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VACP Legislative Update: January 23, 2013

January 22, 2013 | VACP

Here's what's on deck at the General Assembly this week:

Wednesday, January 23

Wednesday morning, January 23, in House Transportation Subcommittee 2

H.B. 2010 Motorcycles; allows motorcyclists who are 21 years old or older to ride without wearing helmets. Patron: Cline
The VACP opposes the repeal of the motorcycle helmet law. 
Subcommittee members are: Cox, J.A. (Chairman), Comstock, Garrett, Anderson, Minchew, Ward, Carr

 

Wednesday morning, January 23, in Senate Committee on General Laws and Technology, Subcommittee #1

S.B. 1264 VA. FOIA; access to criminal and other records.  Patron: Stuart
The VACP supports this bill – we worked on it with the FOIA Council to reorganize the statute to make it easy to follow.  The bill does not substantially change current law or policy on access to criminal investigative records.
Freedom of Information Act; access to criminal and other records held by public bodies engaged in criminal law-enforcement activities. Reorganizes § 2.2-3706 of the Freedom of Information Act relating to access to criminal records and other records held by law-enforcement agencies. The only substantive changes in the bill are to (i) expand to the state law-enforcement agencies the ability to withhold portions of noncriminal incident information and (ii) allow law-enforcement agencies to make a verbal response for requests for criminal incident information. The bill also clarifies that personnel records of persons employed by a law-enforcement agency are not noncriminal records, but subject to the personnel records and background investigation records exemptions. The bill contains technical amendments and is a recommendation of the Virginia Freedom of Information Advisory Council.

 

House Committee on Science and Technology, January 23, 10:00a.m., House Room D

H.B. 2050 Search and seizure of computer and contents.
Patron: Webert
Search and seizure of computer and contents. Provides that 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 device or network. The bill also provides that the search of the contents of any such device or network may be done in any location and is not limited to the location where such device or network was seized.

 

Senate Committee on Courts of Justice, January 23, 1/2 Hour after adjournment, Senate Room B

S.B. 725
Patron: Black
Expungement of certain misdemeanors. Allows a person convicted of certain misdemeanors who has successfully completed all terms of probation to file a petition for expungement 10 years after the conviction if he has never been convicted of any other offense. DUI, child abuse or neglect, domestic violence, sex offenses, and crimes that caused serious bodily injury do not qualify for expungement. Any conviction that is expunged will be considered a prior conviction for purposes of prosecution of any subsequent offense for which the prior conviction aggravates punishment.

S.B. 746
Patron: Stanley
Failure to report missing child; penalty. Provides that any parent, guardian, or other person responsible for the care of a child under the age of 12 who, with intent to conceal the fact that the child is missing, fails to report to law enforcement that the child is missing within a reasonable period of time after discovery of the fact is guilty of a Class 6 felony.

S.B. 763
Patron: Edwards
Publication of unlawful photographs; penalty. Provides that it is a Class 6 felony for a person to publish on the Internet a photograph or video made in violation of the current law prohibiting filming, videotaping, or photographing a nonconsenting person in certain situations where there is an expectation of privacy.

S.B. 845
Patron: Carrico
Expungement of certain misdemeanors. Allows a person convicted of certain misdemeanors who has successfully completed all terms of probation to file a petition for expungement 10 years after the conviction if he has not been convicted of any other offense. DUI, child abuse or neglect, domestic violence, sex offenses, and crimes against persons do not qualify for expungement. Any conviction that is expunged will be considered a prior conviction for purposes of prosecution of any subsequent offense for which the prior conviction statutorily enhances punishment.

S.B. 907
Patron: Reeves
Asset forfeiture; task forces. Provides that property forfeited from drug cases, which under current law may be used to promote law enforcement, may be used to fund salary and benefits for non-sworn personnel who are members of a law-enforcement task force.

S.B. 1001
Patron: Marsh
Transfer of firearms; criminal history records check; penalties. Adds a definition of "firearms show vendor" and requires that a criminal history record information check be performed on the prospective transferee before the vendor may transfer firearms at a gun show. Under current law, only licensed dealers must obtain such a check. The bill also requires that the promoter of a firearms show provide vendors with access to licensed dealers who will conduct the criminal history record information check.

S.B. 1010
Patron: Stanley
Identity theft; penalties. Reorganizes existing identify theft law and revises penalties. Under existing law, many penalties are based on the amount of financial loss or the number of persons whose identifying information was misused. The bill eliminates those criteria.

