SB915: Children; court to obtain & submit to Dept. of Social Services names, etc. of defendants' children.

SENATE BILL NO. 915
Offered January 14, 2009
Prefiled January 5, 2009
A BILL to amend and reenact 19.2-120, 19.2-152.4:3, 19.2-254, 19.2-303, and 63.2-1902 of the Code of Virginia, relating to children of certain persons at certain criminal proceedings.
Patron-- Stuart

Referred to Committee for Courts of Justice

Be it enacted by the General Assembly of Virginia:

1. That 19.2-120, 19.2-152.4:3, 19.2-254, 19.2-303, and 63.2-1902 of the Code of Virginia are amended and reenacted as follows:

19.2-120. Admission to bail.

Prior to conducting any hearing on the issue of bail, release or detention, the judicial officer shall, to the extent feasible, obtain the person's criminal history and shall obtain from the person and submit to the Department of Social Services the names, social security numbers, and dates of birth of the person's children, and the names of persons having legal custody of the person's children, if any, provided neither the court nor a local pretrial services officer has already obtained and submitted the same pursuant to 19.2-254 or 19.2-152.4:3, respectively.

A. A person who is held in custody pending trial or hearing for an offense, civil or criminal contempt, or otherwise shall be admitted to bail by a judicial officer, unless there is probable cause to believe that:

1. He will not appear for trial or hearing or at such other time and place as may be directed, or

2. His liberty will constitute an unreasonable danger to himself or the public.

B. The judicial officer shall presume, subject to rebuttal, that no condition or combination of conditions will reasonably assure the appearance of the person or the safety of the public if the person is currently charged with:

1. An act of violence as defined in 19.2-297.1;

2. An offense for which the maximum sentence is life imprisonment or death;

3. A violation of 18.2-248, 18.2-248.01, 18.2-255, or 18.2-255.2 involving a Schedule I or II controlled substance if (i) the maximum term of imprisonment is 10 years or more and the person was previously convicted of a like offense or (ii) the person was previously convicted as a "drug kingpin" as defined in 18.2-248;

4. A violation of 18.2-308.1, 18.2-308.2, or 18.2-308.4 and which relates to a firearm and provides for a mandatory minimum sentence;

5. Any felony, if the person has been convicted of two or more offenses described in subdivision 1 or 2, whether under the laws of the Commonwealth or substantially similar laws of the United States;

6. Any felony committed while the person is on release pending trial for a prior felony under federal or state law or on release pending imposition or execution of sentence or appeal of sentence or conviction;

7. An offense listed in subsection B of 18.2-67.5:2 and the person had previously been convicted of an offense listed in 18.2-67.5:2 or a substantially similar offense under the laws of any state or the United States and the judicial officer finds probable cause to believe that the person who is currently charged with one of these offenses committed the offense charged;

8. A violation of 18.2-374.1 or 18.2-374.3 where the offender has reason to believe that the solicited person is under 15 years of age and the offender is at least five years older than the solicited person;

9. A violation of 18.2-46.2, 18.2-46.3, 18.2-46.5, or 18.2-46.7;

10. A violation of 18.2-36.1, 18.2-51.4, 18.2-266, or 46.2-341.24 and the person has, within the past five years of the instant offense, been convicted three times on different dates of a violation of any combination of these Code sections, or any ordinance of any county, city, or town or the laws of any other state or of the United States substantially similar thereto, and has been at liberty between each conviction;

11. A second or subsequent violation of 16.1-253.2 or a substantially similar offense under the laws of any state or the United States; or

12. A violation of subsection B of 18.2-57.2.

C. The judicial officer shall presume, subject to rebuttal, that no condition or combination of conditions will reasonably assure the appearance of the person or the safety of the public if the person is being arrested pursuant to 19.2-81.6.

D. The court shall consider the following factors and such others as it deems appropriate in determining, for the purpose of rebuttal of the presumption against bail described in subsection B, whether there are conditions of release that will reasonably assure the appearance of the person as required and the safety of the public:

1. The nature and circumstances of the offense charged;

2. The history and characteristics of the person, including his character, physical and mental condition, family ties, employment, financial resources, length of residence in the community, community ties, past conduct, history relating to drug or alcohol abuse, criminal history, membership in a criminal street gang as defined in 18.2-46.1, and record concerning appearance at court proceedings; and

3. The nature and seriousness of the danger to any person or the community that would be posed by the person's release.

E. The judicial officer shall inform the person of his right to appeal from the order denying bail or fixing terms of bond or recognizance consistent with 19.2-124.

