New Virginia Criminal Laws in July 2024

Posted by Jessica Carmichael | Jul 09, 2024

Starting July 1st 2024, there are several changes being made to Virginia's criminal laws.

Auto Sears Ban

-       Starting July 1st, “Auto Sears”, machines used to make semi-automatic weapons fully automatic, will be made illegal in Virginia.

Lucia's Law

-       Lucia's law will be enacted starting July 1st in Virginia. This law prohibits parents from allowing their child access to a firearm if they have been notified that their child poses a threat of violence.  

Speed Limit Changes

-       A new law allows for speed limits in certain business or residential districts to be lowered to 15 mph in Virginia starting in July. Roads within the state highway system in Virginia may also be lowered to 15 mph.

Ban on Declawing Cats

-       This July, Virginia will become the third state to ban declawing cats, with certain medical exceptions for both cats and their owners. Declawing cats has long been viewed by animal rights experts as an unnecessary and painful procedure on cats, which can also lead to medical complications.

Roadkill Trophies

-       Animals killed on the side of roadways due to accidents with vehicles are now able to be claimed by anybody and used for any purpose within the law. Previous laws limited roadkill ownership to the individual who killed the animal on a roadway, and the species and seasons during which they were allowed to keep the animal were limited.

Banning Child Marriage

-       The minimum age of marriage in Virginia is being changed to 18 years with no exceptions. This makes Virginia the first Southern state to ban child marriage.

Irvo's Law

-       Irvo's Law allows family members or legal guardians to be present with an individual dealing with a mental health crisis to help their decision-making. This law was created after Irvo Otieno was killed in police custody in 2023 while undergoing a mental health crisis.

Bathroom access

-       Stores with bathrooms not open to the public will be required to provide bathroom access to individuals who have certain eligible medical conditions. A prescription is required to prove that one is qualified for this law to go into effect.


-       Moore, Meghin. “These New Virginia Laws Are Now in Effect.” WHRO Public Media, 2 July 2024,

-       Mirshahi, Dean. “New Virginia Laws Taking Effect July 2024.” WRIC ABC 8News, 20 June 2024,


About the Author

Jessica Carmichael

Ms. Carmichael was named a Top Lawyer by Washingtonian Magazine and Northern Virginia Magazine. Ms. Carmichael has been responsible for dismissals, acquittals, or reduced charges in many serious cases where her clients were unjustly charged.

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