Persons with autism or intellectual disabilities; deferred disposition, offenses against minors. (SB229)

Introduced By

Sen. Mark Obenshain (R-Harrisonburg)


Passed Committee
Passed House
Passed Senate
Signed by Governor
Became Law


Deferred disposition; persons with autism or intellectual disabilities; offenses against minors. Provides that certain felony offenses, including child pornography, obscenity, electronic solicitation of a minor, indecent liberties with children, and displaying child pornography or grooming materials to a child, are ineligible for deferred and dismissed disposition where the defendant has been diagnosed with autism or an intellectual disability. Read the Bill »


Bill Has Failed


01/10/2022Prefiled and ordered printed; offered 01/12/22 22103000D
01/10/2022Referred to Committee on the Judiciary
02/07/2022Impact statement from DPB (SB229)
02/14/2022Passed by indefinitely in Judiciary (9-Y 6-N) (see vote tally)


LRIDD (Legal Reform for the Intellectually and Developmentally Disabled), tracking this bill in Photosynthesis, notes:

OPPOSE this legislation. LRIDD condemns Senate Bill 229 and urges the legislature to let the current law stand as is. Senator Obenshain's amendment seems to mistakenly assume that the exclusions in his bill will better protect Virginia's children. While this is a laudable intention, the fact is that most developmentally disabled individuals do not set out to intentionally break the law with the goal of hurting anyone. The original bill currently in effect recognizes that developmentally disabled individuals are prime candidates for rehabilitation because of their tendency to be rule followers---once the rules are explained to them. Research shows that autistic people and those with ID do not offend at a higher rate than the general population. The current iteration or amendment of this bill ignores this important fact and potentially imposes a lifetime of hardship and exclusion for both the autistic individual and his or her family. There is no empirical research to suggest Senator Obenshain's bill will improve public safety. We strongly urge the judiciary committee to consider the inherent developmental differences these individuals have from birth and their lack of criminal intent the vast majority of the time.

Post a Public Comment About this Bill

if you have one

(Limited HTML is OK: <a>, <em>, <strong>, <s>)