Focus Topic- Criminal Law/ Traffic / Courts/ Corrections

by Courtney C Horne @FireezDragon

These bills have a criminal law focus.

House Bill 4 (HB4)- (Norton) makes it a crime to store a firearm in a way where it is not either rendered inoperable by a locking mechanism or stored in a locked box.

House Bill 10 (HB10) – (Pearson) Adds 27 chemicals to the hallucinogenic substance section of the schedule 1 substances.

House Bill 15 (HB15)– (Mack) Adds substances to both the stimulant and synthetic cannabinoid sections of the schedule 1 substance list.

House Bill 59 (HB59)-  (Honore) increases the total number of credits that may be earned by an individual offender for participation  in certified treatment or rehabilitation programs from 250 days to 360 days.

House Bill 71 (HB71)- (H. Burns) requires that officers who stop vehicles check not only for proof of liability insurance but to their best ability for proof that the insurance is current.

House Bill 72 (HB72)-  (Hensgens) requires all sheriffs, deputy sheriffs, constables, marshals and justices of the peace to take custody of and impound any livestock found roaming at large upon certain state highways and increases the daily amount charged to owners for feed and care of animals from $2 to $6.

House Bill 47 (HB47)-  (Hollis)parishes or municipalities can only send automated traffic violation notices if the vehicle is registered to an address in an area that uses such automated systems as well.

House Bill 82 (HB82)- (Hill) limits the sale of dextromethorphan (the active ingredient in robotussin) – annoyingly this would mean you have to show an ID and likely deal with it being behind a counter and such to buy cough meds containing it, which is an obnoxious hassle to have to deal with over teen robotripping paranoia

House Bill 90 (HB90)- (Mack) Lets the dept of public safety and corrections sell bullet proof vests to law enforcement agencies (It says they are going to sell ones where the warranty has expired and I am under the impression – admittedly from watching a bullet proof vest be valued by an expert on pawn stars- that they lose effectiveness with age. So perhaps not the safest idea?)

House Bill 103 (HB103)- (Badon) This bill reduces the penalties for second, third, and later offenses for possession of marijuana. It also removes marijuana possession from the violations that can be used to establish sentencing under the Habitual Offender law. It also has a provision to allow for motions to reconsider sentences for those sentenced under the old legal sentencing.

House Bill 117 (HB117)- (Howard) Currently the 19th judicial district court, the 22nd judicial district court and the criminal district court for the parish of Orleans are all authorized to set up re-entry divisions (for managing a workforce development sentencing program) and this adds the 11th judicial district court to the courts authorized to set up re-entry divisions.

House Bill 127 (HB127)-  (Lorusso)  The Louisiana Code of Military Justice applies to members of state military forces when they are not subject to the Uniform Code of Military Justice. This bill adds to the Louisiana Code of Military Justice the crimes of sexual assault, abusive sexual contact, stalking, sexual misconduct, forcible pandering, and indecent exposure.

House Bill 143 (HB143)-  (Burford) Makes it a crime (and establishes penalties for such crime) to file or deposit false, forged or wrongfully altered documents related to a public water system or to interfere with, tamper, or modify without authorization such a system.

House Bill 145 (HB145)- (Jay Morris) When a sex offender moves from another state to Louisiana, the Bureau of Criminal Identification and Information makes a determination as to whether to use the registration period required by the other state or Louisiana- whichever is longer. This bill states that if the prior state required lifelong registration that that will be done automatically and the determination process is unnecessary.

House Bill 152 (HB152)- (Hazel) This bill is to address Louisiana’s mandatory life sentences without parole in cases where the offender was under 18 at the time of the crime. In Miller v Alabama, the supreme court ruled that the sentencing court must consider the age and that a mandatory sentence without parole is not allowable. This bill puts that consideration into place going forward and sets up a system for parole considerations for currently incarcerated individuals who were sentenced under the now disallowed system.

House Bill 154 (HB154)-  (P. Smith)  Presently the law allows for principal and accessory parties to a crime. This bill would change the classifications to principal, aider and abbetor, and accessory after the fact. It would remove individuals who aid and abet from the principal category and place them in the new category. It also provides a system to figure out penalties for the other parties based on the penalties for the principal party.

House Bill 158 (HB158)- (T. Landry) Allows certain judicial districts (the 14th, 16th, and 36th) to set up pilot programs to conduct supervised probation for certain eligible first and second felony (not violent or sex crimes) offenses.

Senate Bill 6 (SB6)-   (Allain) updates the criminal statute for unauthorized entry of a place of business to include a combination of physical barriers at least 6 feet high with a body of water as the enclosure barrier. So now you can have a fence on three sides and a bayou on another.

