SB251: Expert witness; eliminates prohibition against compensating in certain criminal cases.

SENATE BILL NO. 251
Offered January 11, 2006
Prefiled January 10, 2006
A BILL to amend and reenact § 19.2-175 of the Code of Virginia, relating to the compensation of an expert witness in certain criminal cases.
Patrons-- Puller and Blevins; Delegates: Landes, Morgan and O'Bannon

Referred to Committee for Courts of Justice

Be it enacted by the General Assembly of Virginia:

1.  That § 19.2-175 of the Code of Virginia is amended and reenacted as follows:

§ 19.2-175. Compensation of experts.

Each psychiatrist, clinical psychologist or other expert appointed by the court to render professional service pursuant to §§ 19.2-168.1, 19.2-169.1, 19.2-169.5, subsection A of § 19.2-176, §§ 19.2-182.8, 19.2-182.9, 19.2-264.3:1, 19.2-264.3:3 or § 19.2-301, who is not regularly employed by the Commonwealth of Virginia except by the University of Virginia School of Medicine and the Medical College of Virginia Commonwealth University, shall receive a reasonable fee for such service. For any psychiatrist, clinical psychologist, or other expert appointed by the court to render such professional services who is regularly employed by the Commonwealth of Virginia, except by the University of Virginia School of Medicine or the Medical College of Virginia Commonwealth University, the fee shall be paid only for professional services provided during non-state hours that have been approved as being beyond the scope of state employment duties. The fee shall be determined in each instance by the court that appointed the expert, in accordance with guidelines established by the Supreme Court after consultation with the Department of Mental Health, Mental Retardation and Substance Abuse Services. Except in capital murder cases the fee shall not exceed $400, but in addition if any such expert is required to appear as a witness in any hearing held pursuant to such sections, he shall receive mileage and a fee of $100 for each day during which he is required so to serve. An itemized account of expense, duly sworn to, must be presented to the court, and when allowed shall be certified to the Supreme Court for payment out of the state treasury, and be charged against the appropriations made to pay criminal charges. Allowance for the fee and for the per diem authorized shall also be made by order of the court, duly certified to the Supreme Court for payment out of the appropriation to pay criminal charges.