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Introduced Version House Bill 2184 History

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Key: Green = existing Code. Red = new code to be enacted

WEST virginia legislature

2022 regular session

Introduced

House Bill 2184

By Delegates Rohrbach, Pack and Pinson

[Introduced January 12, 2022; Referred to the Committee on the Judiciary]


 

A BILL to amend and reenact §61-2-10b of the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended, relating to increasing the penalties for exposure of governmental representatives, including emergency medical service personnel, to fentanyl or any other harmful drug or chemical agent.

Be it enacted by the Legislature of West Virginia:


article 2. crimes against the person.

§61-2-10b. Malicious assault; unlawful assault; battery; and assault; on and exposure of governmental representatives, health care providers, utility workers, law-enforcement officers, correctional employees and emergency medical service personnel; definitions; penalties.


(a) For purposes of this section:

(1) “Government representative” means any officer or employee of the state or a political subdivision thereof, or a person under contract with a state agency or political subdivision thereof.

(2) “Health care worker” means any nurse, nurse practitioner, physician, physician assistant or technician practicing at, and all persons employed by or under contract to a hospital, county or district health department, long-term care facility, physician’s office, clinic or outpatient treatment facility.

(3) “Emergency service personnel” means any paid or volunteer firefighter, emergency medical technician, paramedic, or other emergency services personnel employed by or under contract with an emergency medical service provider or a state agency or political subdivision thereof.

(4) “Utility worker” means any individual employed by a public utility or electric cooperative or under contract to a public utility, electric cooperative or interstate pipeline.

(5) “Law-enforcement officer” has the same definition as this term is defined in W.Va. Code §30-29-1, except for purposes of this section, “law-enforcement officer” shall additionally include those individuals defined as “chief executive” in W.Va. Code §30-29-1.

(6) “Correctional employee” means any individual employed by the West Virginia Division of Corrections, the West Virginia Regional Jail Authority, and the West Virginia Division of Juvenile Services and an employee of an entity providing services to incarcerated, detained or housed persons pursuant to a contract with such agencies.

(b) Malicious assault. — Any person who maliciously shoots, stabs, cuts or wounds or by any means causes bodily injury with intent to maim, disfigure, disable or kill a government representative, health care worker, utility worker, emergency service personnel, correctional employee or law-enforcement officer acting in his or her official capacity, and the person committing the malicious assault knows or has reason to know that the victim is acting in his or her official capacity is guilty of a felony and, upon conviction thereof, shall be confined imprisoned in a correctional facility for not less than three nor more than 15 years.

(c) Unlawful assault. — Any person who unlawfully but not maliciously shoots, stabs, cuts or wounds or by any means causes a government representative, health care worker, utility worker, emergency service personnel, correctional employee or law-enforcement officer acting in his or her official capacity bodily injury with intent to maim, disfigure, disable or kill him or her and the person committing the unlawful assault knows or has reason to know that the victim is acting in his or her official capacity is guilty of a felony and, upon conviction thereof, shall be confined imprisoned in a correctional facility for not less than two nor more than five years.

(d) Battery. — Any person who unlawfully, knowingly and intentionally makes physical contact of an insulting or provoking nature with a government representative, health care worker, utility worker, emergency service personnel, correctional employee or law-enforcement officer acting in his or her official capacity and the person committing the battery knows or has reason to know that the victim is acting in his or her official capacity, or unlawfully and intentionally causes physical harm to that person acting in such capacity and the person committing the battery knows or has reason to know that the victim is acting in his or her official capacity, is guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction thereof, shall be fined not more than $500 or confined in jail not less than one month nor more than 12 months or both fined and confined.  If any person commits a second such offense, he or she is guilty of a felony and, upon conviction thereof, shall be fined not more than $1,000 or imprisoned in a state correctional facility not less than one year nor more than three years, or both fined and imprisoned.  Any person who commits a third violation of this subsection is guilty of a felony and, upon conviction thereof, shall be fined not more than $2,000 or imprisoned in a state correctional facility not less than two years nor more than five years, or both fined and imprisoned.

(e) Assault. — Any person who unlawfully attempts to commit a violent injury to the person of a government representative, health care worker, utility worker, emergency service personnel, correctional employee or law-enforcement officer, acting in his or her official capacity and the person committing the battery knows or has reason to know that the victim is acting in his or her official capacity, or unlawfully commits an act which places that person acting in his or her official capacity in reasonable apprehension of immediately receiving a violent injury and the person committing the battery knows or has reason to know that the victim is acting in his or her official capacity, is guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction thereof, shall be confined in jail for not less than 24 hours nor more than six months, fined not more than $200, or both fined and confined.

(f) Misdemeanor Exposure. – Any person who unlawfully and intentionally possesses fentanyl or any other harmful drug or chemical agent and exposes a government representative, health care worker, utility worker, emergency service personnel, correctional employee or law-enforcement officer acting in his or her official capacity to such drug or agent is guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction thereof, shall be fined not more than $500 or confined in jail not less than one month nor more than 12 months or both fined and confined. 

(g) Felony Exposure. – Any person who unlawfully and intentionally possesses fentanyl or any other harmful drug or chemical agent and exposes a government representative, health care worker, utility worker, emergency service personnel, correctional employee or law-enforcement officer acting in his or her official capacity to such drug or agent that causes physical harm as a result of exposure to or contact with such a drug or agent is guilty of a felony and, upon conviction thereof, shall be fined not more than $2,000 or imprisoned in a state correctional facility not less than two years nor more than five years, or both fined and imprisoned.

 (f) (h) Any person convicted of any crime set forth in this section who is incarcerated in a facility operated by the West Virginia Division of Corrections or the West Virginia Regional Jail Authority, or is in the custody of the Division of Juvenile Services and is at least 18 years of age or subject to prosecution as an adult, at the time of committing the offense and whose victim is a correctional employee may not be sentenced in a manner by which the sentence would run concurrent with any other sentence being served at the time the offense giving rise to the conviction of a crime set forth in this section was committed.

 

NOTE: The purpose of this bill is to increase the criminal penalties for exposure of governmental representatives, including emergency medical service personnel, to fentanyl or any other harmful drug or chemical agent.

Strike-throughs indicate language that would be stricken from a heading or the present law, and underscoring indicates new language that would be added.

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