Criminal law issues

The Senate Corrections and Criminal Law Committee heard SB 197 authored by Sen. M. Young regarding criminal law issues.  The bill specifies that a conviction for certain sex offenses requires mandatory revocation of a teaching license. The bill provides that a child who: (1) commits indecent display by a youth; or (2) commits dangerous possession of a firearm or provides a firearm to another child in certain circumstances; has committed a delinquent act subject to the jurisdiction of a juvenile court. The bill further provides that bail provisions that apply to persons on probation and parole also apply to persons on community supervision. The bill adds to the crime of resisting law enforcement the act of resisting, refusing, obstructing, or interfering with a law enforcement officer’s lawful: (1) entry into a structure; or (2) order to exit a structure. The bill provides that all Level 1 and Level 2 felonies may be prosecuted at any time and repeals synthetic identity deception and consolidates it with identity deception. The bill provides that all felony battery and domestic battery crimes are crimes of violence and adds arson and criminal confinement to the list of crimes of violence. The bill makes attempted murder a predicate offense for the use of a firearm sentence enhancement and also makes certain changes to the definition of “substantially similar” for purposes of the controlled substance law.  The bill adds controlled substance analogs to certain statutes prohibiting controlled substances in penal facilities. The bill repeals and consolidates fraud and deception offenses. The bill defines “financial institution” for purposes of crimes involving financial institutions and defines “pecuniary loss” for purposes of fraud in connection with insurance.  The bill only applies prospectively.

The bill was amended by consent to:

  • reduce a number of crimes to infractions rather than misdemeanors;
  • permit lawful bodily samples to be collected by a law enforcement officer at any time (the original bill mistakenly stated that samples were required to be collected before 2013);
  • provide that entering a locked door may constitute trespass;
  • establish a Level 4 felony for fraud over $100,000; and
  • provide that a conviction for attempted murder makes the offender a serious violent offender.

The Indiana Prosecuting Attorneys Council testified in favor for the bill. The Indiana Public Defender Council testified but remained neutral.  A local juvenile defense attorney testified in opposition to the juvenile jurisdiction portion of the bill.  The amended bill passed 8-1.

Read the bill at:  http://iga.in.gov/legislative/2021/bills/senate/197