Senate Bill 8 (SB8)– (Gallot) Adds churches and other religious buildings to the list of places which a sheriff can have a willing prisoner do manual labor.  (It says willing prisoner but I really am skeptical that on a practical level they have much choice in the situation)

Senate Bill 24 (SB24)- (White) creates immunity from civil liability in cases where a person was “in good faith” reporting “suspicious behavior or liability.” Does not apply to cases where the person knows they are making a false report or in cases with a reckless disregard for the truth.

Senate Bill 25 (SB25)-  (Broome) Creates the Southern Heights Neighborhood Crime Prevention and Improvement District in East Baton Rouge Parish, specifies its boundaries, sets up a system for its governance, lays outs its authority and duties, and  sets up its funding.

Senate Bill 30 (SB30)-  (Morrell) Creates a commission to study, report on, and make recommendations for justice reform in Orleans Parish.

Senate Bill 32 (SB32)-  (Crowe) sets up a system for connecting criminal defendants who are veterans with resources through veterans services.

Senate Bill 40 (SB40)- (Kostelka)  Makes changes to the system by which a defendant may waive trial by jury to add a requirement that it be done in writing at least 45 days prior to defendant’s trial date and makes such a waiver irrevocable. Also removes the requirement of the court to notify defendants of their right to waive the right to a jury trial.

Senate Bill 43 (SB43)- (White) The criminal law about manufacturing and possessing bombs without a proper license has an article number listed for the law on licensing that is no longer current. This would correct that reference.

Senate Bill 49 (SB49)- (Lafleur) During probation, if an individual’s probation is revoked due to the commission of or conviction for another crime, this law sets forth the time a hearing is required to happen within. In the case that the new crime is a felony, a hearing must occur within 60 days. For a misdemeanor, 45 days.

Senate Bill 52 (SB52)- (F. Thompson) Establishes that possession of controlled substances in a prison contraband situation also can be punished in accordance with the laws pertaining to distribution of controlled dangerous substances.

Senate Bill 60 (SB60)- (Adley) Makes it a crime to pretend to be a veteran or a veteran owned business for the purposes of gaining some sort of privilege, economic gain, or other benefit. Establishes penalties for this offense.

House Bill 165 (HB165)- (Cox) This creates an exemption to CDL (Commercial Driver’s License) requirements for the Louisiana Fire and Emergency Training Institute employees driving in the course of their employment.

House Bill 167 (HB167)-  (Champagne) Adds to the list of info that the Bureau of Criminal Identification and Information must provide to a post-secondary education institution seeking a background check for an employee prior arrests for sex crimes or crimes of violence as well as convictions dismissed through article 893 or 894 of the code of criminal procedure.

House Bill 170 (HB170)- (T. Landry) Prohibits things that stick out from the wheels of a car when viewed from above the car. Says that these projections can pose a danger to pedestrians and cyclists.

House Bill 173 (HB173)- (Hazel) Currently the safe haven law that allows for safe anonymous turning over of infants to the state applies to infants up to 30 days of age and this would extend that to infants up to 12 months old.

House Bill 177 (HB177)- (Leger) Makes the Institute of Public Health and Justice the primary researcher for the legislature on youth criminal justice and behavioral problem issues which will serve as a statewide data repository and resource with information on best practices in juvenile justice. Authorizes funding for the institute as well as cooperation with other educational/research institutes.

House Bill 180 (HB180)- (Terry Brown) Allows for an election to abolish the office of chief of police in Goldonna after which (if the office is abolished) the mayor and board of alderman can contract with any law enforcement agency/entity within Natchitoches Parish for police services.

House Bill 177 (HB177)- (Leger) Makes the Institute of Public Health and Justice the primary researcher for the legislature on youth criminal justice and behavioral problem issues which will serve as a statewide data repository and resource with information on best practices in juvenile justice. Authorizes funding for the institute as well as cooperation with other educational/research institutes.

House Bill 186 (HB186)- (H. Burns)  Changes the route requirements for the transportation of hazardous chemicals in Caddo and Bossier Parishes.

House Bill 188 (HB188)- (Ponti) Would not allow any secondhand dealer to pay for a precious metal object (gold, iridium, palladium, platinum, or silver) with cash. They would be required to mail a check to the address on the photo ID of the seller after waiting at least 5 days. This seems like a huge, huge problem for pawn shops.

House Bill 189 (HB189)- (Gaines) Currently there is an attempted theft statute uses a threshold of $300 minimum value and the equivalent theft statute uses a threshold of $500. This brings the attempted theft value threshold to $500 and in line with the other statute.

