Reminder of new laws taking effect July 1 or later
6/25/2020, 6 p.m.
The General Assembly passed hundreds of new laws earlier this year, most of which will go into effect on July 1.
Here are 10 laws that we should be aware of:
Possession of marijuana is still illegal in Virginia, but possession of a small amount is no longer criminal. Possession of 1 oz. or less of marijuana is now subject to no more than a $25 civil fine.
It is against the law to leave a loaded, unsecured firearm accessible to a child under the age of 14. Violation is a class one misdemeanor (up to 12 months in jail and/or a fine of up to $2,500).
Failure to report a lost or stolen firearm can result in a summons and a fine of no more than $250.
Richmond and other localities have been given authority to ban possession of firearms from public buildings, parks and recreation and community centers as long as there is clear notice to the public of the ban.
It is a class 6 felony (1 to 5 years imprisonment) for a person who is the subject of a protective order to possess a firearm while the protective order is in effect.
The threshold amount to charge a person with grand larceny has been raised from $500 to $1,000.
Custodial interrogation of a juvenile can take place only after law enforcement has attempted to notify the parent or guardian that the juvenile is in custody, except in limited circumstances.
The charge of disorderly conduct cannot be brought against any student at an el- ementary or secondary school if the behavior occurred on school property, on a school bus or during a school sponsored activity.
Previously, it was assumed that it was reckless driving if you drove more than 80 mph on the highway. That speed has now been increased to 85 mph.
Using a cell phone while you are driving a moving vehicle currently is against the law in the City of Richmond. It is a primary offense, which means that a police officer can conduct a traffic stop for that offense alone. The penalty for a first offense is $125 and $250 for a second or subsequent offense. “Hands free” cell phone usage will be required throughout the
state as of Jan. 1, 2021.
COLETTE WALLACE McEACHIN
The writer is the commonwealth’s attorney for the city of Richmond.