Senate Bill No. 374
(By Senators Kessler, Mitchell, McKenzie, Dawson, Unger, Bailey,
Love, Ball, Hunter, Edgell and Sprouse)
[Introduced February 2, 2000; 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 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;
(a) A person is guilty of making a false statement to a
law-enforcement officer when:
(1) The person, 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 an accused in any criminal case who, under the
provisions of article three, section five of the constitution of
the state of West Virginia could not be compelled to be a witness
against himself or herself, unless the accused has voluntarily
waived the right to remain silent prior to making or giving the statement, representation, writing or document.
(c) 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.
(d) 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.
(e) 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.
NOTE: The purpose of this bill is to impose misdemeanor
penalties for interfering with or misleading a law-enforcement
Section seventeen-a is new; therefore, strike-throughs and
underscoring have been omitted.