More than 1,200 bills cleared the legislature, and were signed by Gov. Ralph Northam, with most taking effect Wednesday, July 1, 2020.
Some of the most notable updates affecting criminal and traffic laws include, but are not limited to:
Driver’s License Suspensions:
Drivers will no longer have their licenses suspended for unpaid fines and court costs.
-Universal background checks are required for all firearm purchases in Virginia
-Authorities may temporarily take guns away from people deemed to be dangerous to themselves or others
-You may only purchase one handgun a month in Virginia
-Gun owners are required to report their lost or stolen firearms to law enforcement within 48 hours or face a civil penalty.
-Penalties are now harsher for leaving a loaded, unsecured firearm in a reckless manner that endangers a child.
-Local governments have expanded authority to ban guns in public spaces, like public buildings, parks, recreation centers, and during permitted events.
-People with protective orders against them from may not possess firearms and are required to turn over their guns within 24 hours
-People found in possession of under 1 ounce of marijuana will face a $25 civil fine.
-There will no longer be jail time or a criminal conviction for those found to be in possession of under 1 ounce of marijuana.
-no person may be arrested, prosecuted, or denied any right or privilege for participating in the state’s medical cannabis program.
-Criminal records of simple possession will be sealed, and employers and schools will be banned from asking about prior simple possession convictions.
-There will be an increase the felony larceny threshold from $500 to $1,000.
Trying Juveniles As Adults:
-The age when a Commonwealth’s Attorney can transfer a juvenile to be tried as an adult without court approval has been raised from 14 to 16.