Criminal law issues

The House Courts and Criminal Code Committee heard SB 197 on criminal law issues, sponsored by Rep. Steuerwald.  The author, Sen. M. Young, presented the bill which does the following:

  • Specifies that a conviction for certain sex offenses requires mandatory revocation of a teaching license.
  • 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.
  • Provides that bail provisions that apply to persons on probation and parole also apply to persons on community supervision.
  • Removes and replaces certain references to “official investigations”, “official proceedings”, and methods of reporting.
  • Adds to the crime of resisting law enforcement the act of forcibly resisting, refusing, obstructing, or interfering with a law enforcement officer’s lawful: (1) entry into a structure; or (2) order to exit a structure.
  • Provides that all Level 1 and Level 2 felonies may be prosecuted at any time.
  • Repeals synthetic identity deception and consolidates it with identity deception.
  • 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.
  • Makes attempted murder a predicate offense for the use of a firearm sentence enhancement.
  • Makes certain changes to the definition of “substantially similar” for purposes of the controlled substance law.
  • Adds controlled substance analogs to certain statutes prohibiting controlled substances in penal facilities.
  • Repeals and consolidates various fraud and deception offenses.
  • Defines “financial institution” for purposes of crimes involving financial institutions.
  • Defines “pecuniary loss” for purposes of fraud in connection with insurance.
  • Repeals or decriminalizes certain infrequently charged misdemeanors.
  • Specifies that a person convicted of attempted murder is a sex or violent offender.
  • Adds to the definition of “violent criminal” a person convicted of certain battery and domestic battery offenses.
  • Adds adult protective services investigator to the definition of “public safety official” for purposes of the battery statute.
  • Specifies that locking the door to a building or structure denies entry to another person for purposes of the trespass statute.
  • Makes fraud a Level 4 felony if the amount involved is at least $100,000.
  • Defines attempted murder as a “serious violent felony”.
  • Makes conforming amendments.

The Committee amended the bill by consent to do the following:

  • remove multiple sections and make changes to identity deception and fraud (amendment #6);
  • replace references to delta-9 THC with THC (amendment #10);
  • provide that the law enforcement training board may establish standards for training programs that, if not adhered to, constitute grounds for decertifying the program and resolve technical conflicts with SEA 81, HEA 1006, and HEA 1564 (amendment #12);
  • amend the definition of “emergency medical services provider” for the offense of battery to include a staff member in the emergency department of a hospital (amendment #14).

The Committee voted 8-4 to amend the bill to provide a procedure for a law enforcement officer to request a blood sample if the law enforcement officer has probable cause to believe that a person has committed the offense of operating a vehicle or motorboat while intoxicated causing: (1) serious bodily injury; or (2) death or catastrophic injury (amendment #7).

The Indiana Public Defender Council testified against portions of the bill related to written child depositions and community corrections, testified against amendments #7 and #14, and provided neutral testimony on amendments #10 and #12.  The Indiana Fraternal Order of Police and the Indiana Prosecuting Attorneys Council testified in support of the amended bill.  The amended bill passed 11-1.

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