Substitute Senate Bill No. 1139

Public Act No. 99-148

An Act Concerning the Pretrial Drug Education Program.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Assembly convened:

Section 1. Section 54-56i of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof:

(a) Not later than January 1, 1998, but in no event sooner than the establishment of the pilot research drug education program under section 17a-715, the Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services shall establish a pretrial drug education program for persons charged with a violation of section 21a-267 or [subsection (c) of section] 21a-279.

(b) Upon application by any such person for participation in such program, the court shall, but only as to the public, order such information or complaint to be filed as a sealed information or complaint, provided such person states under oath, in open court or before any person designated by the clerk and duly authorized to administer oaths, under penalties of perjury, that [he] such person has never had such program invoked in [his] such person's behalf. A person shall be ineligible for participation in such pretrial drug education program if [he] such person has previously participated in the drug education program established under this section or the pretrial community service labor program established under section 53a-39c, as amended by this act.

(c) The court, after consideration of the recommendation of the state's attorney, assistant state's attorney or deputy assistant state's attorney in charge of the case, may, in its discretion, grant such application. If the court grants such application, it shall refer such person to the Bail Commission for confirmation of the eligibility of the applicant.

(d) Upon confirmation of eligibility, such person shall be referred to the Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services by the Bail Commission for placement in the drug education program. Any person who enters the program shall agree: (1) To the tolling of the statute of limitations with respect to such crime; (2) to a waiver of [his] such person's right to a speedy trial; [and] (3) to any conditions that may be established by the department concerning participation in the drug education program including conditions concerning participation in meetings or sessions of the program; and (4) to accept placement in a treatment program upon the recommendation of a provider under contract with the Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services or placement in a treatment program that has standards substantially similar to, or higher than, a program of a provider under contract with the Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services if the Bail Commission deems it appropriate. The department shall require, as a condition of the assigned program, that such person participate in, and successfully complete, a community service labor program established under section 53a-39c, as amended by this act, for a period of four days.

(e) If the Bail Commission informs the court that such person is ineligible for the program and the court makes a determination of ineligibility or if the program provider certifies to the court that such person did not successfully complete the assigned program, the court shall order the information or complaint to be unsealed, enter a plea of not guilty for such person and immediately place the case on the trial list.

(f) If such person satisfactorily completes the assigned program, [he] such person may apply for dismissal of the charges against [him] such person and the court, on reviewing the record of [his] such person's participation in such program submitted by the Bail Commission and on finding such satisfactory completion, shall dismiss the charges. If such person does not apply for dismissal of the charges against [him] such person after satisfactorily completing the assigned program, the court, upon receipt of the record of [his] such person's participation in such program submitted by the Bail Commission, may on its own motion make a finding of such satisfactory completion and dismiss the charges. Upon motion of such person and a showing of good cause, the court may extend the placement period for a reasonable period for such person to complete the assigned program. A record of participation in such program shall be retained by the Bail Commission for a period of seven years from the date of application.

(g) At the time the court grants the application for participation in the pretrial drug education program, such person shall pay to the court a nonrefundable program fee of [six hundred] three hundred fifty dollars, except that no person may be excluded from such program for inability to pay such fee, provided (1) such person files with the court an affidavit of indigency or inability to pay, (2) such indigency or inability to pay is confirmed by the Bail Commission, and (3) the court enters a finding thereof. The court may waive all or any portion of such fee depending on such person's ability to pay. If the court denies the application, such person shall not be required to pay the program fee. If the court grants the application, and such person is later determined to be ineligible for participation in such pretrial drug education program or fails to complete the assigned program, the [six-hundred-dollar] three-hundred-fifty-dollar program fee shall not be refunded. All such program fees shall be credited to the General Fund.

(h) The Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services shall develop standards and oversee appropriate drug education programs to meet the requirements of this section and may contract with service providers to provide such programs. The department shall adopt regulations in accordance with chapter 54 to establish standards for such drug education programs.

(i) Any person whose employment or residence or schooling makes it unreasonable to attend a drug program in this state may attend a program in another state that has standards similar to, or higher than, those of this state, subject to the approval of the court and payment of the program fee as provided in this section.

Sec. 2. Section 53a-39c of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof:

(a) There is established, within available appropriations, a community service labor program for persons charged with a violation of section 21a-267 or 21a-279 who have not previously been convicted of a violation of section 21a-267, 21a-277, 21a-278 or 21a-279. [or previously participated in the drug education program established under section 54-56i.] Upon application by any such person for participation in such program the court may grant such application and (1) if such person has not previously been placed in the community service labor program, the court may either suspend prosecution and place such person in such program or, upon a plea of guilty without trial where a term of imprisonment is part of a stated plea agreement, suspend any sentence of imprisonment and make participation in such program a condition of probation or conditional discharge in accordance with section 53a-30; or (2) if such person has previously been placed in such program, the court may, upon a plea of guilty without trial where a term of imprisonment is part of a stated plea agreement, suspend any sentence of imprisonment and make participation in such program a condition of probation or conditional discharge in accordance with said section 53a-30. No person may be placed in such program who has twice previously been placed in such program.

