HB2980: Child pornography; seizure and forfeiture of equipment.

Offered January 10, 2007
Prefiled January 10, 2007
A BILL to amend and reenact §§ 19.2-120 and 19.2-386.31 of the Code of Virginia, relating to the exploitation and solicitation of children for sexual purposes; forfeiture of equipment; bail.
Patron-- Bell

Committee Referral Pending

Be it enacted by the General Assembly of Virginia:

1. That §§ 19.2-120 and 19.2-386.31 of the Code of Virginia are amended and reenacted as follows:

§ 19.2-120. Admission to bail.

Prior to conducting any hearing on the issue of bail, release or detention, the judicial officer shall, to the extent feasible, obtain the person's criminal history.

A. A person who is held in custody pending trial or hearing for an offense, civil or criminal contempt, or otherwise shall be admitted to bail by a judicial officer, unless there is probable cause to believe that:

1. He will not appear for trial or hearing or at such other time and place as may be directed, or

2. His liberty will constitute an unreasonable danger to himself or the public.

B. The judicial officer shall presume, subject to rebuttal, that no condition or combination of conditions will reasonably assure the appearance of the person or the safety of the public if the person is currently charged with:

1. An act of violence as defined in § 19.2-297.1;

2. An offense for which the maximum sentence is life imprisonment or death;

3. A violation of § 18.2-248, 18.2-248.01, 18.2-255 or 18.2-255.2 involving a Schedule I or II controlled substance if (i) the maximum term of imprisonment is 10 years or more and the person was previously convicted of a like offense or (ii) the person was previously convicted as a "drug kingpin" as defined in § 18.2-248;

4. A violation of § 18.2-308.1, 18.2-308.2, or 18.2-308.4 and which relates to a firearm and provides for a mandatory minimum sentence;

5. Any felony, if the person has been convicted of two or more offenses described in subdivision 1 or 2, whether under the laws of the Commonwealth or substantially similar laws of the United States;

6. Any felony committed while the person is on release pending trial for a prior felony under federal or state law or on release pending imposition or execution of sentence or appeal of sentence or conviction;

7. An offense listed in subsection B of § 18.2-67.5:2 and the person had previously been convicted of an offense listed in § 18.2-67.5:2 or a substantially similar offense under the laws of any state or the United States and the judicial officer finds probable cause to believe that the person who is currently charged with one of these offenses committed the offense charged;

8. A violation of § 18.2-374.1 or 18.2-374.3 where the offender has reason to believe that the solicited person is under 15 years of age and the offender is at least 5 years older than the solicited person;

89. A violation of § 18.2-46.2, 18.2-46.3, 18.2-46.5 or 18.2-46.7; or

910. A violation of § 18.2-36.1, 18.2-51.4, 18.2-266, or 46.2-341.24 and the person has, within the past five years of the instant offense, been convicted three times on different dates of a violation of any combination of these Code sections, or any ordinance of any county, city, or town or the laws of any other state or of the United States substantially similar thereto, and has been at liberty between each conviction.

C. The judicial officer shall presume, subject to rebuttal, that no condition or combination of conditions will reasonably assure the appearance of the person or the safety of the public if the person is being arrested pursuant to § 19.2-81.6.

D. The court shall consider the following factors and such others as it deems appropriate in determining, for the purpose of rebuttal of the presumption against bail described in subsection B, whether there are conditions of release that will reasonably assure the appearance of the person as required and the safety of the public:

1. The nature and circumstances of the offense charged;

2. The history and characteristics of the person, including his character, physical and mental condition, family ties, employment, financial resources, length of residence in the community, community ties, past conduct, history relating to drug or alcohol abuse, criminal history, membership in a criminal street gang as defined in § 18.2-46.1, and record concerning appearance at court proceedings; and

3. The nature and seriousness of the danger to any person or the community that would be posed by the person's release.

E. The judicial officer shall inform the person of his right to appeal from the order denying bail or fixing terms of bond or recognizance consistent with § 19.2-124.

§ 19.2-386.31. Seizure and forfeiture of property used in connection with the exploitation and solicitation of children.

All audio and visual equipment, electronic equipment, devices and other personal property used in connection with the possession, production, distribution, publication, sale, possession with intent to distribute or making of sexually explicit visual material having a person less than 18 years of age as a subject child pornography that constitutes a violation of § 18.2-374.1 or 18.2-374.1:1, or in connection with the solicitation of a person less than 18 years of age that constitutes a violation of § 18.2-374.3 shall be subject to lawful seizure by a law-enforcement officer and shall be subject to forfeiture to the Commonwealth pursuant to Chapter 22 (§ 19.2-369 et seq.) of this title by order of the court in which a conviction under § 18.2-374.1, 18.2-374.1:1, or 18.2-374.3 is obtained. Notwithstanding the provisions of § 19.2-381, the court shall dispose of the forfeited property as it deems proper, including awarding the property to the agency seizing such property or to a state agency for lawful purposes. If the property is disposed of by sale, the court shall provide that the proceeds be paid into the Literary Fund.

A forfeiture under this section shall not extinguish the rights of any person without knowledge of the illegal use of the property who (i) is the lawful owner or (ii) has a valid and perfected lien on the property.