19.2-152.4:3. Duties and responsibilities of local pretrial services officers.

A. Each local pretrial services officer, for the jurisdictions served, shall:

1. Investigate and interview defendants arrested on state and local warrants and who are detained in jails located in jurisdictions served by the agency while awaiting a hearing before any court that is considering or reconsidering bail, at initial appearance, advisement or arraignment, or at other subsequent hearings;

2. Present a pretrial investigation report with recommendations to assist courts in discharging their duties related to granting or reconsidering bail;

3. Supervise and assist all defendants residing within the jurisdictions served and placed on pretrial supervision by any judicial officer within the jurisdictions to ensure compliance with the terms and conditions of bail;

4. Conduct random drug and alcohol tests on any defendant under supervision for whom a judicial officer has ordered testing or who has been required to refrain from excessive use of alcohol or use of any illegal drug or controlled substance or other defendant-specific condition of bail related to alcohol or substance abuse;

5. Seek a capias from any judicial officer pursuant to 19.2-152.4:1 for any defendant placed under supervision or the custody of the agency who fails to comply with the conditions of bail or supervision, when continued liberty or noncompliance presents a risk of flight, a risk to public safety or risk to the defendant;

6. Seek an order to show cause why the defendant should not be required to appear before the court in those cases requiring a subsequent hearing before the court;

7. Provide defendant-based information to assist any law-enforcement officer with the return to custody of defendants placed on supervision for which a capias has been sought; and

8. Obtain from the defendant and submit to the Department of Social Services the names, social security numbers, and dates of birth of the defendant's children, and the names of persons having legal custody of the defendant's children, if any; and

89. Keep such records and make such reports as required by the Commonwealth of Virginia Department of Criminal Justice Services.

B. Each local pretrial services officer, for the jurisdictions served, may provide the following optional services, as appropriate and when available resources permit:

1. Conduct, subject to court approval, drug and alcohol screenings, or tests at investigation pursuant to subsection B of 19.2-123 or following release to supervision, and conduct or facilitate the preparation of screenings or assessments or both pursuant to state approved protocols;

2. Facilitate placement of defendants in a substance abuse education or treatment program or services or other education or treatment service when ordered as a condition of bail;

3. Sign for the custody of any defendant investigated by a pretrial services officer, and released by a court to pretrial supervision as the sole term and condition of bail or when combined with an unsecured bond;

4. Provide defendant information and investigation services for those who are detained in jails located in jurisdictions served by the agency and are awaiting an initial bail hearing before a magistrate;

5. Supervise defendants placed by any judicial officer on home electronic monitoring as a condition of bail and supervision;

6. Prepare, for defendants investigated, the financial statement-eligibility determination form for indigent defense services; and

7. Subject to approved procedures and if so requested by the court, coordinate for defendants investigated, services for court-appointed counsel and for interpreters for foreign-language speaking and hearing-impaired defendants.

19.2-254. Arraignment; pleas; when court may refuse to accept plea.

Arraignment shall be conducted in open court. It shall consist of reading to the accused the charge on which he will be tried and calling on him to plead thereto. In a felony case, arraignment is not necessary when waived by the accused. In a misdemeanor case, arraignment is not necessary when waived by the accused or his counsel, or when the accused fails to appear.

An accused may plead not guilty, guilty or nolo contendere. The court may refuse to accept a plea of guilty to any lesser offense included in the charge upon which the accused is arraigned; but, in misdemeanor and felony cases the court shall not refuse to accept a plea of nolo contendere.

With the approval of the court and the consent of the Commonwealth, a defendant may enter a conditional plea of guilty in a felony case, reserving the right, on appeal from the judgment, to a review of the adverse determination of any specified pretrial motion. If the defendant prevails on appeal, he shall be allowed to withdraw his plea.

