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Zoey_ JD
Zoey_ JD, JustAnswer Criminal Law Mentor
Category: Criminal Law
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Experience:  Admitted to NYS Criminal defense bar in 1989. Extensive arraignment, hearing, trial experience.
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In Virginia is there a law against harrassment, verbal, phone

Customer Question

In Virginia is there a law against harrassment, verbal, phone calling, threats, etc. and if so what does the law state and could it be prosecuted. This person is an ex-romantic partner.
Submitted: 7 years ago.
Category: Criminal Law
Expert:  Zoey_ JD replied 7 years ago.
Yes there are several such laws in Viriginia, and as this is an ex romantic partner, a case of this sort would be considered a domestic violence matter. Here are a few of them.

Va. Code Ann. § 18.2-427. Use of profane, threatening or indecent language over public airways. (1984)

If any person shall use obscene, vulgar, profane, lewd, lascivious, or indecent language, or make any suggestion or proposal of an obscene nature, or threaten any illegal or immoral act with the intent to coerce, intimidate, or harass any person, over any telephone or citizens band radio, in this Commonwealth, he shall be guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor.

Va. Code Ann. § 18.2-60.3. Stalking; penalty. (2002)

A. Any person [except a law-enforcement officer or a registered private investigatoracting in the course of his legitimate business] who on more than one occasion engages in conduct directed at another person with the intent to place, or when he knows or reasonably should know that the conduct places that other person in reasonable fear of death, criminal sexual assault, or bodily injury to that other person or to that other person's family or household member is guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor.

If there's email or text messages involved:

Va. Code Ann. § 18.2-60. Threats of death or bodily injury to a person or member of his family; threats to commit serious bodily harm to persons on school property; penalty. (2001)

1. Any person who knowingly communicates, in a writing, including an

electronically transmitted communication producing a visual or electronic message, a threat to kill or do bodily injury to a person, regarding that person or any member of his family, and the threat places such person in reasonable apprehension of death or bodily injury to himself or his family member, is guilty of a Class 6 felony. However, any person who violates this subsection with the intent to commit an act of terrorism as defined in § 18.2-46.4 is guilty of a Class 5 felony

If you wish to prosecute you can go to the police, fill out a report and tell them you wish to press charges. You can also (or instead) go directly to the prosecutor. You would get a protective order. Your ex would become a defendant on a criminal case and would be required to stay away from you or face additional penalties.


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This thread will not close and you can always use it to get clarification.This is informational only and is NOT legal advice. There is no attorney-client relationship. You are advised to consult an attorney in your state for specific legal advice.