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Loudoun County Attorneys > Blog > Criminal Defense > New Criminal Laws in Virginia

New Criminal Laws in Virginia

On July 1, 2016 hundreds of new laws went into effect in Virginia. Some of these laws may affect you so it is important to be aware of the changes. This article highlights some of the new laws, including the changes to criminal law in Virginia.

Criminal Law

One of the major changes in criminal law has to do with an increase in the penalties for violations of protective orders. Violating a protective order and causing bodily injury will now be a Class 6 felony. Previously, there needed to be serious bodily injury for the crime to be a Class 6 felony. There are also changes to the stalking law wherein evidence of someone contacting a person after he or she has been asked to stop making contact is now prima facie evidence of stalking. This should make it easier for stalking victims to prosecute their stalkers. Further, a second stalking conviction within five years will now be a Class 6 felony without needing other convictions.

Other Laws

As of July 1st, the legal age for marriage in Virginia will be 18. However, people younger than 18 can get married if they are emancipated from their parents. The new law also creates a process that allows minors to petition for emancipation status for the purpose of taking advantage of the emancipation exception for marriage.

There will also be a new law which prohibits smoking in a vehicle with someone aged eight or younger in the vehicle. It is a secondary offense and the violation can result in a fine of $100.

Further, if social services or adult protective services believe that someone aged 60 years or older is the victim of financial exploitation with financial losses of $50,000 or more, the agency must report and hand over the investigation to local law enforcement.

The new laws also include a law that attempts to regulate fantasy gaming for cash prizes. Virginia is the first state in the nation to create a framework for legal fantasy gaming.

Finally, another new law requires hospitals to give patients estimates of the price of any elective procedures they are thinking of undergoing at least 72 hours before the procedure, test, or service is scheduled.

Criminal Defense Attorneys in Leesburg, Virginia

If you are charged with a crime anywhere in northern Virginia, you need a skilled criminal defense attorney on your side to defend you in court. Our skilled criminal defense attorneys at Simms Showers in Leesburg, Virginia can help you prepare the best defense to your charges.

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