Missouri State Senate

Introduced

SB 253 - This act modifies provisions relating to crime.

The term "crime" was replaced with "offense" in many sections of this act. Several sections relating to crimes were moved to chapters within the state's "Criminal Code", which encompasses Chapters 556 to 600. Other sections within Chapters 556 to 600 not relating to crime, such as the process to obtain a concealed carry endorsement, were moved to chapters outside of the code. This act creates a new Chapter 579 for the drug crimes, which were previously codified outside of the code in Chapter 195. Some crimes were renamed, renumbered, or consolidated into other crimes. Several crimes were repealed that were considered to be obsolete or duplicative by a committee of the Missouri Bar Association. A doubly-enacted provision relating to the court automation fund that included an expiration date of 2017 was repealed. Other crimes were reclassified with the effect of lowering or raising the penalty of the crime depending on the reclassification.

These provisions are similar to HCS/HB 210 (2013), SB 872 (2012), and HB 1897 (2012).

NEW FELONY AND MISDEMEANOR CLASSES

This act creates a new classification for felonies to be known as Class E, and a new classification for misdemeanors to be known as Class D.

The term of imprisonment for a Class C felony was changed from no more than 7 years to 3 to 10 years. Under current law, the maximum term for a Class D felony is 4 years. This act makes the maximum term 7 years, which is the current maximum term for Class C felonies. Under this act, the new Class E felony has the same maximum authorized term of imprisonment as a Class D felony under current law. The terms of imprisonment for misdemeanors were not revised and the new Class D misdemeanor has no authorized term of imprisonment.

To reflect the change in the authorized terms of imprisonment, crimes once classified as Class C felonies were changed to Class D felonies and crimes once classified as Class D felonies were changed to Class E felonies throughout the statutes.

This act provides that fines for Class C, D, and E felonies may not exceed $10,000 rather than $5,000. The maximum fines for Class A and B misdemeanors, offenses committed by corporations, and infractions were also doubled. This act increases the maximum fine for a Class C misdemeanor from $300 to $750 and the maximum fine for the new Class D misdemeanor is $500. The $20,000 cap on the amount a court may fine a person who has gained from an offense was repealed.

These provisions are similar to HCS/HB 210 (2013), SB 872 (2012), and HB 1897 (2012).

DOMESTIC VIOLENCE

This act modifies provisions relating to domestic violence and makes various changes to the domestic violence chapter as follows:

(1) Provides for the consistent use of the terms "person" rather than "adult" and the use of "domestic violence" rather than "abuse" in the domestic violence chapter;

(2) Provides for the consistent use of "stalking" to ensure that the provisions of the chapter apply to instances of both domestic abuse and stalking that does not involve a family or household member;

(3) Under this act, notice for both ex parte and full orders of protection shall have priority over other non-emergency actions. Section 455.040.2;

(4) The provisions requiring a court to "dismiss a petitioner" when there are insufficient allegations have been revised to provide that the court shall deny the ex parte order and dismiss the petition. Sections 455.035.1 and 455.513.1;

(5) Service on a custodial parent, guardian or guardian ad litem for a juvenile respondent will require the person to bring the respondent to court. Sections 455.035.2;

(6) Court review for a motion to dismiss an order of protection shall take place in camera rather than in open court. Section 455.060.5

Also, current law provides for an exception to the requirement for public notice of a name change for instances where the person changing his or her name is a victim of domestic violence. This act extends such exception to prohibit publication on CaseNet or through other any system operated by the judiciary that is designed to provide public case information electronically. Section 527.290.2

These provisions are similar to provisions of the truly agreed to and finally passed SS/SCS/HCS/HB 215 (2013), HCS/HB 589 (2013), and HCS/SB 222 (2013), and are substantially similar to HB 281 (2013).

DANGEROUS FELONY

This act modifies the definition of "dangerous felony" to include habitual offenders of driving while intoxicated and first degree child molestation and to exclude parental kidnapping.