S.B. 1015
Patron: Howell
Prostitution; solicitation of a minor. Provides that, in addition to the current Class 1 misdemeanor punishment for solicitation of prostitution generally, 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.

S.B. 1063
Patron: Herring
Stalking; electronic means; penalty. Provides that conduct that can constitute stalking includes electronic transmissions that produce a visual or textual message.

S.B. 1083
Patron: Herring
Synthetic cannabinoids; research chemicals; penalties. Amends provisions added to the Code in previous years regarding the criminalization of synthetic cannabinoids and chemicals known as "research chemicals" (previously referred to as "bath salts") to add newly identified chemical compounds and structural classes. In addition to adding new chemical compounds as synthetic cannabinoids, the bill adds newly identified structural classes of synthetic cannabinoids so that new chemical compounds that fit within the structural class will nevertheless be considered synthetic cannabinoids without the precise chemical compound having to be added to the Code.

S.B. 1146
Patron: McEachin
Destruction of controlled substances, etc.; Department of State Police. Requires law-enforcement reports on the destruction of seized controlled substances and other drugs and paraphernalia that under current law have to be submitted to the Board of Pharmacy to be submitted instead to the Department of State Police. The bill also requires the Department to maintain a listing of such submissions, make the list publicly available on the Department's website, and submit an annual report with such information to the General Assembly.

S.B. 1205
Patron: McDougle
Criminal street gang predicate offenses. Expands the class of criminal street gang offenses to include all felony crimes against property, all felony drug offenses, and all felony offenses involving prostitution. The class also specifically includes all homicide offenses, some but not all of which would be considered "acts of violence" under the current law.

S.B. 1299
Patron: Edwards
Criminal history record information checks; protective order registry; dissemination of information. Provides that certain criminal history record information and protective order registry information shall be made available to the Attorney General of the United States for the purposes of using the National Instant Criminal Background Check System to determine a person's eligibility to possess or receive a firearm under state or federal law.

S.B. 1318
Patron: Smith
Synthetic cannabinoids; research chemicals; penalties. Amends provisions added to the Code in previous years regarding the criminalization of synthetic cannabinoids and chemicals known as "research chemicals" (previously referred to as "bath salts") to add newly identified chemical compounds and structural classes. In addition to adding new chemical compounds as synthetic cannabinoids, the bill adds newly identified structural classes of synthetic cannabinoids so that new chemical compounds that fit within the structural class will nevertheless be considered synthetic cannabinoids without the precise chemical compound having to be added to the Code.

S.B. 1331
Patron: McEachin
Limitations on use of drone aircraft. Provides that no state agency or organization having jurisdiction over criminal law enforcement or regulatory violations, including but not limited to the Department of State Police nor any department of law enforcement of any city, county or town, shall procure a public unmanned aircraft system (drone aircraft) without the approval of the General Assembly or the local governing body, respectively. The bill requires a warrant for use of such an aircraft. The bill also provides that it is not unlawful for any law-enforcement officer or other public official to operate a public unmanned aircraft system and disclose personal information from such operation if such officer reasonably determines that an emergency situation exists that involves immediate danger of death or serious physical injury to any person and the situation requires operation of a public unmanned aircraft system before a warrant authorizing such interception can, with due diligence, be obtained and there are grounds upon which such a warrant could be entered to authorize such operation. The bill also provides that it is not unlawful for a public institution of higher education to operate a public unmanned aircraft system solely for research or academic purposes. The bill also contains extensive procedural guarantees against release of personal information and contains reporting requirements by agencies and courts with respect to use of and data collected by such aircraft.

S.B. 1335
Patron: Obenshain
Nondisclosure of concealed handgun permits; persons protected by certain protective orders. Prohibits the clerk of a circuit court who issued a concealed handgun permit from disclosing any information indicating the permit was issued, including all personal identifying information contained in the protected person's permit application, for a person who is protected by a protective order that is in full force and effect who has submitted a written request for the confidentiality of such information and a certified copy of the protective order to such clerk of court until the expiration date indicated on the protective order.

 

Senate Committee on Transportation, January 23, 1/2 Hour after Adjournment, Senate Room A

S.B. 705 Child restraint devices; penalty if child suffers injury or death.
Patron: Stuart
Child restraint devices; penalty. Expands the violation of the Child Restraints article to include a misdemeanor for a violation where the child suffers injury or death.

