit Reporting Act at 15 U.S.C. § 1681i, as amended. The prior presence of the blocked information in the consumer reporting agency’s file on the consumer is not evidence of whether the consumer knew or should have known that he obtained possession of any goods, services, or moneys.
    >4. A consumer reporting agency shall accept the consumer’s version of the disputed information and correct the disputed item when the consumer submits to the consumer reporting agency documentation obtained from the source of the item in dispute or from public records confirming that the report was inaccurate or incomplete, unless the consumer reporting agency, in the exercise of good faith and reasonable judgment, has substantial reason based on specific, verifiable facts to doubt the authenticity of the documentation submitted and notifies the consumer in writing of that decision, explaining its reasons for unblocking the information and setting forth the specific, verifiable facts on which the decision is based.
    >5. A consumer reporting agency shall delete from a consumer credit report inquiries for credit reports based upon credit requests that the consumer reporting agency verifies were initiated as a result of a violation of § 18.2-186.3.
    >6. The provisions of this section do not apply to (i) a consumer reporting agency that acts as a reseller of credit information by assembling and merging information contained in the databases of other consumer reporting agencies, and that does not maintain a permanent database of credit information from which new consumer credit reports are produced, (ii) a check services or fraud prevention services company that issues reports on incidents of fraud or authorizations for the purpose of approving or processing negotiable instruments, electronic funds transfers, or similar payment methods, or (iii) a demand deposit account information service company that issues reports regarding account closures due to fraud, substantial overdrafts, automatic teller machine abuse or similar negative information regarding a consumer to inquiring banks or other financial institutions for use only in reviewing a consumer request for a demand deposit account at the inquiring bank or financial institution.


    Hate Crimes

    Refers to a single victim or household that experienced a criminal incident believed by the victim to be motivated by prejudice based on race, gender or gender identity, religion, disability, sexual orientation, or ethnicity.


    Larceny

    Larceny with intent to sell or distribute; sale of stolen property; penalty.
    A. Any person who commits larceny of property with a value of $200 or more with the intent to sell or distribute such property is guilty of a felony punishable by confinement in a state correctional facility for not less than two years nor more than 20 years. The larceny of more than one item of the same product is prima facie evidence of intent to sell or intent to distribute for sale.
    B. Any person who sells, attempts to sell or possesses with intent to sell or distribute any stolen property with an aggregate value of $200 or more where he knew or should have known that the property was stolen is guilty of a Class 5 felony.
    C. A violation of this section constitutes a separate and distinct offense.

    Petty Theft

    Any person who:
    1. Commits larceny from the person of another of money or other thing of value of less than $5, or
    2. Commits simple larceny not from the person of another of goods and chattels of the value of less than $200, except as provided in subdivision (iii) of § 18.2-95, shall be deemed guilty of petit larceny, which shall be punishable as a Class 1 misdemeanor.

    Grand Theft

    Grand larceny defined; how punished.
    Any person who (i) commits larceny from the person of another of money or other thing of value of $5 or more, (ii) commits simple larceny not from the person of another of goods and chattels of the value of $200 or more, or (iii) commits simple larceny not from the person of another of any firearm, regardless of the firearm’s value, shall be guilty of grand larceny, punishable by imprisonment in a state correctional facility for not less than one nor more than twenty years or, in the discretion of the jury or court trying the case without a jury, be confined in jail for a period not exceeding twelve months or fined not more than $2,500, either or both.


    Prostitution: commercial sexual conduct; commercial exploitation of a minor; penalties.

