HB 251 Serious juvenile offenders.
Jerrauld C. Jones | all patrons    ...    notes
| add to my profiles

Juvenile offenders; trial as adults; records; procedures; dispositional alternative. Prescribes procedures akin to those used in adult proceedings for trial of juveniles 14 or older charged with a felony delinquent act. In cases where such a juvenile is charged with capital, first or second degree murder, lynching or aggravated malicious wounding, a preliminary hearing will be held in the juvenile court and then the felony charge and any related charges, whether felonies or misdemeanors, will be certified to the grand jury and tried in the circuit court if probable cause is found. In cases of other serious felonies, such as murder, abduction, rape, carjacking, etc., the charge and related charges will be tried in the circuit court if the Commonwealth's attorney makes a request for transfer at least seven days prior to the preliminary hearing in the juvenile court. In all other felony cases, the decision to transfer is made by the juvenile court, subject to review in the circuit court. Felonies alleged or found to have been committed by a juvenile 14 or older, other than those subject to the judicial (discretionary) transfer, are referred to as violent juvenile felonies. Once the circuit court accepts the judicial transfer or the violent felony charge is certified to the grand jury, the juvenile may be detained in an adult facility.

If a juvenile is detained prior to adjudication, staff of the facility are to determine if the juvenile needs a mental health assessment and if so are to arrange for one. A provision is included to allow pre-trial detention of a juvenile in a separate facility on the site of an adult regional jail facility once the felony charge is transferred or certified (Chesterfield).

The bill broadens the purpose and intent of the juvenile and domestic relations law to include the safety of the community and the protection of victims' rights in addition to the welfare of the child and the family. All proceedings in the juvenile court involving any felony and a juvenile 14 or older or any adult defendant will be open, unless the court finds good cause to close the proceeding. All court records of these open proceedings will be available to the public, except for those portions which the court orders to remain confidential in order to protect a juvenile victim or a juvenile witness, and future records involving allegations of delinquency against that juvenile, whether misdemeanor or felony, will be open as well.

Victims and witnesses are allowed access to juvenile proceedings and the Commonwealth's attorneys are to provide notice to them of hearing dates, etc.

Trial and disposition in the juvenile courts remain the same. Sentence in the circuit court is to be imposed by the judge. If the juvenile is found guilty of a violent juvenile felony, the court must impose an adult sentence, but may suspend that sentence upon terms and conditions which may be authorized upon adjudication of delinquency. If convicted only of a misdemeanor, the juvenile must be sentenced as a juvenile ( i.e., the court may impose only a sentence which would be authorized in the juvenile court upon adjudication of delinquency). If the juvenile is convicted in the circuit court of any other felony, the court may impose an adult or a juvenile sentence, including disposition as a serious offender.

In addition to the current limitation terminating indeterminate commitments at age 21, the bill limits such commitments to a maximum of 36 months (except for murder and manslaughter) so that indeterminate commitments are not longer than determinate commitments under the serious offender law. The Board of Youth and Family Services is directed to establish length-of-stay guidelines for indeterminately committed juveniles. The court is specifically authorized to impose a period of paroled supervision to follow either a determinate or indeterminate commitment, but the maximum period of supervision may not extend beyond the juvenile's 21st birthday.

Juveniles 14 or older, found to have committed a felony by the juvenile or the circuit court, must provide a blood sample for DNA analysis and inclusion in the state's DNA data bank. Fingerprints and photographs of a juveniles 14 or older found to have committed any felony, a Class 1 or Class 2 misdemeanor and other specified offenses are to be included in the Central Criminal Records Exchange. Juvenile records in the CCRE are no longer subject to automatic expungement when the offender reaches age 29, but may be accessed only to determine eligibility to buy a firearm, for AFIS ( fingerprint comparison), for sentencing purposes and in preparation of sentencing worksheets, and to assist court services units.

The Department of Youth and Family Services is authorized to contract for private operation of residential facilities, establish local detention homes ( subject to legislative approval) and establish juvenile boot camps, provided that if state funds are to be used, an appropriation must be made for the contract. The Boot Camp Program must include at least six months of aftercare.

DYFS is required to involve the local school division whenever a juvenile is committed to the Department, and the school is to become involved in the preparation of a reenrollment plan for the juvenile.

Courts are prohibited from ordering local schools divisions to reenroll any student who has been properly expelled.

