Assault and battery; adds magistrates within enhanced penalty provision. (SB853)

Introduced By

Sen. Chap Petersen (D-Fairfax) with support from co-patron Sen. Adam Ebbin (D-Alexandria)


Passed Committee
Passed House
Passed Senate
Signed by Governor
Became Law


Crimes; assault and battery; magistrate; penalty. Adds magistrates within the enhanced penalty provision of the assault and battery section. Amends § 18.2-57, of the Code of Virginia. Read the Bill »


Bill Has Passed


  • 01/02/2013 Prefiled and ordered printed; offered 01/09/13 13102891D
  • 01/02/2013 Referred to Committee for Courts of Justice
  • 01/04/2013 Impact statement from VCSC (SB853)
  • 01/21/2013 Reported from Courts of Justice with substitute (12-Y 0-N) (see vote tally)
  • 01/21/2013 Committee substitute printed 13104319D-S1
  • 01/21/2013 Rereferred to Finance
  • 01/23/2013 Incorporates SB966
  • 01/23/2013 Impact statement from VCSC (SB853S1)
  • 01/29/2013 Committee substitute printed 13104688D-S2
  • 01/29/2013 Incorporates SB966
  • 01/29/2013 Reported from Finance with substitute (15-Y 0-N) (see vote tally)
  • 01/30/2013 Constitutional reading dispensed (40-Y 0-N) (see vote tally)
  • 01/30/2013 Impact statement from VCSC (SB853S2)
  • 01/31/2013 Read second time
  • 01/31/2013 Reading of substitute waived
  • 01/31/2013 Committee substitute rejected 13104319D-S1
  • 01/31/2013 Committee substitute agreed to 13104688D-S2
  • 01/31/2013 Engrossed by Senate - committee substitute SB853S2
  • 02/01/2013 Bills placed in block (39-Y 0-N) (see vote tally)
  • 02/01/2013 Read third time and passed Senate (39-Y 0-N) (see vote tally)
  • 02/06/2013 Placed on Calendar
  • 02/06/2013 Read first time
  • 02/06/2013 Referred to Committee for Courts of Justice
  • 02/06/2013 Assigned Courts sub: #1 Criminal
  • 02/08/2013 Subcommittee recommends reporting (6-Y 1-N)
  • 02/08/2013 Subcommittee recommends referring to Committee on Appropriations
  • 02/11/2013 Reported from Courts of Justice (17-Y 0-N) (see vote tally)
  • 02/11/2013 Referred to Committee on Appropriations
  • 02/12/2013 Assigned App. sub: Public Safety
  • 02/14/2013 Subcommittee recommends reporting (7-Y 0-N)
  • 02/15/2013 Reported from Appropriations (22-Y 0-N) (see vote tally)
  • 02/20/2013 Read second time
  • 02/21/2013 Read third time
  • 02/21/2013 Passed House BLOCK VOTE (95-Y 0-N)
  • 02/21/2013 VOTE: BLOCK VOTE PASSAGE (95-Y 0-N) (see vote tally)
  • 02/23/2013 Enrolled
  • 02/23/2013 Bill text as passed Senate and House (SB853ER)
  • 02/23/2013 Impact statement from VCSC (SB853ER)
  • 02/23/2013 Signed by President
  • 02/23/2013 Signed by Speaker
  • 02/27/2013 Impact statement from DPB (SB853ER)
  • 03/23/2013 G Approved by Governor-Chapter 711 (effective 7/1/13)
  • 03/23/2013 G Acts of Assembly Chapter text (CHAP0711)


This bill was discussed on the floor of the General Assembly. Below is all of the video that we have of that discussion, 1 clip in all, totaling 46 seconds.


Wilson Talavera writes:

Please support this bill in order to provide protections to magistrates across the state and discourage intimidation.

Wayne Frye writes:

I encourage you to support this bill in order to provide needed protections to magistrates who provide an extremely important judicial service to all citizens of the Commonwealth of Virginia.

Tamyra Whitehead writes:

Thank you for taking a moment to read this email.

As a constituent & a Magistrate who serves the Commonwealth, I ask that this bill be supported. Both bills would amend Virginia Code 18.2-57 (c) by making assaults on Magistrates a felony. Judges & Law Enforcement Officers are already protected under this statute. Why then aren't Magistrates entitled to the same protection? In this environmental climate & the mentality of people, I would hope the General Assembly would want to be proactive and not reactive regarding this matter. For why should something have to happen to a Magistrate before action is taken. Like Judges we work with the same citizens of the Commonwealth, but unlike Judges, Magistrates work 24/7 with no supervised protection or security. Based on the nature of our job & with all the responsibilities a Magistrate is charged with I believe our safety is just as important. Thank you!

Chris Burgoyne writes:

I support this bill and I hope you will, too.

Joe Abercrombie writes:

I support this bill to provide added protections for our magistrates across Virginia.

Alan Troy writes:

Please support this bill. Magistrates in most regions meet with citizens in their offices without the security measures enjoyed by other judicial officers. There are no barriers and no metal detectors, and no deputy sheriffs present. Citizens who do not present the probable cause required to issue a criminal warrant have become considerably irate and threatening to magistrates when they are refused. As a soon to be retired [2/1/13] magistrate I have been threatened, cursed, and even assaulted [without battery] over the years and I have been told by citizens - without threat - after our hearing that they are carrying a knife or a gun on their person for their own protection. OES has done everything in their power to restrict the carrying of firearms by magistrates even though the law specifically permits concealed carry by Magistrates to and from work. Magistrates should have, at the very least, the protection of the penalty carried by a felony as punishment for striking a judicial officer. Thank you.

Richard W. Nagel writes:

I respectfully request that all members of the General Assembly support and vote for SB 853. Adding the felony provision to 18.2-57 (c) is good public policy and will enhance the magistrate system.

Charles Warren Davis writes:

I find it insulting that any member of the General Assembly would even consider voting against this bill. I respectfully challenge any such person to spend a shift with me in the magistrate's office, and see if your opinion remains the same. I would also request that you post your justification for deciding that magistrates are less deserving of this statutory protection than law enforcement officers, judges, correctional officers, firefighters, and rescue squad members.

Sarita Chandler writes:

To the General Assembly, place yourself in the position of a Magistrate. Our position is already not recognized and not appreciated. Our job is important as judges, law enforcement officers, correction officers, firefighters,and rescue squad. If it was your child, as a Magistrate would you not want him/her to be protected under this statute 18.2-57.