House Bill 212 (HB212)-  (Brossett) Sets up a mapping system for building plans and emergency prep information for non-public schools and colleges in the state so that the first responders have useful information in an emergency.

House Bill 217 (HB217)-  (Arnold) Would require any camera based fines (red light tickets, speed cams) to be approved by the local electorate and any areas with them already in place could operate them only until July 1, 2014 without holding an election. This would likely get rid of these systems if it passed as basically no voters are going to approve them

House Bill 218 (HB218)- (Norton) In Louisiana law, an autocycle is essentially an enclosed motorcycle with a steering wheel. They do not trigger helmet laws or motorcycle license requirements. This extends the definition to include vehicles where the cycle in enclosed with a roll cage rather than a solid roof.

House Bill 219 (HB219)- (Jefferson) This law would prohibit courts from disapproving the placement of a child in an adoption based solely on the prospective parent having a criminal record. It would require the court to consider the nature and number of offenses as well as the amount of time since the offense(s).

House Bill 225 (HB225)- (Howard) Gives Sabine parish authority over citations based on weight, width and size limit violations for vehicles in the parish.

House Bill 226 (HB226)- (Richard) Makes sexual contact between psychotherapists and clients illegal. Covers both relations between therapists and current clients and former clients (within a year) when the client-therapist relationship ended in order to enter into a sexual relationship.

House Bill 244 (HB244)-  (Lorusso) Prohibits releasing law enforcement agency records which contain personal information about an officer without the consent of the officer.

House Bill 253 (HB253)- (Leopold) Currently law enforcement officers can not be stationed at polling places on election days. This would create an exception for law enforcement who ordinarily provide security for that public building and says that the officer can not interfere with the election, voters, or election officials.

House Bill 260 (HB260)-  (A. Williams) Creates the Goodwood Homesites Crime Prevention and Neighborhood Improvement District in East Baton Rouge Parish. Sets up the board, its duties, its funding, and other technical items to set up the district.

House Bill 261 (HB261)- (Hazel) Adds the designation that imprisonment will be at hard labor for various prostitution related offenses if they are involving a person under 18. (It is unclear to me from this bill whether that would mean a 17 year old tried as an adult for prostitution would be subject to the enhanced penalty because of their own age. I wish the bill offered some clarity on that.)

House Bill 262 (HB262)-  (St Germain) Adds two offenses to the list of offenses which a fire marshal is allowed to investigate and make arrests because of. The two added offenses are failure to register as a convicted arsonist and violations of a fire marshal’s orders.

House Bill 278 (HB278)– (Hodges) Defines coercing a female child to have an abortion as a form of child abuse.

House Bill 279 (HB279)– (Henry) Adds the following crimes to the list of crimes for which the term “racketeering activity” can apply: female genital mutilation, aggravated kidnapping of a child, human trafficking, trafficking of children for sexual purposes, bigamy, abetting in bigamy, and the sale of minor children. (I really don’t think bigamy-or abetting bigamy- belongs on this list with all these serious crimes)

House Bill 293 (HB293)– (Foil) Allows certain records of regularly conducted activities to be admissible in court if they have a witness that shows first hand knowledge of the making, maintenance and storage of such records. Requires notice of such records to be given in advance so any objections to them can be raised.

House Bill 297 (HB297)– (Johnson) This bills says that a defendant who has previously been released on his own recognizance or another persons signature on a felony charge and then either was arrested for another felony or failed to appear in court will not again be released on recognizance or another person’s signature.

House Bill 309 (HB309)– (Kleckley) Allows sheriffs to use electronic monitoring to supervise participants in work release programs.

House Bill 310 (HB310)– (Harris) Requires that for an increase in prices during a state of emergency to be permissible a seller must prove that the price charged or value is due to the seller’s cost of replacing the goods or increase in the expenses for the seller during the state of emergency

House Bill 311 (HB311)– (K. Jackson) This increases penalties for domestic abuse battery when it is committed by burning and results in serious bodily injury. Also adds such incidents to the list of crimes of violence.

House Bill 314 (HB314)– (James) Creates the Social Media Privacy Protection Act which prohibits employers from requiring access to a employee or applicant employee’s social media account. Employers can require access to services they are paying for as part of employment and are permitted to terminate employees who share proprietary info without authority to do so. The law shall not prevent investigations into misconduct. The employer can monitor web activity on employer devices but not when using employees own device on employers wifi. Does not protect from looking at any info publicly available without a login. Educational institutes are prohibited from requiring access to a student or prospective student’s social media account. They can require access to services they are paying for as part of educational purposes. Does not protect anything in the public domain for student’s either. This Act creates both a misdemeanor and grounds for civil suits.