This provision is similar to HCS/HB 210 (2013), SB 872 (2012), and HB 1897 (2012).

INCHOATE OFFENSES

Under current law, any attempt or conspiracy to commit a misdemeanor regardless of the classification of the underlying offense is a Class C misdemeanor. This act makes the classification of an attempt or conspiracy to commit a misdemeanor offense to be one step lower than the class provided for the underlying offense.

This provision is similar to HCS/HB 210 (2013), SB 872 (2012), and HB 1897 (2012).

REPEAT OFFENDERS

Additional crimes were added to provisions that allow for enhanced penalties for repeat offenders.

This provision is similar to HCS/HB 210 (2013), SB 872 (2012), and HB 1897 (2012).

DEATH PENALTY

Under current law, offenders who were under the age of 18 at the time of they committed first degree murder must be sentenced to life imprisonment without eligibility for probation, parole, or conditional release.

This act provides a new punishment range for offenders who were under the age of 18 at the time of the first degree murder that is no less than 10 years to life imprisonment without parole. The trier must choose a punishment within that range after hearing evidence in mitigation and aggravation of punishment during a second phase of the trial after finding the offender guilty.

ASSAULT OFFENSES

This act repeals several assault offenses and creates enhanced penalties for assaults on "special victims", which are defined under the act. A new third degree assault crime is created, which penalizes knowingly causing physical injury to another person. In addition, this act makes penalty enhancements that currently apply to domestic assault offenses apply to all assault offenses.

These provisions are similar to HCS/HB 210 (2013), SB 872 (2012), and HB 1897 (2012).

SEX OFFENSES

Under current law, definitions for sexual and deviate sexual intercourse refer to the term "female sex organ". This act changes the reference to "female genitalia".

Under current law, consent is not a defense to a sex offense if the victim is under the age of 12. This act raises the age to 14. Also, a person who engages in certain acts of a sexual nature with a child under the age of 15 commits sexual misconduct with a child and a person commits enticement of a child if he or she lures a person less than 15 years old via the Internet. This act lowers the age of possible victims under both crimes to 14.

Current law provides that a person commits the crime of use of a child in a sexual performance if he or she allows a child under the age of 17 to engage in a sexual performance or consents to his or her child being in a sexual performance. This act raises the age of the child to under 18 years of age.

This act expands the offense of sexual contact with a student to private elementary and secondary schools. It currently only applies to public schools.

This act repeals a provision allowing a court to prohibit a person found guilty of bestiality from harboring or living with animals for two years after the completion of the sentence.

Under current law, a person commits child abuse if he or she knowingly inflicts cruel and inhuman punishment on a child less than 17 years old or photographs a child under the age of 18 in a sexual act. This act removes the provision regarding the photographing of a child.

This act expands the list of victims who shall not be forced to submit to a lie detector test by law enforcement as a condition for proceeding with a criminal investigation and victims whose identities shall be protected to cover all offenses under chapter 566, domestic assault and stalking rather than just sexual assault and forcible rape.

These provisions are similar to HCS/HB 210 (2013), SB 872 (2012), and HB 1897 (2012).

CRIMES INVOLVING SPECIFIC DISTANCES

All statutes that provide for enhanced criminal penalties when the crime is committed within distances greater than 1,000 feet of a certain person, place, thing have been amended so that the distance is 1,000 feet.

These provisions are similar to HCS/HB 210 (2013), SB 872 (2012), and HB 1897 (2012).

PROPERTY CRIMES

Under current law, the classification of a crime involving property damage is often based on the value of the property damage. The values differ throughout the statutes. This act makes such values $750 when they fall within the range of $500 to $1,000. Several other values are modified within the property crimes chapter.

These provisions are similar to HCS/HB 210 (2013), SB 872 (2012), and HB 1897 (2012).

STEALING

Under current law, stealing property valued at less than $500 is a Class A misdemeanor unless the property falls under a list of certain specified types of property. This act makes it a Class D misdemeanor for a first-time offense of stealing property valued at less than $150.

