PA 10-102—HB 5251

Judiciary Committee

AN ACT CONCERNING PAYMENT OF THE COSTS OF FORENSIC SEXUAL ASSAULT EVIDENCE EXAMINATIONS AND THE COLLECTION OF DNA SAMPLES

SUMMARY: This act requires health care facilities in the state to charge the Office of Victim Services, instead of the Division of Criminal Justice, for sexual assault victim examinations conducted to gather evidence in accordance with state guidelines. By law, these costs cannot be charged to the victim.

By law, a person found guilty of certain crimes, or not guilty by reason of mental disease or defect, must provide a DNA sample before being released or discharged from custody or at a specified time after sentencing. The act makes the Judicial Department's Court Support Services Division (CSSD) responsible for setting the time and place of the DNA sample and the Judicial Department responsible for taking the required DNA when the person is not sentenced to a term of confinement. Under prior law, the sentencing court set the time and place of the testing and the Department of Public Safety (DPS) was responsible for the testing. If a person refuses to submit to the taking of the sample within five business days of the time specified by CSSD, the act allows him or her to be arrested pursuant to a bench warrant. The law requires DNA testing when the crime is (1) a criminal offense against a victim who is a minor, (2) a nonviolent sexual offense, (3) a sexually violent offense, or (4) a felony.

The act increases the penalty for refusing to give a required sample in the various situations from a class A misdemeanor to a class D felony (see Table on Penalties).

The act also specifies that only collection kits approved by the DPS Division of Scientific Services can be used to collect the required biological samples by buccal (cheek) swabs.

Finally, the act adds the CSSD executive director or his designee to the DNA Data Bank Oversight Panel, which already includes the chief state's attorney, the attorney general, and the public safety and correction commissioners, or their designees.

EFFECTIVE DATE: Upon passage, except the provisions regarding DNA testing and the oversight panel are effective October 1, 2010.

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