Victims of human trafficking; expands definition, affirmative defense, writ of vacatur. (HB579)

Introduced By

Del. Kelly Fowler (D-Virginia Beach) with support from co-patron Del. John Avoli (R-Staunton)


Passed Committee
Passed House
Passed Senate
Signed by Governor
Became Law


Victims of human trafficking; affirmative defense; writ of vacatur. Expands the definition of qualifying offense for the purposes of the issuance of a writ of vacatur for victims of commercial sex trafficking and the affirmative defense available to victims of sex trafficking to include a number of additional offenses enumerated in the bill. Current law only allows the issuance of such writ of vacatur or the use of such affirmative defense for convictions and adjudications of delinquency or charges for prostitution and keeping, residing in, or frequenting a bawdy place. The bill also changes the term "victim of sex trafficking" to "victim of human trafficking" as used in reference to such writ of vacatur and affirmative defense and adds to the definition of "victim of human trafficking" any person subjected to human trafficking, as defined in the bill, and any person who committed such offense while younger than 18 years of age. For the purposes of the issuance of the writ of vacatur, the bill also provides that there shall be a rebuttable presumption that a petitioner is a victim of human trafficking if the petitioner provides official government documentation of the petitioner's status as a victim of human trafficking at the time of the qualifying offense. The bill also states that a petitioner for a writ of vacatur shall not be required to pay any fees or costs for filing such petition if the petitioner is found to be unable to pay fees or costs. Read the Bill »


Bill Has Failed


01/11/2022Prefiled and ordered printed; offered 01/12/22 22103923D
01/11/2022Referred to Committee for Courts of Justice
02/01/2022Assigned Courts sub: Subcommittee #1
02/02/2022Subcommittee recommends laying on the table (8-Y 0-N)
02/15/2022Left in Courts of Justice