Wednesday, May 25, 2005

Probation Overhaul Bill Passes

HB 2193 passed. Its key features:

Credit for time spent in jail as a condition, or time spent in a
court-ordered program or facility, is mandatory.

Maximum probation terms for third-degree felonies is 5 years.

Juries can give probation to state jail felons (except for drug
offenders who get automatic probation), but cannot give probation in
murder cases.

Community service is optional and not required.

Requires the judge to review the defendant's case for the purpose of
considering termination of community supervision after a defendant
has completed one-half of the original community supervision period
and is not delinquent in his fees or failed to complete an ordered
program.

Prohibits a judge from refusing to terminate a period of community
supervision solely on the ground that the defendant is indigent and
unable to pay required restitution, fines, costs, or fees.

Judges must have "good cause" to extend periods of probation.

Those who get deferred for a drug offense and complete a drug court
program get orders of nondisclosure upon request.

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