Senate Bill No. 159
(By Senator Wiedebusch)
[Introduced January 24, 2995; referred to the Committee
on the Judiciary.]
A BILL to amend article five, chapter sixty-one of the code of
West Virginia, one thousand nine hundred thirty-one, as
amended, by adding thereto a new section, designated section
thirty, relating to violation of protective or restraining
order; and penalty therefor.
Be it enacted by the Legislature of West Virginia:
That article five, chapter sixty-one of the code of West
Virginia, one thousand nine hundred thirty-one, as amended, be
amended by adding thereto a new section, designated section
thirty, to read as follows:
ARTICLE 5. CRIMES AGAINST PUBLIC JUSTICE.
§61-5-30. Violation of protective order; penalty.
(a) Notwithstanding any other provision of this code to the
contrary, when any person knowingly violates any term or
condition of a temporary or final protective or restraining order
which requires that person to refrain from abusing an individual, from corresponding or communicating with an individual, or from
initiating or maintaining any physical contact with the
individual or presence at or near the individual's home, school,
place of business or employment, or any other specified location
associated with that individual, that person who is in violation
of the order is guilty of a misdemeanor, and, upon conviction
thereof, shall be imprisoned in a county or regional jail for not
less than nine months nor more than one year.
(b) If any person, having been previously convicted of the
offense stated in subsection (a) of this section, knowingly
disobeys or violates the terms or conditions of the same or any
other protective order, as described in subsection (a) of this
section, he or she is guilty of a felony, and, upon conviction
thereof, shall be imprisoned in the penitentiary for not less
than one year nor more than five years.
(c) All state, county or municipal law enforcement officers
are authorized to and shall: (1) Immediately take into custody
any individual who, in the presence of the officer, commits or is
committing either of the offenses provided for in subsection (a)
or (b) of this section; (2) take immediate steps to investigate
and confirm the existence of any violation, upon notice from any
person that an individual is acting or has acted in violation of
a lawfully entered protective order; and (3) if, upon
investigation or upon the sworn complaint of any individual, it
is determined that probable cause exists to believe that the accused acted in violation of this section, a warrant shall issue
and the individual shall be taken into custody.
(d) The provisions of this section are not intended to be
exclusive but are in addition to any other civil or criminal
remedy available at law or in equity, enforceable by either the
object or beneficiary of the court's protective order or any
NOTE: The purpose of this bill is to provide criminal
penalties for the violation of any personal protective order, in
addition to present procedures for enforcement through contempt
proceedings, irrespective of the victim's willingness to pursue
a criminal complaint against the individual; and to authorize and
impose a duty upon law-enforcement officers to arrest an offender
immediately if the offense occurs in the officer's presence or to
seek a warrant upon a sworn complaint from any individual.
This section is new; therefore, strike-throughs and
underscoring have been omitted.