Senate Bill No. 212
(By Senators Snyder, Green, Klempa, McCabe, Williams, Sypolt, Palumbo, Foster, Beach and Wills)
[Introduced January 17, 2011; referred to the Committee on the Judiciary.]
A BILL 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 emergency communication; 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 emergency communications.
(a) No person may:
(1) Intentionally prevent or hinder the initiation, making or completion of an emergency or other such communication by another person; or
(2) Disrupt emergency or other such communication by theft of equipment or other means with the intent to remove such equipment to commit larceny.
(b) For the purpose of this section, “emergency communication” means any means of communication that allows the transmission of warnings or other information pertaining to any crime, fire, accident, power outage, disaster or risk of injury or damage to any person or property, including but not limited to, telephone lines, cellular telephone towers and equipment, radio channels, railroad communication devices, electrical towers and equipment, and utility lines.
(c) Any person that violates any provision of this section is guilty of a felony and, upon conviction thereof, shall be confined in a correctional facility not more than ten years or fined not more than $10,000, or both.
NOTE: The purpose of this bill is to make it a criminal offense to disrupt emergency communications.
§61-3-49b is new; therefore, strike-throughs and underscoring have been omitted.
This bill was recommended for introduction and passage during the 2012 Regular Session of the Legislature by the Joint Standing Committee on Government Organization.