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HB 488 Domestic violence; statewide facilitator for victims.

Introduced by: Terrie L. Suit | all patrons    ...    notes | add to my profiles

SUMMARY AS PASSED: (all summaries)

Domestic violence; penalty. Creates a statewide facilitator for victims of domestic violence within the Office of the Attorney General. The bill requires the Department of Criminal Justice Services to establish training standards and publish a model policy for law-enforcement personnel in the handling of domestic violence cases; under current law this duty addresses only family abuse. The bill redefines family abuse to include reasonable apprehension of any bodily injury rather than serious bodily injury as under current law.

The bill also requires that law-enforcement agencies enter information on protective orders into the Virginia Criminal Information Network (VCIN) immediately upon receipt; current law requires entry as soon as practicable or on the date of receipt. The bill renames the protective order file maintained by the Department of State Police on VCIN the protective order registry.

The bill removes the provision that marital rape cannot occur unless the spouses were living apart or there was bodily injury caused by force or violence. The bill raises the penalty for knowingly obstructing justice without just cause from a Class 2 to a Class 1 misdemeanor. The bill raises from a Class 3 to a Class 2 misdemeanor the unlawful use of and injury to telephone and telegraph lines and copying or obstructing telephone messages.

Local crime victim and witness assistance programs must verify that crime victims have received from law-enforcement personnel a standardized form listing the specific rights afforded to crime victims. Victims must be informed of the provisions of law that allow their name and address to be confidential. Requires a law-enforcement officer investigating a complaint of family abuse to transport or arrange for the transportation of an abused person to a hospital, safe shelter or magistrate.

The bill amends the witness protection program currently authorized to be established by the Department of State Police to include persons who may be in danger because of their cooperation with the investigation and prosecution to list the following crimes: assault and battery against a family or household member, a third misdemeanor conviction of certain sexual offenses, felony sexual assault and violent felony sexual assault.

This bill is identical to SB 290