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New Laws Taking Effect in Virginia

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July is upon us, and in the Commonwealth of Virginia that means there are new laws in effect. You can check out the full list of new laws for 2016 on the state's website. Let's take a look at a few of the laws that may have an impact in the daily lives of Virginians.

Age for Legal Marriage

In Virginia, individuals will now have to be 18 years of age to legally marry. The previous age of legal marriage was 16 with the consent of the two parties' parents. The new law carves out an exception for marriages of people under 18, but a judge must now review the case and rule that the marriage is in the best of interests of the two people getting wed.

Slingshots

Ever felt a strong urge to hunt something with a slingshot? You'll now have a number of options in Virginia. You'll soon be allowed to hunt anything except a bear, elk, deer or turkey with a slingshot as long as it's not expressly prohibited by local laws.

Fantasy Sports

If you're a fan of paid fantasy sports leagues like DraftKings, life may get a bit tougher for you. All paid fantasy sports operators with customers in Virginia will now have to register with the state. They'll also be subject to licensing fees and compliance requirements.

Hospital Estimates

Are you thinking about undergoing an elective procedure? Under the new laws taking effect in July, the hospital will now have to supply you with an estimate before you agree to it. They'll also be required to fully outline the expected costs of the procedure.

Guns and Protective Orders

Individuals who own guns and have become the subject of a permanent protective order will have 24 hours to turn in their weapons to local law enforcement officials. Alternatively, they can also give the weapon to friends or family members who're willing to vouch for it. If you're found in possession of a gun while under a protective order in Virginia, you may be charged with a class 6 felony. If convicted, you'll face up to five years of prison time.

The Electric Chair

In recent years, a number of companies that supply drugs used for executions by lethal injection have stopped selling their products to U.S. states. Virginia officials will now be allowed to use the electric chair as an alternative means of execution.

Stalking

It will be easier to prove that stalking occurred in the state of Virginia starting July 1. Once an individual accused of stalking has been clearly informed that the object of their interests does not want to be followed or contacted, any further interaction may be the basis for filing a complaint with law enforcement. The state has also increased the penalty for a second stalking offense to a class 6 felony.

Chicken-Killing Dogs

Under previous Virginia law, a dog that killed a chicken could be killed by state officials. The state will now be required instead to place a microchip in the dog and track it.

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