From R. E. “Trip”
July 1, 2018, sees, as always, new
laws or amendments to existing criminal statutes taking effect as adopted by
the General Assembly. The following is
only a summary of the legislative changes which I feel will be of interest to
my fellow citizens. Please be cognizant
that this is only a summary of new legislation and does not detail all
changes. Should the reader have any
questions, please call me at 365-6186.
As always, my thanks to Senators McDougle and Dunnavant and Delegates Peace
and Fowler for being receptive to my concerns and their efforts in the
private swim club may permit its members to bring lawfully acquired
alcoholic beverages onto the premises and to consume them on the premises.
an animal will now be punishable as a Class 1 misdemeanor (up to 12 months
in jail and/or a fine of up to $2,500.00, either or both). This amendment increases the penalty
from a Class 3 misdemeanor ($500.00 fine). Also, the definition of “abandon” is changed from 5 days to 4 days
of failing to provide basic care.
agency seeking asset forfeiture of money or property, must now inform
D.C.J.S. what offense the requested forfeiture is based upon, whether the
owner of the property has been charged and the status of any charge. In essence, asset forfeiture is the
procedure whereby an agency seizes property gained by enumerated illegal means. No forfeiture can occur
without a legal proceeding.
authority for multi-jurisdiction grand juries to investigate fraud crimes
has been expanded. The threshold
amount for felony charges in certain larceny cases has been increased from
$200.00 to $500.00. The $200.00
threshold had been the standard since 1980. Among the statutes effected are grand
larceny, petit larceny, unauthorized use of a motor vehicle, certain arson
offenses, and credit card fraud. Numerous offenses which punish larceny and fraud offenses are
impacted by these amendment.
penalty for female genital mutilation was increased to a Class 2 felony
(20 years to life and a fine up to $100,000.00) from a Class 1
misdemeanor. This change is
consistent with the existing penalty for aggravated malicious wounding.
governments may expand criminal blight ordinances to include the regular
presence of persons using the property for illegal drug use and sale,
commercial sex trafficking or prostitution, or repeated acts of the
malicious discharge of firearms within the building.
new code section prohibits drones on or within 50 feet of another’s
dwelling if it is done with the intent to coerce, intimidate or harass; or
the drone operator has received actual notice to desist. This does not apply if the operator has
consent or is authorized by Federal regulation. The new statute requires knowing and
intentional use to contact or capture an image and is punishable as a
Class 1 misdemeanor. Registered sex
offenders cannot use a drone to follow or contact someone without
permission or to capture images of a person unless that person is
unrecognizable. The respondent of a
protective order cannot use a drone to follow, contact or capture images
of the petitioner or persons named in the protective order. A violation of either is a Class 1
on March 9, 2018, a practitioner of medicine or osteopathy licensed by the
Board of Medicine may issue a written certificate for the use of
cannabidiol oil (CBD) or THC-A oil for treatment or to alleviate the
symptoms of any diagnosed condition or disease determined by the
practitioner to benefit from such use. This provides an affirmative defense to the possession of marijuana for one who has a certification or that individual’s parent or legal
hunting from an enclosed ground blind during any firearms deer season, except during the special season for hunting with a muzzle-loading rifle
only, is now allowed to display attached to or immediately above the blind at least 100 square inches of solid blaze orange or pink material visible
from 360 degrees in lieu of wearing specialized hunting apparel. The material or apparel must be solid in
color or fluorescent in hue.