During arraignment, the court shall obtain from the accused and submit to the Department of Social Services the names, social security numbers, and dates of birth of the accused's children, and the names of persons having legal custody of the children of the accused, if any.

19.2-303. Suspension or modification of sentence; probation; taking of fingerprints and blood, saliva, or tissue sample as condition of probation.

After conviction, whether with or without jury, the court may suspend imposition of sentence or suspend the sentence in whole or part and in addition may place the defendant on probation under such conditions as the court shall determine or may, as a condition of a suspended sentence, require the defendant to make at least partial restitution to the aggrieved party or parties for damages or loss caused by the offense for which convicted, or to perform community service, or both, under terms and conditions which shall be entered in writing by the court. If, however, the court suspends or modifies any sentence fixed by a jury pursuant to 19.2-295, the court shall file a statement of the reasons for the suspension or modification in the same manner as the statement required pursuant to subsection B of 19.2-298.01. The judge, after convicting the defendant of a felony, shall determine whether a copy of the defendant's fingerprints are on file at the Central Criminal Records Exchange. In any case where fingerprints are not on file, the judge shall require that fingerprints be taken as a condition of probation. Such fingerprints shall be submitted to the Central Criminal Records Exchange under the provisions of subsection D of 19.2-390. In any case where the court did not, or was unable to, obtain from the defendant, pursuant to 19.2-120, 19.2-152.4:3, and 19.2-254, the names, social security numbers, and dates of birth of the defendant's children, and the names of persons having legal custody of the defendant's children, the judge shall require that the defendant provide to the court such names, social security numbers, and dates of birth of the defendant's children, and the names of persons having legal custody of the defendant's children as a condition of probation. Such names, social security numbers, and dates of birth of the defendant's children, and the names of persons having legal custody of the defendant's children shall be submitted to the Department of Social Services.

In those courts having electronic access to the Local Inmate Data System (LIDS) within the courtroom, prior to or upon sentencing, the clerk of court shall also determine by reviewing LIDS whether a blood, saliva, or tissue sample has been taken for DNA analysis and submitted to the DNA data bank maintained by the Department of Forensic Science pursuant to Article 1.1 ( 19.2-310.2 et seq.) of Chapter 18 of this title. In any case in which the clerk has determined that a DNA sample or analysis is not stored in the DNA data bank, or in any case in which electronic access to LIDS is not available in the courtroom, the court shall order that the defendant appear within 30 days before the sheriff or probation officer and allow the sheriff or probation officer to take the required sample. The order shall also require that, if the defendant has not appeared and allowed the sheriff or probation officer to take the required sample by the date stated in the order, then the sheriff or probation officer shall report to the court the defendant's failure to appear and provide the required sample.

After conviction and upon sentencing of an active participant or member of a criminal street gang, the court may, as a condition for suspending the imposition of the sentence in whole or in part or for placing the accused on probation, place reasonable restrictions on those persons with whom the accused may have contact. Such restrictions may include prohibiting the accused from having contact with anyone whom he knows to be a member of a criminal street gang, except that contact with a family or household member, as defined in 16.1-228, shall be permitted unless expressly prohibited by the court.

In any case where a defendant is convicted of a violation of 18.2-48, 18.2-61, 18.2-63, 18.2-67.1, 18.2-67.2, 18.2-67.3, 18.2-370, or 18.2-370.1, committed on or after July 1, 2006, and some portion of the sentence is suspended, the judge shall order that the period of suspension shall be for a length of time at least equal to the statutory maximum period for which the defendant might originally have been sentenced to be imprisoned, and the defendant shall be placed on probation for that period of suspension subject to revocation by the court. The conditions of probation may include such conditions as the court shall determine, including active supervision. Where the conviction is for a violation of clause (iii) of subsection A of 18.2-61, subdivision A 1 of 18.2-67.1, or subdivision A 1 of 18.2-67.2, the court shall order that at least three years of the probation include active supervision of the defendant under a postrelease supervision program operated by the Department of Corrections, and for at least three years of such active supervision, the defendant shall be subject to electronic monitoring by means of a GPS (Global Positioning System) tracking device, or other similar device.

