2005 West Virginia Code - §61-5-17. — Obstructing officer; fleeing from officer; making false statement to officer; penalties; definitions.

§61-5-17. Obstructing officer; fleeing from officer; making false statement to officer; penalties; definitions.

(a) Any person who by threats, menaces, acts or otherwise, forcibly or illegally hinders or obstructs, or attempts to hinder or obstruct, any law-enforcement officer, probation officer or parole officer acting in his or her official capacity is guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction thereof, shall be fined not less than fifty nor more than five hundred dollars or confined in the county or regional jail not more than one year, or both.
(b) Any person who intentionally disarms or attempts to disarm any law-enforcement officer acting in his or her official capacity, is guilty of a felony and, upon conviction thereof, shall be imprisoned in the state correctional facility not less than one nor more than five years.
(c) Any person who, with intent to impede or obstruct a law-enforcement officer in the conduct of an investigation of a felony offense, knowingly and willfully makes a materially false statement, is guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction thereof, shall be fined not less than twenty-five dollars and not more than two hundred dollars, or confined in the county or regional jail for five days, or both: Provided, That the provisions of this section shall not apply to statements made by a spouse, parent, stepparent, grandparent, sibling, half-sibling, child, stepchild or grandchild, whether related by blood or marriage, of the person under investigation. Statements made by the person under investigation may not be used as the basis for prosecution under this subsection. For the purposes of this subsection, "law-enforcement officer" shall not include watchman, state police or college security personnel.
(d) Any person who intentionally flees or attempts to flee by any means other than the use of a vehicle from any law-enforcement officer, probation officer or parole officer acting in his or her official capacity who is attempting to make a lawful arrest of the person, and who knows or reasonably believes that the officer is attempting to arrest him or her, is guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction thereof, shall be fined not less than fifty nor more than five hundred dollars or confined in the county or regional jail not more than one year, or both.
(e) Any person who intentionally flees or attempts to flee in a vehicle from any law-enforcement officer, probation officer or parole officer acting in his or her official capacity, after the officer has given a clear visual or audible signal directing the person to stop, is guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction thereof, shall be fined not less than five hundred nor more than one thousand dollars, and shall be confined in the county or regional jail not more than one year.
(f) Any person who intentionally flees or attempts to flee in a vehicle from any law-enforcement officer, probation officer or parole officer acting in his or her official capacity, after the officer has given a clear visual or audible signal directing the person to stop, and who causes damage to the real or personal property of any person during or resulting from his or her flight, is guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction thereof, shall be fined not less than one thousand nor more than three thousand dollars, and shall be confined in the county or regional jail for not less than six months nor more than one year.
(g) Any person who intentionally flees or attempts to flee in a vehicle from any law-enforcement officer, probation officer or parole officer acting in his or her official capacity, after the officer has given a clear visual or audible signal directing the person to stop, and who causes bodily injury to any person during or resulting from his or her flight, is guilty of a felony and, upon conviction thereof, shall be imprisoned in a state correctional facility not less than one nor more than five years.
(h) Any person who intentionally flees or attempts to flee in a vehicle from any law-enforcement officer, probation officer or parole officer acting in his or her official capacity, after the officer has given a clear visual or audible signal directing the person to stop, and who causes death to any person during or resulting from his or her flight, is guilty of a felony and, upon conviction thereof, shall be punished by a definite term of imprisonment in a state correctional facility which is not less than three nor more than fifteen years. A person imprisoned pursuant to the provisions of this subsection is not eligible for parole prior to having served a minimum of three years of his or her sentence or the minimum period required by the provisions of section thirteen, article twelve, chapter sixty-two of this code, whichever is greater.
(i) Any person who intentionally flees or attempts to flee in a vehicle from any law-enforcement officer, probation officer or parole officer acting in his or her official capacity, after the officer has given a clear visual or audible signal directing the person to stop, and who is under the influence of alcohol, controlled substances or drugs at the time, is guilty of a felony and, upon conviction thereof, shall be imprisoned in a state correctional facility not less than one nor more than five years.
(j) For purposes of this section, the term "vehicle" includes any motor vehicle, motorcycle, motorboat, all-terrain vehicle or snowmobile, as those terms are defined in section one, article one, chapter seventeen-a of this code, whether or not it is being operated on a public highway at the time and whether or not it is licensed by the state.
(k) For purposes of this section, the terms "flee," "fleeing" and "flight" do not include any person's reasonable attempt to travel to a safe place, allowing the pursuing law-enforcement officer to maintain appropriate surveillance, for the purpose of complying with the officer's direction to stop.

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