The 2011 Virginia General Assembly has made changes to the statute which expanded the availability of Protective Orders and increases the penalties for violating such Orders.
Renames "protective orders for stalking" as "protective orders" and expands the class of persons that is eligible to obtain a protective order by enlarging the types of conduct that permit the issuance of a protective order from certain specified criminal acts to any act involving violence, force, or threat that results in bodily injury or places one in reasonable apprehension of death, sexual assault, or bodily injury. Such protective orders are available based on such conduct, regardless of the relationship of the parties involved. The bill also makes several amendments to make protective orders and family abuse protective orders more consistent, including amending the definition of “family abuse” to be consistent with the conduct that would allow for the issuance of a “protective order” and providing that a family abuse protective order may include a condition prohibiting the allegedly abusing person from committing a criminal offense that results in injury to person or property. The bill also makes the penalties for violating a protective order consistent with the penalties for violating a family abuse protective order: (i) any person convicted of a second violation of a protective order, when the offense is committed within five years of a conviction for a prior offense and when either the instant or prior offense was based on an act or threat of violence, shall be sentenced to a mandatory minimum term of confinement of 60 days; (ii) any person convicted of a third or subsequent offense, when such offense is committed within 20 years of the first conviction and when either the instant or any of the prior offenses was based on an act or threat of violence, is guilty of a Class 6 felony and punishment shall include a mandatory minimum term of confinement of six months; (iii) any person who commits an assault and battery resulting in serious bodily injury upon a person protected by a protective order is guilty of a Class 6 felony; and (iv) any person who violates a protective order by furtively entering the home of the protected party while such party is present or enters and remains in such home until the protected party arrives is guilty of a Class 6 felony.