Senate Bill No. 212
(Senators Snyder, Green, Klempa, McCabe, Williams, Sypolt, Palumbo, Foster, Beach and Wills, original sponsors)
[Passed March 16, 2012; in effect ninety days from passage.]
AN ACT to amend the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended, by adding thereto a new section, designated §61-3-49b, relating to the disruption of communications and public utility services; defining terms; and establishing criminal penalties.
Be it enacted by the Legislature of West Virginia:
That the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended, be amended by adding thereto a new section, designated §61-3-49b, to read as follows:
ARTICLE 3. CRIMES AGAINST PROPERTY.
§61-3-49b. Disruption of communications and utilities services.
(a) Any person who causes a disruption of communications services or public utility services by the theft or by intentionally damaging communications or public utility equipment and by such conduct causes:
(1) A disruption of communication services or public utility services to ten or more households or subscribers; or
(2) A loss in the value of the property in an amount of one thousand dollars or more,
shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction thereof, for a first offense, shall be sentenced to not more than two thousand hours of court-approved community service or fined not more than $10,000, or both. For a second offense, the person is guilty of a felony and, upon conviction thereof, shall be imprisoned in a state correctional facility not less than one nor more than five years or fined not more than $10,000, or both. For third and subsequent offenses, the person is guilty of a felony and, upon conviction thereof, shall be imprisoned in a correctional facility for not less than one nor more than ten years, or fined not more than $10,000, or both.
(b) As used in this section, communications and public utility equipment includes but is not limited to public safety communications towers and equipment, telephone lines, communications towers and tower equipment, radio towers and tower equipment, railroad and other industrial safety communication devices or systems, electric towers and equipment and electric transmission and distribution lines.