Full text:
01/10/96  House: Presented & ordered printed 960108836  pdf
02/12/96  House: Committee substitute printed 967974208-H1  pdf
02/13/96  House: Printed as engrossed 967974208-EH1  pdf
02/29/96  Senate: Committee substitute printed 960389727-S1  pdf
03/11/96  House: Conference substitute printed 967754836-H2  pdf
03/14/96  House: Bill text as passed House and Senate (HB251ER)  pdf
04/16/96  Governor: Acts of Assembly Chapter text (CHAP0755)  pdf

House amendments
House amendments rejected
Conference amendments

01/10/96  House: Presented & ordered printed 960108836
01/10/96  House: Referred to Committee for Courts of Justice
01/30/96  House: Assigned to C. J. sub-committee: 3
02/11/96  House: Reported from C. J. with substitute (21-Y 1-N)
02/11/96  House: Referred to Committee on Appropriations
02/12/96  House: Committee substitute printed 967974208-H1
02/12/96  House: Reported from Appropriations with sub. (19-Y 3-N)
02/12/96  House: Read first time
02/12/96  House: Constitutional readings dispensed
02/13/96  House: Committee substitute agreed to 967974208-H1
02/13/96  House: Amendments by Mr. Jones, J.C. agreed to
02/13/96  House: Amendments by Mr. Jones, J.C. agreed to
02/13/96  House: Amendment by Mr. Jones, J.C. agreed to
02/13/96  House: Amendments by Mr. Woodrum agreed to
02/13/96  House: Amendments by Mr. Robinson rejected
02/13/96  House: Engrossed by House - com. sub. w/amds. 967974208-EH1
02/13/96  House: Printed as engrossed 967974208-EH1
02/13/96  House: Passed House (93-Y 7-N)
02/13/96  House: VOTE: PASSAGE (93-Y 7-N)
02/13/96  House: Communicated to Senate
02/15/96  Senate: Read first time
02/15/96  Senate: Referred to Committee on Rehabilitation and Social Services
02/16/96  Senate: Reported from R. & S. S. (15-Y 0-N)
02/16/96  Senate: Rereferred to Courts of Justice
02/20/96  Senate: Assigned to C. J. sub-committee: Juvenile Justice
02/28/96  Senate: Reported from Courts of Justice w/sub. (13-Y 2-N)
02/28/96  Senate: Rereferred to Finance
02/29/96  Senate: Reported from Finance (15-Y 0-N 1-A)
02/29/96  Senate: Committee substitute printed 960389727-S1
03/01/96  Senate: Constitutional reading dispensed (39-Y 0-N)
03/01/96  Senate: VOTE: CONST. READING DISPENSED (39-Y 0-N)
03/04/96  Senate: Passed by for the day
03/05/96  Senate: Read third time
03/05/96  Senate: Reading of substitute waived
03/05/96  Senate: Committee substitute agreed to
03/05/96  Senate: Engrossed by Senate - comm. sub. 960389727-S1
03/05/96  Senate: Passed Senate with substitute (37-Y 3-N)
03/05/96  Senate: VOTE: PASSAGE (37-Y 3-N)
03/06/96  House: Placed on Calendar
03/07/96  House: Senate substitute rejected by House (4-Y 89-N)
03/07/96  House: VOTE: ADOPTION (4-Y 89-N)
03/07/96  Senate: Senate insisted on substitute (37-Y 0-N)
03/07/96  Senate: VOTE: INSIST & REQUEST (37-Y 0-N)
03/07/96  Senate: Senate requested conference committee
03/07/96  House: House acceded to request
03/07/96  Senate: Conferees appointed by Senate
03/07/96  Senate: Senators: Reasor, Lucas, Earley
03/07/96  House: Conferees appointed by House
03/07/96  House: Delegates: Jones, J.C., Cranwell, Mims
03/11/96  House: Conference report agreed to by House (95-Y 4-N)
03/11/96  House: VOTE: ADOPTION (95-Y 4-N)
03/11/96  Conference: Senate substitute rejected by conference committee
03/11/96  Conference: Sub. recommended by conference comm. 967754836-H2
03/11/96  House: Conference substitute printed 967754836-H2
03/11/96  Senate: Reading of conference report waived
03/11/96  Senate: Conference report agreed to by Senate (36-Y 4-N)
03/11/96  Senate: VOTE: ADOPT CONFERENCE REPORT (36-Y 4-N)
03/14/96  House: Bill text as passed House and Senate (HB251ER)
03/20/96  House: Enrolled
03/21/96  Senate: Signed by President
03/22/96  House: Signed by Speaker
04/06/96  Governor: Approved by Governor-Chapter 755 (effective 7/1/96)
04/16/96  Governor: Acts of Assembly Chapter text (CHAP0755)