S.B. 731 Mopeds; prohibited on highways with speed limits in excess of 35 miles per hour.
Patron: Carrico
Mopeds. Prohibits the operation of mopeds on highways with posted speed limits in excess of 35 miles per hour.

S.B. 771 License plates; display of a single plate on registered vehicles.
Patron: Wagner
Number and display of vehicle license plates. Reduces the number of license plates furnished by DMV to registered motor vehicles from two to one and requires the single license plate to be attached to the rear of the vehicle.

S.B. 1007 Mopeds and motorized skateboards and scooters; licensure and age requirements of operators.
Patron: McWaters
Licensure and age requirements of operators of mopeds and motorized skateboards and scooters. Requires that operators of mopeds to have a valid driver's license, have completed a special examination, and wear a helmet. The bill also disallows having more than one passenger on a moped and increases the penalty for violating the section on operation of a moped from $50 to $250. The bill has a delayed effective date of July 1, 2015.

S.B. 1038 Unconventional vehicles; titling and registration of mopeds.
Patron: Newman
Non-Conventional vehicles. Provides for the titling and registration of mopeds and distinctive license plates for low-speed vehicles. The bill also requires a moped operator to carry government-issued photo identification and wear a face shield, safety glasses, or goggles if his moped is not equipped with safety glass or a windshield. The bill also makes all-terrain vehicles, off-road motorcycles, and mopeds subject to the motor vehicle sales and use tax, if the owner does not show that they already paid the retail sales and use tax. The bill further classifies mopeds for valuation purposes in personal property taxation and allows localities to exempt mopeds from personal property taxation. The bill, too, replaces the term "scooter" with "foot-scooter" and makes other largely technical changes based upon recommendations made by DMV after a year-long study of Virginia's laws relating to non-conventional vehicles.

S.B. 1039 Vital records; allows DMV access to records and to issue certified copies.
Patron: Newman
Access to vital records; certified copies of vital records. Directs the State Registrar to enter into an agreement with the Commissioner of the Department of Motor Vehicles to allow the Department of Motor Vehicles access to vital records by October 1, 2013, and to further allow the Department of Motor Vehicles to issue certified copies of such records by July 1, 2014. The bill also directs the Department of Motor Vehicles and the Department of Health to study transferring vital records and the functions associated with keeping such records to the Department of Motor Vehicles and report.

S.B. 1060 Following too closely; includes bicycles, mopeds, etc., increases minimum clearance.
Patron: Reeves
Following too closely; passing other vehicles. Includes bicycles, electric personal assistive mobility devices, electric power-assisted bicycles, and mopeds among vehicles that the driver of a motor vehicle shall not follow more closely than is reasonable. The bill also increases from two feet to three feet the minimum clearance between a passing vehicle and an overtaken bicycle, electric personal assistive mobility device, electric power-assisted bicycle, moped, animal, or animal-drawn vehicle.

S.B. 1160 Driving while texting; primary offense, increased penalties.
Patron: Barker
Driving while texting; primary offense; increased penalties. Provides that driving while texting is a traffic infraction punishable, for a first offense, by a fine of $250 and, for a second or subsequent offense, by a fine of $500. The current penalties are $20 for a first offense and $50 for a second or subsequent offense. The bill also changes the offense from a secondary offense (one that can only be charged when the offender is stopped for another, separate offense) to a primary offense. The bill also provides that a violation of this provision does not preclude prosecution under any other applicable provision of the criminal law or of the law governing the operation of motor vehicles.

S.B. 1222 Reckless driving; using a handheld personal communications device, penalty.
Patron: Norment
Reckless driving; using a handheld communications device; penalty. Provides that driving while simultaneously using a handheld communications device for something other than verbal communication constitutes driving a motor vehicle that is not under proper control, punishable as reckless driving, a Class 1 misdemeanor. Under current law, the more specific offense of "texting while driving" (repealed by this bill) incurs a $20 fine and is a secondary offense, which means that a law-enforcement officer must have cause to stop or detain a driver for some other violation, the primary offense, before issuing a citation for texting while driving, the secondary offense.