Current law also provides that a person found guilty of a third stealing offense within ten years must be charged with a felony stealing offense. Rather than providing for a felony upon a third offense, this act requires a felony charge for the fourth offense. Also, the felony enhancement only applies if the offender received a sentence of 10 days or more in jail for each prior offense.

These provisions are similar to HCS/HB 210 (2013), SB 872 (2012), and HB 1897 (2012).

GAMBLING

This act makes gambling an infraction rather than a Class C misdemeanor.

This provision is similar to SB 872 (2012) and HB 1897 (2012).

ENDANGERING VISITORS TO CORRECTIONAL FACILITIES

Visitors to a county or city jail are added to the class of possible victims under the crime of endangering a visitor to a correctional facility.

These provisions are similar to HCS/HB 210 (2013), SB 872 (2012), and HB 1897 (2012).

INTOXICATION-RELATED OFFENSES

This act adds a new repeat offender of intoxication-related driving offenses, called the habitual offender, which is a person who has been found guilty of five or more intoxication-related offenses committed on separate occasions, four or more intoxication-related offenses committed on separate occasions where at least one of the offenses involved another person being injured or killed, or three intoxication-related offenses when at least two of the offenses involved another person being injured or killed.

This act creates the crimes of boating while intoxicated and with an excessive blood alcohol content, which are similar to current provisions of law that prohibit operating a vessel on the Mississippi or Missouri Rivers or lakes in the state while intoxicated or with an excessive blood alcohol level, except the new crimes are not limited to boating on specific waterways.

Phlebotomists are added to the list of people who may draw blood to determine blood alcohol content.

These provisions are similar to HCS/HB 210 (2013), SB 872 (2012), and HB 1897 (2012).

LEAVING THE SCENE OF AN ACCIDENT

Under current law, it is only a crime to leave the scene of an accident on a highway or parking lot or facility and only the person who caused the accident is required to report the accident. This act repeals both limitations, so the crime applies to an accident taking place anywhere and caused by anyone. In addition, accidents involving vessels and ATVs are added to the crime. This act limits the requirement to report an accident to incidents resulting in property damage to another person's property.

These provisions are similar to HCS/HB 210 (2013), SB 872 (2012), and HB 1897 (2012).

DRUG OFFENSES

This act reclassifies possession of a controlled substance, other than marijuana, a Class E felony rather than a Class C felony. In addition, a first time offense of marijuana possession under this act is a Class D misdemeanor rather than a Class A misdemeanor.

This provisions is similar to SB 872 (2012) and HB 1897 (2012).

Under the current law, it is unlawful for manufacturers and distributors and their agents and employees to deliver a controlled substance if the person has reasonable cause to believe the controlled substance will be used in violation of the law. Under this act, the offense is committed when the person knowingly delivers a controlled substance while acting recklessly as to whether it will be used in violation of the law. Agents of manufacturers and distributors are removed from the people who can commit the crime.

Under current law, a person commits the Class C felony of maintaining a public nuisance when such person keeps or maintains a room, building, structure, or inhabitable structure that is used for the illegal use, keeping, or selling of drugs, including marijuana.

Under this act, a person commits the crime, which is a Class E felony, if such person knowingly keeps or maintains a room or building that is used for the illegal manufacture, distribution, storage or sale of drugs except for 35 grams or less of synthetic or real marijuana. A person also commits the crime if, on three or more separate occasions within a year, two or more people not living in the room or building, gather to ingest, inject, inhale drugs, not including marijuana or synthetic marijuana.

In addition, a provision was repealed that contained procedures for a prosecutor to bring a civil lawsuit to enjoin the nuisance and allowing the court to order the premises to not be occupied or used for no longer than one year.

These provisions are similar to HCS/HB 210 (2013), SB 872 (2012), and HB 1897 (2012).

MEGHAN LUECKE

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