House Bill 319 (HB319)- (Honore)  A law to change the Louisiana sentencing guidelines for minors found guilty or pleading guilty to first or second degree murder to bring them in line with the supreme court’s Miller V Alabama which found mandatory sentencing of minors to life without considering age in sentencing to be unconstitutional. Also addresses the minors sentenced under the now unconstitutional guidelines. Similar to HB 152

House Bill 335 (HB335)– (Pylant) Requires the Dept of Public Safety and Corrections to facilitate a plan to house inmates in a cost efficient way and to house in state and local facilities as much as possible before using any private facilities. All facilities must meet the standards of the department

House Bill 349 (HB349)–  (Price) Gives the court discretion as to whether to impose a sentence of imprisonment for simple escape from work service. Also removes the provision which prohibits any sentence imposed for the simple escape from a work release program from running concurrently to any other sentence imposed.

House Bill 361 (HB361)- (Ritchie) There is an exception to the law prohibiting tracking an individual with a tracking device without his/her consent for parents tracking their minor children. This bill adds that that exception will only apply in the case of divorced/separated parents if both parents consent to the tracking.

House Bill 364 (HB364)– (Berthelot) Creates a crime for forging motor vehicle inspection certificates and sets penalties for such a crime.

House Bill 366 (HB366)– (M. Guillory) Makes it a crime to recklessly (defined in the bill) discharge a firearm on or within 1000 feet of residential property in an unincorporated part of a parish. Sets penalties for the crime.

House Bill 367 (HB367)– (Adams) Authorizes the creation of pretrial services programs to help courts determine whether to release a defendant pre-trial, to determine bail/bond amounts, determine release conditions, etc. Also allows courts more freedom to decide whether to release someone pretrial as well as to impose various conditions upon that release.

House Bill 371 (HB371)– (Lopinto) Amends the law governing the discovery and inspection of certain types of evidence in criminal cases. Largely procedural changes- far too many and too varied to list here in a simplified format.

House Bill 380 (HB380)– (Lambert) Changes laws disqualifying commercial motor vehicle drivers from being based on convictions for alcohol/drug impaired driving to being based on chemical tests in the course of an arrest rather than on convictions. So if a person gets arrested drunk driving but manages to get their case thrown out despite a chemical test showing they were drunk, it would still be able to effect their commercial motor vehicle license based on this bill.

House Bill 385 (HB385)– (Hodges) Amends the procedures for post conviction relief. Lowers the time to file (except is specified circumstances, in which case due diligence to file in a timely manner must still be shown) from 2 years to one. Requires shell petitions (ones not containing any factual allegations) to be supplemented within 90 days or dismissed.  Repeals a provision requiring the court to ask the petitioner for reasons for his failure to raise claims at an appropriate time and to consider whether such failure was excusable. Changes certain provisions for which the court may deny relief to ones for which the court is required to deny relief.

House Bill 396 (HB396)- (T. Landry) Amends the law relating to traffic signals to add a measure addressing U-turns at signalized U-turn spots as well as a measure addressing flashing yellow arrows. Also alters the provisions for solid yellow lights to say to changing the measure that says a vehicle may not enter or be crossing an intersection when a red light is displayed to just may not enter.

House Bill 397 (HB397)- (Honore) Sets up a system for open file and reciprocal open file discovery in criminal cases. Open file discovery is  a process through which the entire files of the prosecutor are available to the defendant.

House Bill 423 (HB423)- (Billiot) In present law, certain sex offenders may petition for relief from registration and notification requirements. This bill specifies that petitions which are not specifically laid out in present law are to be done through the district court in the parish where the state capitol is.

House Bill 424 (HB424)– (Lopinto) Under this bill  the minimum mandatory sentences for 3rd and later DWI offenders may be suspended if the offender is accepted for participation in a drug division probation program (does not apply to offenders who have already gone through such a program in a case like this).  It also  extends the time period  to request an administrative hearing regarding a driver’s license suspension after a DWI arrest from 15 to 30 days.

House Bill 440 (HB440)- (Billiot) Amends the definition of a dwelling for the purposes of the sex offender registry law to include any place where the number of days or nights spent there by an offender exceeds 24 days in a calendar year. Also requires the offender, if not taken into custody immediately, provide information on vehicles and place of residence to the sheriff  of the parish of conviction or adjudication on the date of the conviction. Requires information on vehicles to be provided before the offender operates the vehicle. Requires information on a temporary lodging of 7 or more days to be provided at least 3 days prior to such. For international lodging, such notice must be provided at least 21 days in advance. Provides certain systems for  petitions for relief from sex offender registration and notification for specific offenses.