(b) Any person for whom prosecution is suspended and who is placed in the community service labor program pursuant to subsection (a) of this section shall agree to the tolling of the statute of limitations with respect to such crime and to a waiver of [his] such person's right to a speedy trial. A pretrial community service labor program established under this section for persons for whom prosecution is suspended shall include a drug education component. If such person satisfactorily completes the program of community service labor to which [he] such person was assigned, [he] such person may apply for dismissal of the charges against [him] such person and the court, on reviewing the record of [his] such person's participation in such program and on finding such satisfactory completion, shall dismiss the charges. If the program provider certifies to the court that such person did not successfully complete the program of community service labor to which [he] such person was assigned or is no longer amenable to participation in such program, the court shall enter a plea of not guilty for such person and immediately place the case on the trial list.

(c) The period of participation in a community service labor program shall be [: (1) For a violation of subsection (a) of section 21a-279,] a minimum of fourteen days for a first violation and thirty days for a second violation involving a plea of guilty and conviction. [; (2) for a violation of subsection (b) of section 21a-279, ten days for a first violation and twenty days for a second violation; and (3) for a violation of subsection (c) of section 21a-279, two days for a first violation and ten days for a second violation.]

Sec. 3. Section 54-56e of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof:

(a) There shall be a pretrial program for accelerated rehabilitation of persons accused of a crime or crimes or a motor vehicle violation or violations for which a sentence to a term of imprisonment may be imposed, which crimes or violations are not of a serious nature.

(b) The court may, in its discretion, invoke such program on motion of the defendant or on motion of a state's attorney or prosecuting attorney with respect to [an accused] a defendant (1) who, the court believes, will probably not offend in the future, (2) who has no previous record of conviction of a crime or of a violation of section 14-196, subsection (c) of section 14-215, section 14-222a, subsection (a) of section 14-224 or section 14-227a, (3) who has not previously been adjudged a youthful offender on or after October 1, 1995, under the provisions of sections 54-76b to 54-76n, inclusive, and (4) who states under oath, in open court or before any person designated by the clerk and duly authorized to administer oaths, under the penalties of perjury that [he] the defendant has never had such program invoked in [his] the defendant's behalf, provided the defendant shall agree thereto and provided notice has been given by the [accused] defendant, on a form approved by rule of court, to the victim or victims of such crime or motor vehicle violation, if any, by registered or certified mail and such victim or victims have an opportunity to be heard thereon. Any defendant who makes application for participation in such program shall pay to the court an application fee of thirty-five dollars.

(c) This section shall not be applicable: (1) To any person charged with a class A or class B felony or a violation of section 14-227a, subdivision (2) of section 53-21, section 53a-56b, 53a-60d, 53a-70, 53a-70a, 53a-70b, 53a-71, 53a-72a or 53a-72b, (2) to any person charged with a crime or motor vehicle violation who, as a result of the commission of such crime or motor vehicle violation, causes the death of another person, (3) to any person accused of a family violence crime as defined in section 46b-38a who (A) is eligible for the pretrial family violence education program established under section 46b-38c, or (B) has previously had the pretrial family violence education program invoked in [his] such person's behalf, (4) to any person charged with a violation of section 21a-267 or 21a-279 who (A) is eligible for the pretrial drug education program established under section 54-56i, as amended by this act, or (B) has previously had the pretrial drug education program invoked in such person's behalf, or [(4)] (5) unless good cause is shown, to any person charged with a class C felony.

(d) Any defendant who enters such program shall pay to the court a participation fee of one hundred dollars. Any defendant who enters such program shall agree to the tolling of any statute of limitations with respect to such crime and to a waiver of [his] such defendant's right to a speedy trial. Any such defendant shall appear in court and shall, under such conditions as the court shall order, be released to the custody of the Office of Adult Probation, except that, if a criminal docket for drug-dependent persons has been established pursuant to section 51-181b in the judicial district, such defendant may be transferred, under such conditions as the court shall order, to the court handling such docket for supervision by such court. If the defendant refuses to accept, or, having accepted, violates such conditions, [his] such defendant's case shall be brought to trial. The period of such probation or supervision, or both, shall not exceed two years. If the defendant has reached the age of sixteen years but has not reached the age of eighteen years, the court may order that as a condition of such probation the defendant be referred for services to a youth service bureau established pursuant to section 17a-39, provided the court finds, through an assessment by a youth service bureau or its designee, that the defendant is in need of and likely to benefit from such services.

(e) If a defendant released to the custody of the Office of Adult Probation satisfactorily completes [his] such defendant's period of probation, [he] such defendant may apply for dismissal of the charges against [him] such defendant and the court, on finding such satisfactory completion, shall dismiss such charges. If the defendant does not apply for dismissal of the charges against [him] such defendant after satisfactorily completing [his] such defendant's period of probation, the court, upon receipt of a report submitted by the Office of Adult Probation that the defendant satisfactorily completed [his] such defendant's period of probation, may on its own motion make a finding of such satisfactory completion and dismiss such charges. If a defendant transferred to the court handling the criminal docket for drug-dependent persons satisfactorily completes [his] such defendant's period of supervision, the court shall release the defendant to the custody of the Office of Adult Probation under such conditions as the court shall order or shall dismiss such charges. Upon dismissal, all records of such charges shall be erased pursuant to section 54-142a. An order of the court denying a motion to dismiss the charges against a defendant who has completed [his] such defendant's period of probation or supervision or terminating the participation of a defendant in such program shall be a final judgment for purposes of appeal.

Sec. 4. This act shall take effect July 1, 1999.

Approved June 8, 1999

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