501.02  OBSTRUCTING OR GIVING FALSE INFORMATION TO AN  OFFICER; FLEEING.
   (a)   A person who by threats, menaces, acts or otherwise forcibly or illegally hinders or obstructs or attempts to hinder or obstruct a law enforcement officer, probation officer, parole officer, courthouse security officer, correctional officer, the State Fire Marshal, or a full-time Deputy or Assistant Fire Marshal acting in his or her official capacity is guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction thereof, shall be fined not less than fifty dollars ($50.00) nor more than five hundred dollars ($500.00) or confined in jail not more than one year, or both fined and confined.
   (b)   A person who, with intent to impede or obstruct a law-enforcement officer, the State Fire Marshal or a full-time Deputy or Assistant Fire Marshal in the conduct of an investigation of a misdemeanor or 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 ($25.00) nor more than two hundred dollars ($200.00) or confined in jail for five days, or both fined and confined.  The provisions of this section do 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 purposes of this subsection, “law-enforcement officer” does not include a watchman, a member of the West Virginia State Police or college security personnel who is not
a certified law-enforcement officer.  A criminal charge under this subsection relating to the investigation of a misdemeanor offense may not be used to seek or support a secured bond or pre-trial incarceration. 
   (c)   A person who intentionally flees or attempts to flee by any means other than the use of a vehicle from a law-enforcement officer, probation officer, parole officer, courthouse security officer, correctional officer, the State Fire Marshal, or a full-time Deputy or Assistant Fire Marshal acting in his or her official capacity who is attempting to make a lawful arrest of or to lawfully detain the person, and who knows or reasonably believes that the officer is attempting to arrest or lawfully detain him or her, is guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction thereof, shall be fined not less than fifty dollars ($50.00) nor more than five hundred dollars ($500.00) or confined in jail not more than one year, or both fined and confined.
   (d)   A person who intentionally flees or attempts to flee in a vehicle from a 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 dollars ($500.00) nor more than one thousand dollars ($1,000) and shall be confined in jail not more than one year.
   (e)   A person who intentionally flees or attempts to flee in a vehicle from a 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 a 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 dollars ($1,000) nor more than three thousand dollars ($3,000) and shall be confined in jail for not less than six months nor more than one year.
   (f)   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 West Virginia Code 17A-1-1, whether or not it is being operated on a public highway at the time and whether or not it is licensed by the state.
   (g)   For purposes of this section, the terms “flee”, “fleeing” and “flight” do not include a 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.
   (h)   (1)   No person, with the intent to purposefully deprive another person of emergency services, may interfere with or prevent another person from making an emergency communication, which a reasonable person would consider necessary under the circumstances, to law-enforcement, fire, or emergency medical services personnel.
      (2)   For the purpose of this subsection, the term “interfere with or prevent” includes, but is not limited to, seizing, concealing, obstructing access to or disabling or disconnecting a telephone, telephone line, or equipment or other communication device.
      (3)   For the purpose of this subsection, the term “emergency communication” means communication to transmit warnings or other information pertaining to a crime, fire, accident, power outage, disaster, or risk of injury or damage to a person or property.
      (4)   A person who violates this subsection is guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction thereof, shall be confined in jail for a period of not less than one day nor more than one year or shall be fined not less than two hundred fifty dollars ($250.00) nor more than two thousand dollars ($2,000) or both fined and confined.
      (5)   A person who is convicted of a second offense under this subsection is guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction thereof, shall be confined in jail for not less than three months nor more than one year or fined not less than five hundred dollars ($500.00) nor more than three thousand dollars ($3,000), or both fined and confined.
      (6)   A person who is convicted of a third or subsequent offense under this subsection is guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction thereof, shall be confined in jail not less than six months nor more than one year or fined not less than five hundred dollars ($500.00) nor more than four thousand dollars ($4,000), or both fined and confined.
      (7)   In determining the number of prior convictions for purposes of imposing punishment under this subsection, the court shall disregard all such prior convictions occurring more than ten years prior to the offense in question.
   (i)   A person is guilty of filing a false complaint against a law-enforcement officer when, knowing the information reported is false or baseless, he or she:
      (1)   Initiates a false complaint of improper action of a law-enforcement officer relating to an incident or other circumstance; or
      (2)   Reports, by word or action, to any official or quasi-official agency or organization having the function of dealing with conduct of law-enforcement officers which did not occur, does not in fact exist; or
      (3)   Reports to a law-enforcement officer or agency the alleged occurrence of any offense or incident which did not in fact occur.
   Any person who violates this subsection is guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction thereof, shall be fined not more than one thousand dollars ($1,000) or confined in jail not more than six months, or both fined and confined.
(WVaC 61-5-17)