House Bill 442 (HB442)– (Lopinto)  Sets up a sentencing and treatment for certain offenders convicted of certain controlled dangerous substances violations based on a substance treatment program.

House Bill 448 (HB448)- (James)  Allows for additional city and municipal court costs to be collected in any matter where the use of alcohol was a factor involved in the commission of a crime with such additional fees to be dedicated to drug and alcohol related programs.

House Bill 458 (HB458)-  (Hunter) Repeals law that suspend voting rights based on conviction of a felony and allows voting absentee by mail for incarcerated individuals, including those convicted of felonies.

House Bill 459 (HB459)-  (Hunter) requires the Dept of Child and Family Services to have received the results of a paternity test before pursuing a court order of support against an alleged father.

House Bill 460 (HB460)–  (Hunter) Permits an alleged father who has signed a birth certificate to challenge the validity of his signature upon by showing it was induced by fraud, duress, material mistake of fact or error, or that he is not the biological parent of the child.

House Bill 464 (HB464)– (Hunter) Repeals a provision of the present law which requires workers comp benefits to be forfeited while incarcerated.

House Bill 465 (HB465)– (Shadoin) Requires court or district attorneys to send records for commercial driver’s license holders to the Dept. of Public Safety and Corrections  within 10 days. Adds use of a handheld mobile telephone while driving a commercial motor vehicle to the list of “serious traffic violations” (which are offenses that can result in disqualification from driving commercial vehicles).

House Bill 470 (HB470)– (Willmott) Prohibits transporting dogs in the beds of pickup trucks or utility trailers on interstates unless the dog is properly crated and secured. Sets penalties for violations of this prohibition.

House Bill 471 (HB471)– (Ivey) Requires the Louisiana Commission on Law Enforcement and the Administration of Criminal Justice to present reports for the most recent available calendar year. These reports should be distributed on paper  to the governor, certain legislative committee chairman, as well as others who request a report. The report should also  be made available on the commission’s website. (present law has different reporting requirements and does not include the website)

House Bill 472 (HB472)– (Jay Morris) Changes one of the pre-requisites for a class action from being a commonality of law or fact to being a commonality of law and fact. Also adds that the legal representative of the class has the burden of proof to establish that all prerequisites have been satisfied. Lastly the bill  prohibits the court from ordering a trial on an issue that would require proof that is individual to a member of the class in cases where the outcome of the trial would have an effect on the entire class.

House Bill 481 (HB481)– (Garofalo) Sets out the legal procedures related to asbestos and silica claims.

House Bill 482 (HB482)- (Stokes) This bill states that an agency head of an audited agency which receives a disclaimer of opinion audit report for three consecutive years while that person is agency head shall be guilty of malfeasance in office and gross misconduct in office  as well as subject to a fine of at least $500 and no more than $5,000.

House Bill 497 (HB497)– (Moreno) Increases the maximum term for a first and second conviction of domestic abuse battery from 6 months to one year. Does not change the minimum terms.

House Bill 504 (HB504)- (Moreno) Allows the clerk of the New Orleans Municipal Court collect additional fees of : $1 per page for uncertified copies; $2 per page for certified copies; $2 per page for uncertified computer generated chronologies; $3 per page for certified computer-generated chronologies; and $20 for file retrievals.

House Bill 512 (HB512)- (Moreno) For time limits for the commencement of a criminal trial, if a defendant fails to appear in court, the time limit shall not begun to run again until the defendant appears in court.

House Bill 513 (HB513)-(Moreno) Allows an increase in court costs and additional fees for the Orleans Parish Juvenile Court. (Applicable to individuals who are not exempt from paying court costs.) Includes an additional court cost for process serving,  for  filing and docketing supplement/amended petitions, for filing and docketing petitions for adoption, and for filing and docketing motions to remove parental rights. Also adds a fee for anyone (who is not exempt) and is filing certain pleadings. The additional fee will go to the maintenance of the court facility.

House Bill 553 (HB553)– (Franklin) Creates two geographical regions for the election of the two judges for the city court of Lake Charles.

Senate Concurrent Resolution 6 (SCR6)– (Crowe) Requires the Louisiana State Law Institute to study and report on the feasibility of /practicality of/legal issues related to requiring clerks of court in Louisiana to accept electronic signatures on documents for filing.

Senate Concurrent Resolution 8 (SCR8)- (Nevers) Requires the Louisiana State Law Institute to study and report on the feasibility of revising state law to require both parent’s consent to track a child by GPS. (See HB 361)


–to be periodically updated as new bills are filed–