Senate Bill No. 374
(By Senators Kessler, Mitchell, McKenzie, Dawson, Unger, Bailey,
Love, Ball, Hunter, Edgell and Sprouse)
[Originating in the Committee on the Judiciary;
reported February 29, 2000.]
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 seventeen-a,
relating to defining the misdemeanor offense of making a false
statement to a law-enforcement officer; and providing
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
seventeen-a, to read as follows:
ARTICLE 5. CRIMES AGAINST PUBLIC JUSTICE.
§61-5-17a. Making a false statement to a law-enforcement officer; penalty.
(a) A person is guilty of making a false statement to a
law-enforcement officer when:
(1) The person, other than the person who is the subject of
the investigation or prosecution, with the intent to impede the
law-enforcement officer in the lawful exercise or discharge of his
or her official duty, knowingly and willfully makes any false,
fictitious or fraudulent statement or representation, or makes or
uses any false writing or document knowing it to contain any false,
fictitious or fraudulent statement or entry;
(2) The statement, representation, writing or document is made
or given to the law-enforcement officer when the officer is in the
lawful exercise or discharge of his or her official duties and is
conducting an investigation of an alleged criminal offense; and
(3) The misrepresentation is material.
(b) The provisions of subsection (a) of this section are not
applicable to a person in the relation of husband and wife, parent
or grandparent, child or grandchild, brother or sister, by
consanguinity or affinity, of an accused in any criminal case, when
the person, after the commission of an offense, aids or assists the
accused to avoid or escape from prosecution or punishment.
(c) Any person who violates the provisions of this section is
guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction thereof, shall be fined not less than twenty-five dollars nor more than two hundred
dollars, or confined in a county or regional jail for not more than
sixty days, or both fined and imprisoned.
(d) For purposes of this section, "law-enforcement officer"
means any duly authorized member of a law-enforcement agency who is
authorized to maintain public peace and order, prevent and detect
crime, make arrests and enforce the laws of the state or any county
or municipality thereof, other than parking ordinances. As used in
this section, the term "law-enforcement officer" does not apply to
the chief executive of any West Virginia law-enforcement agency or
any watchman, college campus security personnel or special
conservation officer, nor does it apply to members of the West
Virginia state police, who are governed by the provisions of
section sixteen, article two, chapter fifteen of this code.