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Sunday, June 26, 2016

In Virginia July 1st is When New Laws Go into Effect……So What Laws Have Changed for Virginia’s Current and Future Registered Sex Offenders?


Virginia news outlets are starting to write about the new laws that take effect in Virginia this Friday, July 1st. 

Hundreds of new laws set to take effect Friday, June 26, 2016

A raft of new state laws take effect Friday, June 26, 2016

They usually pick the most controversial ones or the widest-net ones to write about, they can’t cover every-single new law. And since ignorance of the law is not an acceptable defense and mens rea (criminal intent) isn’t a required factor in the commission of a crime, especially a sex crime or in a failure to register for RSO’s, I am going to repost my May 1st list of new laws for RSO’s in Virginia in case anyone missed it the first time around. 

Mary Devoy
 

May 1, 2016 Re-Post:
 
The 2016 Virginia General Assembly Session began on Wednesday January 13th 2016 and it adjourned on Friday March 11th 2016. 

This morning I finally I finalized the 2016 General Assembly Legislation page so that all the details on what Bills failed and what Bills passed are in one location. That page will remain up until November and then it will be replaced with a new 2017 GA Legislation page in anticipation of the next GA session. 

As for the 2016 General Assembly Committee page I will probably delete that in the next month or so then in December or January a new 2017 list will appear. 

I posted back on April 4th how many RSO Bills were filed during the entire 2016 session. 

So now that’s all over…………. what new laws begin on July 1, 2016 that will affect Virginias current Registered Sex Offenders? Is there anything significant that you need to know about or to avoid or are now required to do?  No, there isn’t. 

Changes that will occur on July 1st:
 

  1. The Virginia State Police will now post publicly all college information on an RSO’s VSP listing.

  1. The VA-DMV is now prohibited to issue or renew any DMV-Specialty License Plate that is related to children or children's programs or with revenues paid to funds for the benefit of children if the vehicle is owned by an RSO.
This includes any co-owned vehicles so any spouses, parents or teenage children who have these license-plates today will not be allowed to renew it with the DMV if the RSO remains a co-owner on the vehicle and so their license plate will be revoked.

                                These license plates are included:
1.       Virginia Family and Children’s Trust Fund Kid’s First
2.      Virginia Family and Children’s Trust Fund Child Trust Heart
3.      Virginia Family and Children’s Trust Fund Child Trust Hand
4.      Virginia Family and Children’s Trust Fund Child Trust Star
5.       Virginia Cure Childhood Cancer
6.      Virginia Unlocking Autism
7.       Virginia Kid’s Eat Free

                        These license plates might be included because they bear images of children:
8.      Virginia Choose Life
9.      Virginia Drive Out Diabetes 

  1. The VA-DMV shall not issue or renew personalized (Vanity) license plates to RSO’s if the requested personalization relates to or references children. 
It’s my opinion that the VA-DMV is just going to create an internal policy saying no VSP RSO can have a vanity license plate because they won’t want to be bothered with a review process and the chance they might miss a “reference”. So current “Vanity” Plates owned by RSO’s that can’t be easily deciphered as NOT referencing children could possibly be revoked.-Mary 

  1. Condominium and Housing Associations are now likened to that of daycares, schools and assisted living facilities within the Code of Virginia in that they can now request and receive RSO email-notifications directly from the Virginia State Police. 
Anybody can sign-up for VSP email notifications so this isn’t any real change. 

  1. Any RSO “not guilty by reason of insanity” can not be licensed by child welfare agency or assisted living facility, approved as a foster or adoptive parent by a child-placing agency, approved as a family day home by a family day system, or employment or serving as a volunteer at an assisted living facility, adult day care center, or child welfare agency. 
This was a Federal law passed in 2014, Virginia got around to adding it to State Code. 

That’s all that has changed for Virginia’s current Registered Sex Offenders (RSO’s) in 2016.  

You don’t have to avoid anyplace or anyone new, you don’t have to give more data to the VSP, you don’t have to speed up the time-frame that you deliver data to the authorities, no one was retroactively re-classified, no employment opportunities were taken away, no commercial driver licenses were changed, your standard driver’s license expiration time did not shrink again, no one’s mandated timeframe on the VSP Registry was retroactively increased before a court-petition is allowed and no changes to the court-petition process were made. Also no changes to SVP civil commitment were proposed in 2016. 

As always if you are in doubt on what your legal obligations are in Virginia you can check the Do’s and Don’ts page  OR the Virginia Code page. 

All in all…….it was not a terrible General Assembly session for RSO’s, so be thankful! 

Mary Davye Devoy