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Virginia > Title 24.2 Elections > Political Campaign Advertisements

§ 24.2-955.3 Penalties for violations of this chapter

Overview of Statute

This section outlines the civil penalties for violating this chapter.

Statute

A. Any sponsor violating Article 2 (§ 24.2-956 et seq.) of this chapter shall be subject to (i) a civil penalty not to exceed $1,000; or (ii) in the case of a violation occurring within the 14 days prior to or on the election day of the election to which the advertisement pertains, a civil penalty not to exceed $2,500. In the case of a willful violation, he shall be guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor.

B. Any sponsor violating Article 3 (§ 24.2-957 et seq.) or 4 (§ 24.2-958 et seq.) of this chapter shall be subject to (i) a civil penalty not to exceed $1,000 per occurrence; or (ii) in the case of a violation occurring within the 14 days prior to or on the election day of the election to which the advertisement pertains, a civil penalty not to exceed $2,500 per occurrence. In the case of a willful violation, he shall be guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor. In no event shall the total civil penalties imposed for multiple broadcasts of one particular campaign advertisement exceed $10,000.

C. Any person violating Article 5 (§ 24.2-959 et seq.) of this chapter shall be subject to a civil penalty not to exceed $2,500; and in the case of a willful violation, he shall be guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor. A violation of the provisions of Article 5 of this chapter shall not void any election.

D. The State Board, in a public hearing, shall determine whether to find a violation of this chapter and to assess a civil penalty. At least 10 days prior to such hearing, the State Board shall send notice by certified mail to persons whose actions will be reviewed at such meeting and may be subject to civil penalty. Notice shall include the time and date of the meeting, an explanation of the violation, and the maximum civil penalty that may be assessed.

E. It shall not be deemed a violation of this chapter if the contents of the disclosure legend or statement convey the required information.

F. Any civil penalties collected pursuant to an action under this section shall be payable to the State Treasurer for deposit to the general fund. The procedure to enforce the civil penalties provided in this section shall be as stated in § 24.2-946.3.

2002, c. 487, §§ 24.2-943, 24.2-944; 2003, c. 237; 2004, cc. 55, 457; 2005, c. 369; 2006, cc. 787, 892; 2010, c. 546.

Definition [Occurrence]

One broadcast of a radio or television political campaign advertisement.

See § 24.2-955.1.

Definition [State Board]

The State Board of Elections.

See § 24.2-101.

Definition [Advertisement]

Any message appearing in the print media, on television, or on radio that constitutes a contribution or expenditure under Chapter 9.3 (§ 24.2-945 et seq.). “Advertisement” shall not include novelty items authorized by a candidate including, but not limited to, pens, pencils, magnets, and buttons to be attached to wearing apparel.

See § 24.2-955.1.

Definition [Board]

The State Board of Elections.

See § 24.2-101.

Definition [State]

A state of the United States, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the United States Virgin Islands, or any territory or insular possession subject to the jurisdiction of the United States.

See § 24.2-452.

Definition [Person]

Any individual or corporation, partnership, business, labor organization, membership organization, association, cooperative, or other like entity.

For the purpose of applying the filing and reporting requirements of this chapter, the term “person” shall not include an organization holding tax-exempt status under § 501(c) (3), 501(c) (4), or 501(c) (6) of the United States Internal Revenue Code which, in providing information to voters, does not advocate or endorse the election or defeat of a particular candidate, group of candidates, or the candidates of a particular political party.

See § 24.2-945.1.

Definition [Sponsor]

A candidate, candidate campaign committee, political committee, or person that purchases an advertisement.

See § 24.2-955.1.

Definition [Election]

A general, primary, or special election.

See § 24.2-101.