Various criminal law issues

The Senate Appropriations Committee heard HB 1304 on various criminal law issues sponsored Sen. Steele and Sen. R. Michael Young. The committee adopted three amendments. Two of the amendments made language changes and technical corrections. The third amendment, introduced by Sen. Kenley, excludes certain offenders from treatment in lieu of prosecution or incarceration and removes provisions providing for 100% state reimbursement to chief public defenders.

The amended bill passed 11-0, and includes the following provisions:

  • Amends the forensic diversion program (pre-conviction and post-conviction) to make persons with intellectual disabilities, developmental disabilities, and autism spectrum disorders eligible for participation;
  • Authorizes a drug abuser or alcoholic charged with or convicted of a felony to request treatment in lieu of prosecution and imprisonment under certain conditions;
  • Authorizes the voluntary and involuntary commitment of alcoholics and drug abusers to DMHA;
  • Authorizes a court alcohol and drug program under IC 12-23-16 or the clerk of a court to collect program user fees;
  • Authorizes a court to appoint a court appointed forensic advocate to assist persons with intellectual disabilities or autism spectrum disorders charged in a criminal offense and for payment of a user fee for this service;
  • Amends Ind. Code § 35-50-2-8 to allow a court to suspend the sentence of certain habitual offenders if the habitual offender is in a court approved substance abuse treatment program and if the offender completes the program, to deduct the time spent in treatment from the fixed term of imprisonment;
  • Authorizing the use of a federal Food and Drug Administration approved long acting, nonaddictive medication to treat opioid or alcohol addiction as a condition of parole, probation community corrections, pretrial diversion or participation in problem solving courts;
  • Excludes possession of rolling papers and raw materials from the crime of possession of paraphernalia and makes the knowing and intentional possession of paraphernalia a Class C misdemeanor and increases the penalty to a Class A misdemeanor if the person has a prior unrelated judgment or conviction;
  • Makes it a Level 6 felony to possess a hypodermic needle with intent to commit a controlled substance offense (current law makes it a crime only if committed with intent to violate the legend drug act);
  • Requires the Criminal Justice Institute to track, by age and offense, the number of presumptive and permissive waivers of jurisdiction involving juveniles in adult court to evaluate the feasibility of increasing the age in these cases from 16 to 17 years;
  • Raises the minimum age a child can be charged with murder if committed by an adult and waived from 10 to 12 years of age under Ind. Code § 31-30-3-4;
  • Adds a new article to the juvenile code to require a law enforcement agency to record custodial interrogations of juveniles, except in schools, if it would impair the administration of school functions;
  • Specifies that a juvenile may not be restrained in court unless the court has determined on the record that the juvenile is dangerous or potentially dangerous;
  • Removes the authority of a court to hold truants and runaways for 24 hours (excluding Saturdays, Sundays and nonjudicial days) before and after a detention hearing; and
  • Establishes that a child commits a delinquent act, runaway, when the child leaves a specific location previously designated by the child’s parent, guardian or custodian in addition to home.

Read the bill at