If a person is sentenced to jail upon conviction of a misdemeanor or a felony, the court may, at any time before the sentence has been completely served, suspend the unserved portion of any such sentence, place the person on probation for such time as the court shall determine, or otherwise modify the sentence imposed.

If a person has been sentenced for a felony to the Department of Corrections but has not actually been transferred to a receiving unit of the Department, the court which heard the case, if it appears compatible with the public interest and there are circumstances in mitigation of the offense, may, at any time before the person is transferred to the Department, suspend or otherwise modify the unserved portion of such a sentence. The court may place the person on probation for such time as the court shall determine.

63.2-1902. Central unit for information and administration; request and receipt of information from other entities and agencies; disclosure of such information.

The Department is authorized and directed to establish a central unit within the Department to administer the Title IV D State Plan according to 45 C.F.R. 302.12. The central unit shall have the statewide jurisdiction and authority to:

1. Establish a registry for the receipt of information;

2. Answer interstate inquiries concerning noncustodial parents;

3. Coordinate and supervise departmental activities in relation to noncustodial parents to ensure effective cooperation with law-enforcement agencies; and

4. Contract and enter into cooperative agreements with individuals and agencies including law-enforcement agencies, in order that they may assist the Department in its responsibilities.

The central unit within the Department shall supervise offices whose primary functions are:

a. Location of absent noncustodial parents;

b. Assessment of the ability of noncustodial parents to pay child or child and spousal support and to obtain health care coverage for dependent children;

c. Establishment, modification and enforcement of support obligations including health care coverage for dependent children, through administrative action;

d. Preparation of individual cases for court action existing under all laws of the Commonwealth;

e. Ensuring on a consistent basis that support continues in all cases in which support is assessed administratively or ordered by the court; and

f. Provision of its services in establishing paternity and establishing and enforcing support obligations equally to public-assisted and nonpublic-assisted families.

To effectuate the purposes of this section, the Commissioner may request and shall receive from the records of state, county and local agencies within and without the Commonwealth, including but not limited to such agencies and entities responsible for vital records; tax and revenue; real and titled personal property; authorizations to engage in a business, trade, profession or occupation; employment security; motor vehicle licensing and registration; public assistance programs and corrections, all information and assistance as authorized by this chapter. The Commissioner may request from state and local criminal justice agencies within the Commonwealth assistance in locating and serving individuals who owe child support and have an outstanding civil show cause summons or capias pursuant to 16.1-278.16. Solely for the purposes of obtaining motor vehicle licensing and registration information from entities within and without the Commonwealth, the Division of Child Support Enforcement shall be deemed to be a criminal justice agency.

With respect to individuals who owe child support or are alleged in a pending paternity proceeding to be a putative father, the Commissioner may request and shall receive the names and addresses of such individuals and the names and addresses of such individuals' employers as appearing in the customer records of public service corporations and companies as defined in 56-1, cable television companies and financial institutions. All state, county and city departments, boards, bureaus or other entities or agencies, officers and employees, including local pretrial services officers described in Article 5 ( 19.2-152.2 et seq.) of Chapter 9 of Title 19.2 and judicial officers, shall cooperate in the location of noncustodial parents who have abandoned or deserted, or are failing to support, children and their custodial parents and shall on request supply the Department with all information on hand relative to the location, income, benefits and property of such noncustodial parents, notwithstanding any provision of law making such information confidential. These entities are authorized to provide such information as is necessary for this purpose. Only information directly bearing on the identity and whereabouts of a person owing or asserted to be owing an obligation of support shall be requested and used or transmitted by the Commissioner. The Commissioner may make such information available only to public officials, agencies and political subdivisions of this Commonwealth, and other states seeking to locate parents who have deserted their children and other persons liable for support of dependents for the purpose of enforcing their liability for support. A civil penalty not to exceed $1,000 may be assessed by the Commissioner for a failure to respond to a request for information made in accordance with this section.

Any public or private person, partnership, firm, corporation or association, any financial institution and any political subdivision, department or other entity of the Commonwealth who in good faith and in the absence of gross negligence, willful misconduct or breach of an ethical duty, provide information requested pursuant to this section shall be immune from liability, civil or criminal, that might otherwise result from the release of such information to the Department.