CHAPTER 61. CRIMES AND THEIR PUNISHMENT.
ARTICLE 1. CRIMES AGAINST THE GOVERNMENT.
§61-1-1. Treason defined; degree of proof.
Treason against the state shall consist only in levying war
against it, or in adhering to its enemies, giving them aid and
comfort. No person shall be convicted of treason unless on the
testimony of two witnesses to the same overt act, or on confession
in open court.
Whoever is guilty of treason against the State shall be
punished by confinement in the penitentiary for life, or, at the
discretion of the jury, or the discretion of the court when there
is a plea of guilty, by confinement in the penitentiary for not
less than three nor more than ten years.
§61-1-3. Failure to give information of treason; penalty.
If any person have any knowledge of treason against the state,
and shall not, as soon as may be, give information thereof to the
governor or some conservator of the peace, he shall be guilty of a
felony, and, upon conviction, shall be fined not exceeding one
thousand dollars, or by confinement in the penitentiary not less
than one nor more than five years.
§61-1-4. Attempt to justify or uphold invasion or insurrection;
If any person shall attempt to justify or uphold an armed
invasion of this state, or an organized insurrection therein, by
speaking, writing, or printing, or by publishing or circulating any
written or printed document, or in any other way whatever, during
the continuance of such invasion or insurrection, he shall be
guilty of a misdemeanor, and, upon conviction, shall be fined not
exceeding one thousand dollars, and be confined in jail not
exceeding twelve months.
§61-1-5. Unlawful speeches, publications and communications.
It shall be unlawful for any person to speak, print, publish
or communicate, by language, sign, picture or otherwise, any
teachings, doctrines or counsels in sympathy with or in favor of
ideals, institutions or forms of government hostile, inimical or
antagonistic to those now or hereafter existing under the
constitution and laws of this state or of the United States, or in
sympathy with or in favor of the propriety, duty and necessity of
crime, violence or other unlawful methods of terrorism, as a means
of accomplishing economic or political reform, or in sympathy with
or in favor of the overthrow of organized society, the unlawful
destruction of property or the violation of law.
WVC 61 - 1 - 6
Acts, 2010 Reg. Sess., Ch. 34.
WVC 61 - 1 - 7
§61-1-7. Penalty for unlawful speeches, publications and
Any person violating any of the provisions of section five of
this article, shall, for the first offense, be guilty of a
misdemeanor, and, upon conviction, shall be fined not less than
$100 nor more than $500, or, in the discretion of the court, be
confined in jail not exceeding twelve months, or both; and, for the
second offense, shall be guilty of a felony, and, upon conviction
shall be confined in a state correctional facility not less than
one nor more than five years.
§61-1-8. Desecration of flag; penalty.
Any person who for exhibition or display shall place, or cause
to be placed, any words, figures, marks, pictures, designs,
drawings, or any advertisement of any nature, upon any flag,
standard, color or ensign of the United States, or upon the state
flag of this state, or shall expose or cause to be exposed to
public view any such flag, standard, color or ensign, upon which
shall have been printed, painted or otherwise placed, or to which
shall be attached, appended, affixed or annexed, any words,
figures, marks, pictures, designs, drawings, or any advertisement
of any nature or kind, or who shall expose to public view,
manufacture, sell, expose for sale, give away, or have in
possession for sale or to give away, or for use for any purpose,
any article or substance, being an article of merchandise or a
receptacle of merchandise, or article or thing for carrying or
transporting merchandise, upon which shall have been printed,
painted, attached or otherwise placed, a representation of any such
flag, standard, color or ensign, to advertise, call attention to,
decorate, mark or distinguish the article or substance on which so
placed, or who shall publicly mutilate, deface, defile or defy,
trample upon or cast contempt, either by words or acts, upon any
such flag, standard, color or ensign, he shall be deemed guilty of
a misdemeanor, and, upon conviction, shall be fined not less than
five nor more than one hundred dollars, and may, at the discretion
of the court or justice trying the case, be confined in jail for a
period not exceeding thirty days. Any justice of the peace of the
county wherein the offense was committed shall have concurrent jurisdiction of such offense with the circuit or other courts of
such county. The words "flag, standard, color or ensign of the
United States," as used in this section, shall be construed to
include any flag, standard, color, ensign, or any representation or
picture of a flag, standard, color or ensign, made of or upon any
substance whatever, and of any size whatever, showing the national
colors, the stars and stripes. This section shall not apply to any
act permitted by the statutes of the United States, or of this
state, or by the regulations of the United States army and navy, or
of the national guard of this state, or of the members of the
department of public safety; nor shall this section be construed to
apply to the regular issue of a newspaper or other periodical, or
to any book, certificate, diploma, warrant or commission, on which
shall be printed said flag, disconnected from any advertisement, or
to the vignette of any political ballot.
§61-1-9. Impersonation of law-enforcement officer or official;
Any person who shall falsely represent himself or herself to
be a law-enforcement officer or law-enforcement official or to be
under the order or direction of any such person, or any person not
a law-enforcement officer or law-enforcement official who shall
wear the uniform prescribed for such persons, or the badge or other
insignia adopted for use by such persons with the intent to deceive
another person, is guilty of a misdemeanor, and, upon conviction
thereof, shall be fined not less than one hundred dollars nor more
than one thousand dollars.
For purposes of this section, the terms law-enforcement
officer and law-enforcement official shall be defined by section
one, article twenty-nine, chapter thirty of this code, except that
such terms shall not include members of the division of public
safety and shall not include individuals hired by nonpublic
entities for the provision of security services.
Note: WV Code updated with legislation passed through the 2016 Regular Session
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