Motor vehicle and criminal law issues

H.E.A. 1157, P.L. 110
Effective: July 1, 2020

Increases the penalty for numerous motor vehicle violations from a Class C infraction to a Class A infraction if the violation results in bodily injury. Requires the bureau of motor vehicles (bureau) to remove any record of a suspension from a defendant charged with operating while intoxicated if the case ends in favor of the defendant and the defendant’s driving privileges were suspended because: (1) the defendant refused a chemical test; or (2) the results of a chemical test resulted in prima facie evidence of intoxication. Provides that a court and the bureau, if applicable, shall terminate all or any part of the remaining suspension of a person’s license suspension if: (1) the charges against the person are dismissed; (2) the person is acquitted; or (3) the person’s conviction is vacated or reversed on appeal. Provides that a court shall terminate a suspension imposed for refusal to submit to a chemical test if: (1) the court accepts a plea agreement between the state and the defendant that includes this provision; or (2) the court finds at sentencing that terminating the remaining suspension is in the best interests of society. Adds cross references concerning license suspensions and ignition interlock devices. Makes an individual less than 18 years of age eligible for a deferral program. (Under current law, individuals under 18 years of age are not eligible for deferral.) Repeals certain driving privilege suspensions when a motor vehicle is used in dealing certain controlled substances.

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