S.B. 1238 Reckless driving; texting; penalty.
Patron: Barker
Reckless driving; texting; penalty. Provides that texting while driving is punishable as reckless driving, a Class 1 misdemeanor; currently, violations incur a $20 fine. The bill also makes texting while driving a primary offense; currently, law-enforcement officers must have cause to stop or detain a driver for some other violation before issuing a citation for texting while driving. If the degree of culpability is slight, the person may be found not guilty of reckless driving but guilty of texting while driving, which is punishable by a $50 fine.

 

House Committee on Courts of Justice, Wed., Jan. 23, 2013, 1/2 hr. after adjournment, HR C

Subcommittee recommends reporting with amendment(s) (9-Y 0-N)
H.B. 1981 Electronic tracking devices; person who uses without consent to track location of another, penalty.
Patron: May
Use of electronic tracking devices; penalty. Provides that any person who uses an electronic tracking device through intentionally deceptive means and without consent to track the location of another person is guilty of a Class 3 misdemeanor. The bill includes exceptions.

H.B. 2058 Conservators of the peace, special; any agency, etc. to apply for appointment by circuit court.
Patron: Webert
Special conservators of the peace; state agencies, institutions, and departments. Authorizes any agency, institution, or department of the Commonwealth to apply for the appointment by the circuit court of a special conservator of the peace.

 

House Committee on Courts of Justice, Subcommittee #1 Criminal
Wed., Jan. 23, 2013, Immediately after full committee, HR C

H.B. 1455 Elderly and incapacitated persons; financial exploitation, penalty is a Class 3 felony.
Patron: Watts
Financial exploitation of elderly and incapacitated; penalty. Provides that any person who knowingly exploits the impaired mental capacity or the physical capacity of an incapacitated adult or an adult (defined for the purposes of the bill as 60 years old or older) by deception, intimidation, undue influence, coercion, harassment, duress, or misrepresentation to use, obtain, convert, or take control of or endeavor to use, obtain, convert, or take control of the incapacitated adult's or adult's money, assets, property, or financial resources with the intent to deprive the incapacitated adult or adult of the use, benefit, or possession of the money, assets, property, or financial resources and to convert such money, assets, property, or financial resources to the perpetrator's own use or benefit is guilty of a Class 5 felony. However, any responsible person or a person who has a fiduciary relationship with the incapacitated adult or adult who commits such a violation is guilty of a Class 3 felony. It is not a defense that the accused did not know the age of the victim.

H.B. 1606 Prostitution; solicitation of a minor, penalty.
Patron: Hugo
Prostitution; solicitation of a minor; penalty. Provides that, in addition to the current Class 1 misdemeanor punishment for solicitation of prostitution generally, any person who solicits prostitution from a minor (i) 16 years of age or older and younger than 18 years of age is guilty of a Class 6 felony or (ii) younger than 16 years of age is guilty of a Class 5 felony.

H.B. 1745 Children; use of communications system to propose sex offenses.
Patron: Gilbert
Use of communications system to propose sex offenses involving a child. Provides that it shall be unlawful for any person 18 years of age or older to use a communications system, including computers, computer networks, bulletin boards, or any other electronic means, for the purposes of soliciting, with lascivious intent, any person he knows or has reason to believe is a child younger than 15 years of age to knowingly and intentionally propose that any such child feel or fondle his own sexual or genital parts. Currently it is unlawful to, among other things, propose that the child feel or fondle the sexual or genital parts of such person or propose that such person feel or fondle the sexual or genital parts of the child.

H.B. 1783 Contraband cigarettes; increases penalty for possession with intent to distribute.
Patron: Gilbert
Tax-paid contraband cigarettes; penalties. Increases the penalty for possession with intent to distribute more than 25 but fewer than 500 cartons of tax-paid cigarettes by a person other than an authorized holder from a Class 2 to a Class 1 misdemeanor for a first offense and from a Class 1 misdemeanor to a Class 6 felony for a second or subsequent offense. The bill also imposes a Class 6 felony for possession, with intent to distribute, of 500 or more cartons of tax-paid cigarettes by a person other than an authorized holder and a Class 5 felony for a second or subsequent offense.

H.B. 1843 Cannabinoids, research chemicals, synthetic; penalties.
Patron: Loupassi
Synthetic cannabinoids; research chemicals; penalties. Amends provisions added to the Code in previous years regarding the criminalization of synthetic cannabinoids and chemicals known as "research chemicals" (previously referred to as "bath salts") to add newly identified chemical compounds and structural classes. In addition to adding new chemical compounds as synthetic cannabinoids, the bill adds newly identified structural classes of synthetic cannabinoids so that new chemical compounds that fit within the structural class will nevertheless be considered synthetic cannabinoids without the precise chemical compound having to be added to the Code.

