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Criminal Lawyer – The Williamsburg Lawyers Have Statute Declared Unconstitutional

Recently, Attorney Kenny Yoffy obtained a dismissal of criminal charges against his client on the grounds that the statute on which the charges were based was unconstitutional. The statute was 18.2-417, an archaic gender based statute which made it a crime to falsely speak and impute to a female acts not virtuous and chaste. The complaint arose out of a belief that our client made a statement concerning sexual activity between the complaining witness and her work supervisor. The complaining witness felt that the statement had defamed her and she proceeded to obtain a criminal action against him under this statute. We presented arguments on the constitutionality of the statute. The Court agreed with our position and held that the statute was an archaic, impermissible gender based violation of the Equal Protection Clause as it only spoke of a female’s chasteness and was not inclusive of a male’s chasteness. Our client was found not guilty. The case is noteworthy as there are very few statutes in Virginia which have actually been declared unconstitutional.