Va. — The Virginia Senate on Wednesday passed a bill that conditionally
allows an assault against a law enforcement officer and other first
responders to be a misdemeanor, reported WSLS.
Senate Bill 5032,
which passed 21-15, allows the felony charge to be downgraded if
the officer doesn’t suffer bodily injuries or if the suspect is
physically or mentally disabled, according to the Washington Post.
vast, vast, vast majorities of these bills do not involve any kind of
injuries. They involve slight contact. They shouldn't be felonies," said
Sen. Scott Surovell, according to WTKR.
cases such as an autistic teenager resisting arrest, or food being
thrown at an officer, the Washington Post reported.
are some exceptions. The assault would still be charged as a felony
regardless if the assailant intentionally targeted the officer on the
basis of race, religion, gender identity or sexual orientation,
according to the bill.
to WSLS, the bill also removes a mandatory 6-month jail sentence for
assaulting a law enforcement officer, correctional officer or other
The summary of the bill below is provided online by the Virginia state legislature.
the mandatory minimum term of confinement for 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 and provides that such crime can no
longer be committed as a simple assault and must result in a bodily