    A. Any person who, for money or its equivalent, (i) commits adultery, fornication, or any act in violation of § 18.2-361, performs cunnilingus, fellatio, or anilingus upon or by another person, or engages in anal intercourse or (ii) offers to commit adultery, fornication, or any act in violation of § 18.2-361, perform cunnilingus, fellatio, or anilingus upon or by another person, or engage in anal intercourse and thereafter does any substantial act in furtherance thereof is guilty of prostitution, which is punishable as a Class 1 misdemeanor.
    B. Any person who offers money or its equivalent to another for the purpose of engaging in sexual acts as enumerated in subsection A and thereafter does any substantial act in furtherance thereof is guilty of solicitation of prostitution, which is punishable as a Class 1 misdemeanor. However, any person who solicits prostitution from a minor (i) 16 years of age or older is guilty of a Class 6 felony or (ii) younger than 16 years of age is guilty of a Class 5 felony.


    Receiving & Concealing Stolen Property:

    A. If any person buys or receives from another person, or aids in concealing, any stolen goods or other thing, knowing the same to have been stolen, he shall be deemed guilty of larceny thereof, and may be proceeded against, although the principal offender is not convicted.
    B. If any person buys or receives any goods or other thing, used in the course of a criminal investigation by law enforcement that such person believes to have been stolen, he shall be deemed guilty of larceny thereof.


    Rape

    Forced sexual intercourse including both psychological coercion and physical force. Forced sexual intercourse means vaginal, anal, or oral penetration by the offender(s). This category also includes incidents where the penetration is from a foreign object, such as a bottle. Includes attempted rape, male and female victims, and both heterosexual and same sex rape. Attempted rape includes verbal threats of rape.


    Sexual Assault

    Sexual assault is any type of sexual contact or behavior that occurs without the explicit consent of the recipient. Falling under the definition of sexual assault are sexual activities as forced sexual intercourse, forcible sodomy, child molestation, incest, fondling, and attempted rape.


    Stalking

    A malicious course of conduct that includes approaching or pursuing another person with intent to place that person in reasonable fear of serious bodily injury or death to him/herself or to a third party.


    Suspended or Revoked License:Driving after forfeiture of license.

    A. Any person who drives or operates any motor vehicle, engine or train in the Commonwealth during the time for which he was deprived of the right to do so (i) upon conviction of a violation of § 18.2-268.3 or 46.2-341.26:3 or of an offense set forth in subsection E of § 18.2-270, (ii) by § 18.2-271 or 46.2-391.2, (iii) after his license has been revoked pursuant to § 46.2-389 or 46.2-391, or (iv) in violation of the terms of a restricted license issued pursuant to subsection E of § 18.2-271.1, is guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor except as otherwise provided in § 46.2-391, and is subject to administrative revocation of his driver’s license pursuant to §§ 46.2-389 and 46.2-391. Any person convicted of three violations of this section committed within a 10-year period is guilty of a Class 6 felony.
    Nothing in this section or § 18.2-266, 18.2-270, or 18.2-271 shall be construed as conflicting with or repealing any ordinance or resolution of any city, town or county which restricts still further the right of such persons to drive or operate any such vehicle or conveyance.

    B. Regardless of compliance with any other restrictions on his privilege to drive or operate a motor vehicle, it shall be a violation of this section for any person whose privilege to drive or operate a motor vehicle has been restricted, suspended or revoked because of a violation of § 18.2-36.1, 18.2-51.4, 18.2-266, 18.2-268.3, 46.2-341.24, or 46.2-341.26:3 or a similar ordinance or law of another state or the United States to drive or operate a motor vehicle while he has a blood alcohol content of 0.02 percent or more.
    Any person suspected of a violation of this subsection shall be entitled to a preliminary breath test in accordance with the provisions of § 18.2-267, shall be deemed to have given his implied consent to have samples of his blood, breath or both taken for analysis pursuant to the provisions of § 18.2-268.2, and, when charged with a violation of this subsection, shall be subject to the provisions of §§ 18.2-268.1 through 18.2-268.12.

    C. Any person who drives or operates a motor vehicle without a certified ignition interlock system as required by § 46.2-391.01 is guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor and is subject to administrative revocation of his driver’s license pursuant to §§ 46.2-389 and 46.2-391.


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