Synthetic media; use in furtherance of crimes involving fraud, etc., report. (HB697)

Introduced By

Del. Michelle Maldonado (D-Manassas) with support from co-patron Del. Bonita Anthony (D-Norfolk)


Passed Committee
Passed House
Passed Senate
Signed by Governor
Became Law


Synthetic media; penalty. Expands the applicability of provisions related to defamation, slander, and libel to include synthetic media, defined in the bill. The bill makes it a Class 1 misdemeanor for any person to use any synthetic media for the purpose of committing any criminal offense involving fraud, constituting a separate and distinct offense with punishment separate and apart from any punishment received for the commission of the primary criminal offense. The bill also authorizes the individual depicted in the synthetic media to bring a civil action against the person who violates such prohibition to recover actual damages, reasonable attorney fees, and such other relief as the court determines to be appropriate. The bill directs the Attorney General to convene a work group to study and make recommendations on the current enforcement of laws related to the use of synthetic media, including deepfakes, and any further action needed to address the issue of such use in fraudulent acts. Read the Bill »


The fiscal impact statement states that it is not possible to determine the impact of this legislation in terms of fines and convictions. However, it does mention that fines collected from Class 3 misdemeanors are deposited into the Literary Fund. Additionally, the legislation creates a Class 1 misdemeanor for using deceptive audio or visual media for the purpose of committing a crime. A Class 1 misdemeanor carries a sentence of up to 12 months in jail and a fine of up to $2,500. The statement also mentions that there is not enough information available to estimate the increase in jail population and associated costs. However, any increase in jail population would result in increased costs to the state. The legislation requires the Office of the Attorney General and Department of Law to convene a workgroup to study and make recommendations on the current enforcement of laws related to synthetic media. The fiscal impact of this workgroup is expected to be absorbed with current resources. The workgroup is anticipated to meet four times per year, and the cost of member compensation and travel expenses is estimated to be $1,228 for both the House of Delegates and the Senate of Virginia. These costs are based on two meetings in fiscal year 2025.

Summary generated automatically by OpenAI.


Bill Has Failed


01/09/2024Prefiled and ordered printed; offered 01/10/24 24105106D
01/09/2024Referred to Committee for Courts of Justice
01/23/2024Assigned Courts sub: Criminal
01/23/2024Impact statement from DPB (HB697)
01/30/2024Assigned Courts sub: Criminal
01/31/2024House subcommittee amendments and substitutes offered
01/31/2024Subcommittee recommends reporting with substitute (8-Y 0-N)
02/02/2024Reported from Courts of Justice with substitute (21-Y 0-N) (see vote tally)
02/02/2024Committee substitute printed 24106145D-H1
02/06/2024Read first time
02/07/2024Read second time
02/07/2024Committee substitute agreed to 24106145D-H1
02/07/2024Engrossed by House - committee substitute HB697H1
02/08/2024Impact statement from DPB (HB697H1)
02/08/2024Read third time and passed House BLOCK VOTE (98-Y 0-N)
02/08/2024VOTE: Block Vote Passage (98-Y 0-N) (see vote tally)
02/09/2024Constitutional reading dispensed
02/09/2024Referred to Committee for Courts of Justice
02/19/2024Continued to 2025 in Courts of Justice (11-Y 2-N) (see vote tally)

Duplicate Bills

The following bills are identical to this one: SB571.

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