HB4052 H JUD AM 2-15
The Committee on the Judiciary moves to amend the bill on page one, following the enacting section, by striking out the remainder of the bill and inserting in lieu thereof the following language:
ARTICLE 3. CRIMES AGAINST PROPERTY.
§61-3-59. Graffiti; penalties; and damages recoverable in a civil action.
(a) As used in this section,
(1) “Graffiti” means any unauthorized inscription, word, figure or design that is marked, etched, scratched, drawn or painted on any real or personal property; and
(2) “Value of the loss” means the cost of repair, replacement or restoration of the property on which the graffiti placed.
(b) A person who places graffiti on public or private property, real or personal, of another, without the permission of the owner where the value of the loss is less than $1,500, is guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction thereof, for a first offense, shall be confined in jail not less than twenty-four hours nor more than six months and fined not more than $1,000. For a second offense, the person is guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction thereof, shall be confined in jail not less than forty-eight hours nor more than six months and fined not more than $2,000. 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 three years and fined not more than $10,000.
(c) A person who places graffiti on public or private property, real or personal, of another, without the permission of the owner where the value of the loss is equal to or greater than $1,500, is guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction thereof, for a first offense, shall be confined in jail not more than one year and fined not more than $2,000. For second 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 five years and fined not more than $10,000.
(d) Any conviction for a violation of subsections (b) or (c), for an offense which occurred more than ten years prior to the date of arrest in the current proceeding, may not be considered for the purposes of imposing a sentence under subsections (b) and (c) relating to a second, third and subsequent offense.
(e) If a person commits more than one offense under this section, pursuant to a scheme or continuing course of conduct over a period of time, not to exceed ninety days, the value of all property damaged or destroyed by that person in the commission of those offenses shall be aggregated for the purpose of determining the penalty prescribed in this section.
(f) The court may, in addition to any other fine or penalty imposed, order a person who violates this section to pay restitution.
(g) A person convicted under any provision in this section shall be sentenced to not less than one hundred twenty hours of court-approved community service. The court may order the person to repair, replace, or clean up the property damaged or destroyed by the person or any other public or private property, with approval of the owner, that is located in the county where the offence occurred.
(h) If a person who is less than eighteen years of age is found guilty of violating this section, the court may, in addition to any other penalty imposed, issue an order suspending the driver's license of the person for not more than two years. The court shall require the person to surrender all driver's licenses then held by the person. If the person does not possess a driver's license, the court shall issue an order prohibiting the person from applying for a driver's license for not less than six months and not more than two years. The court shall, within five days after issuing the order, forward to the Division of Motor Vehicles any licenses together with a copy of the order.
(i) A criminal penalty imposed pursuant to this section is in addition to any civil penalty or other remedy available pursuant to this section or another statute for the same conduct.
(j) The owner of public or private property that has been damaged by graffiti may bring a civil action against the person who placed the graffiti on the property. The court may award to the property owner damages in an amount up to three times the amount of any loss in value to the property or up to three times the cost of restoring the property plus attorney's fees and costs, or both.
The Committee on the Judiciary moves to amend the title of the bill to read as follows:
H.B. 4052 - - A Bill to amend the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended, by adding thereto a new section, designated §61-3-59, relating to crimes against property involving graffiti; authorizing a court to require restitution; providing criminal and civil penalties; and authorizing property owners to initiate civil actions to recover damages.