PA 10-42—sHB 5339

Public Safety and Security Committee

Judiciary Committee

AN ACT CONCERNING NOTIFICATION OF PEACE OFFICERS WHO HAVE BEEN ASSAULTED PRIOR TO THE COURT SENTENCING OR ACCEPTING A PLEA AGREEMENT OF THE DEFENDANT

SUMMARY: This act requires the state's attorney (or assistant or deputy) to personally notify, instead of attempt to notify, the peace officer of the date, time, and place of the original sentencing hearing or plea bargaining in any case in which a defendant was originally charged with assaulting the peace officer with the intent to prevent the officer from performing his or her duties. If the officer is not at the sentencing or did not submit a victim statement, the act requires the court to inquire, on the record, whether the state's attorney personally notified, instead of attempted to contact, him or her. Under the act, a peace officer, unlike other victims, does not have to (1) inform the state's attorney of his or her wish to make or submit a statement and (2) provide a stamped, self-addressed postcard to be notified of the hearing or plea bargaining.

EFFECTIVE DATE: October 1, 2010

BACKGROUND

Victim Statements

By law, any crime victim (or legal representative or immediate relative of a deceased victim) may make or submit a statement to the court at sentencing and before a plea agreement is accepted.

The state's attorney must notify crime victims of the date, time, and place of the original sentencing hearing or any judicial plea deal proceeding, provided the victim informed the official that he or she wishes to make or submit a statement and complied with a request from the official to submit a stamped, self-addressed postcard for notification. If the state's attorney is unable to notify the victim, he or she must sign a statement to that effect. If the victim does not appear at sentencing or submit a statement, the court must ask, on the record, whether the official attempted to contact him or her as required by law.

Victim statements are limited to the case facts, the appropriateness of any penalty, the extent of any injuries, losses directly resulting from the defendant's crime, and opinions about the plea agreement.

Assaulting a Peace Officer

Under CGS 53a-167c, a person is guilty of assaulting a peace officer if he or she assaults a reasonably identifiable peace officer performing his or her duties, with intent to prevent the officer from performing them, by doing any of the following to the officer:

1. injuring;

2. throwing potentially damaging objects;

3. using tear gas, Mace, or a similar agent;

4. throwing paint, dye, or any other offensive substance; or

5. throwing bodily fluid, such as feces, blood, or saliva.

This crime is a class C felony (see Table on Penalties).

Peace Officer

Under CGS 53a-3, a peace officer means a state or local police officer, Division of Criminal Justice inspector, state or judicial marshal, conservation officer, constable who performs criminal law enforcement duties, special policeman, adult probation officer, Department of Correction official authorized to make arrests in a correctional facility, investigator in the State Treasurer's Office, or federal drug enforcement agent.

OLR Tracking: VR: JM: PF: ts