Assault and battery; penalty. (SB5032)

Introduced By

Sen. Scott Surovell (D-Mount Vernon) with support from co-patrons Sen. Jennifer Boysko (D-Herndon), Sen. Barbara Favola (D-Arlington), Sen. Ghazala Hashmi (D-Midlothian), Sen. Louise Lucas (D-Portsmouth), and Sen. Joe Morrissey (D-Richmond)


Passed Committee
Passed House
Passed Senate
Signed by Governor
Became Law


Assault and battery; penalty. Eliminates the mandatory minimum term of confinement for a simple assault or an assault and battery committed against a judge; magistrate; law-enforcement officer; correctional officer; person directly involved in the care, treatment, or supervision of inmates; firefighter; or volunteer firefighter or any emergency medical services personnel. The bill provides that any person charged with such offense where the degree of culpability is slight, a jury or the court may find the accused not guilty of such offense but guilty of a simple assault or assault and battery, punishable as a Class 1 misdemeanor. The bill also provides that before any arrest, indictment, or service of a petition in the case of a juvenile is made for an alleged assault and battery against a law-enforcement officer, such alleged assault and battery shall be investigated by another law-enforcement officer who was not the subject of such alleged assault and battery and the arrest, indictment, or service of a petition shall be approved by the attorney for the Commonwealth. Read the Bill »


Bill Has Failed


08/13/2020Prefiled and ordered printed; offered 08/18/20 20200717D
08/13/2020Referred to Committee on the Judiciary
08/18/2020Senate committee, floor amendments and substitutes offered
08/18/2020Reported from Judiciary with substitute (9-Y 5-N) (see vote tally)
08/18/2020Committee substitute printed 20200824D-S1
08/19/2020Read first time
08/20/2020Engrossed by Senate - committee substitute SB5032 S1
08/20/2020Read second time
08/20/2020Reading of substitute waived
08/20/2020Committee substitute agreed to 20200824D-S1
08/20/2020Engrossed by Senate - committee substitute SB5032S1
08/26/2020Read third time and passed Senate (21-Y 15-N) (see vote tally)
08/31/2020Impact statement from DPB (SB5032S1)
09/17/2020Placed on Calendar
09/17/2020Read first time
09/17/2020Referred to Committee for Courts of Justice
09/22/2020Passed by indefinitely in Courts of Justice (18-Y 1-N) (see vote tally)


Elizabeth Bickford writes:

I vote a resounding NO on this bill! While Police Reform is necessary, this bill will end up making the Commonwealth LESS SAFE for the citizens.

teresa champion writes:

Please read the bill. The way it passed the Senate- It didn't de-felonize assault of LEO, but it: 1) removed the mandatory minimum of 6 months in jail if convicted and 2) now recognizes that if there is no real injury (and over 70% of these charges have NO injuries at all) or someone with diminished capactiy is involved, then the Court can use discretion in the sentence. see: "Any person charged with committing an offense in violation of this subsection where the degree of culpability is slight, due to such person's diminished physical or mental capacity or pervasive developmental disorder, or if there is no bodily injury, a jury or the court may find the accused not guilty of violating this subsection but guilty of a simple assault or assault and battery in violation of subsection A, punishable as a Class 1 misdemeanor."

This is important for families with loved ones who cannot control their purposeful body movements (autism, a tic disorder, anxiety with fight or flight etc... the list goes on...) If someone is in crisis, they problably are not able to control their responses and should not be charged with a Class 6 felony. They do not belong in jail and this conviction and sentence would endanger their social service safety net. (SNAP benefits, Medicaid, day programs, etc...)

Please support this bill.

justin rodriguez writes:

As a LEO myself, let me make sure that I understand this correctly. If I am assaulted, and there's no "real injury"...WTH does that mean? I understand wanting to consider diminished faculties a a mitigating circumstance...that's perfectly reasonable. But if I'm assaulted, and not "really uinjured" what. Are you really to stupid to realize that any scumbag willing to assault a LEO is far more likely to assault a civilian? We, as a populace, are willing to wait until a LEO is "really injured" before we consider a stiff penalty for a scumbag? In two or three years, maybe we should consider reducing sentences for scumbags who "really injure" an officer. And a few years after that, we should reduce sentences for scumbags who maim or kill an officer.

Are you kidding me. The public is fortunate enough to have patriots serving in uniform to protect the citizens and enforce the law, I don't know where this supposed need for law enforcement reform came from...but its all a crock. Our system is fine. Are there bad officers...sure...but very few. One bad officer out of 10,000 does not reflect a broken system. IF an officer violates procedures or discipline, fire, or prosecute. You DON'T ear apart an entire society.

You know who the real scumbags are...the state legislators. I wonder how a bill would fare in the legislature to preclude LEOs from providing security for, or responding to 911 calls from a state legislator. I mean. after all...if a LEO is assumed to be evil...shouldn't a legislator in need be precluded from utilizing the services of such corrupt, evil individuals-like me?

Waldo Jaquith writes:

As a LEO myself, let me make sure that I understand this correctly. If I am assaulted, and there's no "real injury"...WTH does that mean?

If you don't understand the difference between assault and battery, you should not be a law enforcement officer. It is "assault" for a civilian to touch a LEO gently with the tip of a single finger. Under existing law, there is a mandatory sentence of six months for this offense. This bill simply lets the judge decide how much of a sentence that somebody deserves if they have harmed a LEO in no way whatsoever. That's it.

So, please, spare us your hyperventilating about "tearing apart an entire society."

James E. McGrail writes:

Finger tip --- full hand --- fist --- knife --- gun --- Hang the "Punk A** Bums" !
No brakes at all !!! They show zero respect for the badge and uniform --------- Hang them !! Mac McGrail

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