Criminal cases; ex parte requests for expert assistance. (SB806)

Introduced By

Sen. Joe Morrissey (D-Richmond) with support from co-patrons Del. Patrick Hope (D-Arlington), and Sen. Creigh Deeds (D-Bath)


Passed Committee
Passed House
Passed Senate
Signed by Governor
Became Law


Ex parte requests for investigative services or expert assistance in criminal cases. Allows a defendant or his attorney, when such defendant is charged with a felony offense or Class 1 misdemeanor and is financially unable to pay for expert assistance, to move the circuit court to designate another judge in the same circuit to hear an ex parte request for appointment of a qualified expert to assist in the preparation of the defendant's defense. Upon receiving the defendant's or his attorney's declaration of need for confidentiality, the designated ex parte judge shall conduct an ex parte hearing on the request for authorization to obtain expert assistance. After a hearing upon the motion and upon a showing that the provision of the requested expert services would materially assist the defendant in preparing his defense and the denial of such services would result in a fundamentally unfair trial, the court shall order the appointment of a qualified expert. The provisions of the bill are contingent on funding in a general appropriation act. Read the Bill »


Bill Has Failed


01/08/2020Prefiled and ordered printed; offered 01/08/20 20103178D
01/08/2020Referred to Committee on the Judiciary
01/24/2020Assigned Juciciary sub: Criminal Law
01/24/2020Assigned Judiciary sub: Criminal Law
02/05/2020Reported from Judiciary with substitute (12-Y 3-N) (see vote tally)
02/05/2020Committee substitute printed 20107692D-S1
02/05/2020Rereferred to Finance and Appropriations
02/06/2020Reported from Finance and Appropriations with amendment (15-Y 1-N) (see vote tally)
02/10/2020Constitutional reading dispensed (36-Y 0-N) (see vote tally)
02/11/2020Read second time
02/11/2020Reading of substitute waived
02/11/2020Committee substitute agreed to 20107692D-S1
02/11/2020Reading of amendment waived
02/11/2020Committee amendment agreed to
02/11/2020Engrossed by Senate - committee substitute with amendment SB806ES1
02/11/2020Printed as engrossed 20107692D-ES1
02/11/2020Constitutional reading dispensed (40-Y 0-N) (see vote tally)
02/11/2020Passed Senate (35-Y 4-N) (see vote tally)
02/14/2020Placed on Calendar
02/14/2020Read first time
02/14/2020Referred to Committee for Courts of Justice
02/14/2020Assigned Courts sub: Criminal
02/14/2020Impact statement from DPB (SB806ES1)
02/17/2020Subcommittee recommends reporting with substitute (7-Y 1-N)
02/19/2020Reported from Courts of Justice with substitute (20-Y 1-N) (see vote tally)
02/19/2020Committee substitute printed 20108512D-H1
02/19/2020Referred to Committee on Appropriations
02/25/2020Impact statement from DPB (SB806H1)
03/03/2020Left in Appropriations