2006 Code of Virginia § 36-106 - Violation a misdemeanor; civil penalty

36-106. Violation a misdemeanor; civil penalty.

A. It shall be unlawful for any owner or any other person, firm orcorporation, on or after the effective date of any Code provisions, toviolate any such provisions. Any such violation shall be deemed a misdemeanorand any owner or any other person, firm or corporation convicted of such aviolation shall be punished by a fine of not more than $2,500. In addition,each day the violation continues after conviction or the court-orderedabatement period has expired shall constitute a separate offense. If theviolation remains uncorrected at the time of the conviction, the court shallorder the violator to abate or remedy the violation in order to comply withthe Code. Except as otherwise provided by the court for good cause shown, anysuch violator shall abate or remedy the violation within six months of thedate of conviction. Each day during which the violation continues after thecourt-ordered abatement period has ended shall constitute a separate offense.Any person convicted of a second offense committed within less than fiveyears after a first offense under this chapter shall be punished by a fine ofnot less than $1,000 nor more than $2,500. Any person convicted of a secondoffense committed within a period of five to ten years of a first offenseunder this chapter shall be punished by a fine of not less than $500 nor morethan $2,500. Any person convicted of a third or subsequent offense involvingthe same property committed within ten years of an offense under this chapterafter having been at least twice previously convicted shall be punished byconfinement in jail for not more than ten days and a fine of not less than$2,500 nor more than $5,000, either or both. No portion of the fine imposedfor such third or subsequent offense committed within ten years of an offenseunder this chapter shall be suspended.

B. Any locality may adopt an ordinance which establishes a uniform scheduleof civil penalties for violations of specified provisions of the Code whichare not abated, or otherwise remedied through hazard control, promptly afterreceipt of notice of violation from the local enforcement officer.

This schedule of civil penalties shall be uniform for each type of specifiedviolation, and the penalty for any one violation shall be a civil penalty ofnot more than $100 for the initial summons and not more than $150 for eachadditional summons. Each day during which the violation is found to haveexisted shall constitute a separate offense. However, specified violationsarising from the same operative set of facts shall not be charged morefrequently than once in any ten-day period, and a series of specifiedviolations arising from the same operative set of facts shall not result incivil penalties which exceed a total of $3,000. Designation of a particularCode violation for a civil penalty pursuant to this section shall be in lieuof criminal sanctions, and except for any violation resulting in injury topersons, such designation shall preclude the prosecution of a violation as amisdemeanor.

Any person summoned or issued a ticket for a scheduled violation may make anappearance in person or in writing by mail to the department of finance orthe treasurer of the locality prior to the date fixed for trial in court. Anyperson so appearing may enter a waiver of trial, admit liability, and pay thecivil penalty established for the offense charged. Such persons shall beinformed of their right to stand trial and that a signature to an admissionof liability will have the same force and effect as a judgment of court. As acondition of waiver of trial, admission of liability, and payment of a civilpenalty, the violator shall agree in writing to abate or remedy the violationwithin six months after the date of payment of the civil penalty.

If a person charged with a scheduled violation does not elect to enter awaiver of trial and admit liability, the violation shall be tried in thegeneral district court in the same manner and with the same right of appealas provided for by law. In any trial for a scheduled violation authorized bythis section, it shall be the burden of the locality to show the liability ofthe violator by a preponderance of the evidence. An admission of liability orfinding of liability shall not be a criminal conviction for any purpose.

If the violation concerns a residential unit, and if the violation remainsuncorrected at the time of assessment of the civil penalty, the court shallorder the violator to abate, or otherwise remedy through hazard control, theviolation in order to comply with the Code. Except as otherwise provided bythe court for good cause shown, any such violator shall abate, or otherwiseremedy through hazard control, the violation within six months of the date ofthe assessment of the civil penalty.

C. Any owner or any other person, firm or corporation violating any Codeprovisions relating to lead hazard controls that poses a hazard to the healthof pregnant women and children under the age of six years who occupy thepremises shall, upon conviction, be guilty of a misdemeanor and shall besubject to a fine of not more than $2,500. If the court convicts pursuant tothis subsection and sets a time by which such hazard must be controlled, eachday the hazard remains uncontrolled after the time set for the lead hazardcontrol has expired shall constitute a separate violation of the UniformStatewide Building Code.

The landlord shall maintain the painted surfaces of the dwelling unit incompliance with the International Property Maintenance Code of the UniformStatewide Building Code. The landlord's failure to do so shall be enforceablein accordance with the Uniform Statewide Building Code and shall entitle thetenant to terminate the rental agreement.

Termination of the rental agreement or any other action in retaliationagainst the tenant after written notification of (i) a lead hazard in thedwelling unit or (ii) that a child of the tenant, who is an authorizedoccupant in the dwelling unit, has an elevated blood lead level, shallconstitute retaliatory conduct in violation of 55-248.39.

D. Any prosecution under this section shall be commenced within two years asprovided in 19.2-8.

(1972, c. 829; 1975, c. 367; 1991, c. 655; 1992, cc. 435, 650; 1993, c. 788;1994, c. 342; 1995, c. 494; 1998, c. 664; 1999, cc. 251, 362, 392, 1014;2000, c. 68; 2006, c. 746.)


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