H.B. 1955 Impersonating a law-enforcement officer or other public safety personnel; impersonating, penalty.
Patron: Landes
Impersonating a law-enforcement officer or other public safety personnel. Provides that any unauthorized person who wears a uniform identical to or substantially similar to a standard uniform used by an office of sheriff to impersonate the office of sheriff is guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor (currently a Class 3 misdemeanor). The bill adds new punishment for a second or subsequent such offense: a Class 6 felony. The bill also adds the same new punishment for a second or subsequent offense of impersonating a law-enforcement officer or other public safety personnel, currently a Class 1 misdemeanor for any such offense.

 

Thursday, January 24, 2013

House Committee on Militia, Police and Public Safety, Subcommittee #2
January 24, 2013, 7:30 AM GAB 4th Floor West

H.B. 2121 Law-enforcement officers; grounds for decertification.
Patron: Herring
Law-enforcement officers; grounds for decertification. Provides that no person who becomes a law-enforcement officer on or after July 1, 2013, may have been convicted of or pled guilty or no contest to a Class 1 misdemeanor involving moral turpitude, any sex offense, or any domestic assault. Additionally, any certified law-enforcement officer who has been convicted of or pled guilty or no contest to any such crime shall be decertified by the Criminal Justice Services Board.
The bill additionally requires a sheriff, chief of police, or agency administrator to notify the Criminal Justice Services Board in writing when any certified law-enforcement officer or jail officer who is currently employed is convicted of or pleads guilty or no contest to certain crimes. Notice is also required when a law-enforcement officer or jail officer resigns or is terminated in advance of a pending drug screening or conviction of an offense that requires decertification. Upon receiving notice, the Criminal Justice Services Board shall decertify such officer. The bill provides that lack of notification shall not prohibit the Criminal Justice Services Board from decertifying an officer who has been found to have committed a certain crime or who has not maintained compliance with mandated training standards.

H.B. 2216 Local boundaries for law-enforcement purposes.
Patron: Yost
Local boundaries for law-enforcement purposes. Provides that localities may designate mutually agreed-upon boundary lines between contiguous localities for purposes of organizing 911 dispatch and response, determining territorial jurisdiction in criminal cases, and clarifying issues related to coverage under workers' compensation and risk management laws.

H.B. 2229 Detention & removal of citizen from State; notification to SPS & locality by federal government.
Patron: Cline
Detention and removal of a citizen from the Commonwealth by the federal government. Provides that the Secretary of Public Safety shall request from the U.S. Secretary of Defense that, when an agency of the federal government detains any citizen pursuant to 50 U.S.C. § 1541 as provided by the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2012 (P.L. 112-81, § 1021 [providing for detention of any person "who planned, authorized, committed, or aided the terrorist attacks that occurred on September 11, 2001, or harbored those responsible for those attacks" or "who was a part of or substantially supported al-Qaeda, the Taliban, or associated forces that are engaged in hostilities against the United States or its coalition partners, including any person who has committed a belligerent act or has directly supported such hostilities in aid of such enemy forces"]), the U.S. Secretary of Defense shall provide notification within 12 hours of the detention to both the Secretary of Public Safety and the chief law-enforcement officer of the locality in which the citizen is detained and that the U.S. Secretary of Defense or his designee shall seek authorization from the chief law-enforcement officer of the locality in which the citizen is detained prior to removal of the citizen from the locality. The bill also provides that if the U.S. Secretary of Defense fails to comply with either such request, funds appropriated for implementation or continuation of memoranda of understanding entered into by cabinet secretaries shall be contingent upon authorization by an act of the General Assembly in a subsequent year.

H.B. 2340 Prevent any agency, political subdivision, or employee of Virginia assisting the Federal goverment.
Patron: Marshall, R.G.
Prevent any agency, political subdivision, or employee of Virginia from assisting the Federal government of the United States in any investigation, prosecution, detention, arrest, search, or seizure, under the authority of any federal statute enacted, or Executive Order or regulation issued, after December 31, 2012, infringing the individual Right to Keep and Bear Arms by imposing new restrictions on private ownership or private transfer of firearms, firearm magazines, ammunition, or components thereof.