Virginia State Legislature Mulls New Public Safety Legislation, Increased Criminal Penalties

The Virginia House of Delegates is considering several new measures that would impose more severe sentences those convicted of crimes including DUI, assault and battery, drug trafficking and child rape. Amongst the bills under consideration by the house are:

  • HB 49 – Penalty for DUI manslaughter.  

Introduced by: David B. Albo

Provides that the punishment for DUI manslaughter is to include a one-year mandatory term of confinement and raises the mandatory minimum term for aggravated DUI manslaughter from one to five years.

  • HB 50 – Penalty for DUI maiming.  

Introduced by: David B. Albo

Provides that the punishment for DUI maiming, a Class 6 felony, shall include a mandatory minimum term of confinement of one year.

  • HB 973 – Sex crimes; penalties. 

Introduced by: Robert B. Bell 

Imposes a mandatory minimum life sentence for rape, forcible sodomy, and object sexual penetration of a child under the age of 13.

  • HB 751 – Recruitment of persons for criminal street gang; penalty. 

Introduced by: Benjamin L. Cline

Provides that any person who, by telephone or by any electronically transmitted communication producing a visual or electronic message, solicits, invites, recruits, encourages, or otherwise causes or attempts to cause another to actively participate in or become a member of what he knows to be a criminal street gang is guilty of a Class 5 felony.

  • HB 752 – Assault and battery by strangulation; penalty. 

Introduced by: Benjamin L. Cline

Raises the penalty for assault and battery of a family or household member from a Class 1 misdemeanor to a Class 6 felony when the assault and battery is accomplished by strangling the victim. The bill also raises from a Class 6 to a Class 5 felony the penalty for assault and battery of a family or household member when the perpetrator has been convicted of certain prior offenses and commits the offense by strangulation. The bill also expands the list of prior offenses for which aggravated punishment is authorized to include unlawful wounding as well as malicious wounding.

  • HB 968 – Penalty for subsequent offenses of drug trafficking. 

Introduced by: Robert B. Bell

Provides that any person convicted of a second offense of drug trafficking who has also been previously convicted of any violent felony offense set forth in subsection C of § 17.1-805 shall be fined not more than $500,000 and (i) if the maximum term of incarceration for such prior violent felony offense is less than 40 years, sentenced to an additional mandatory minimum term of incarceration of five years or (ii) if the maximum term of incarceration for such violent felony offense is 40 years or more, sentenced to serve his term of incarceration consecutively with any other sentence of incarceration. The bill also increases the mandatory minimum term of incarceration for a third such offense from five to 10 years.

Each of these bills have come from the 18-member Hose Courts of Justice and Criminal Law subcommittee.  Of the proposed legislation subcommittee member, Delegate Terry Kilgore said:

“One of the most important duties of government is protecting its citizens. The Republican caucus is the leader in Richmond when it comes to protecting children and families from the dangers of this world,” Kilgore said. “The issues my colleagues have laid out for you today are just a small number of the initiatives the General Assembly is working on this session to make sure every Virginian is as safe and secure as possible.”



By | 2012-02-10T15:51:36+00:00 February 10th, 2012|Criminal Defense|0 Comments

Leave A Comment