2004 Regular Session Highlights
by: Tracy Sudduth
Senate Bill 341 by Senator Chaisson (Act 15)
prohibits a passenger of a motor vehicle from possessing an open container while
the motor vehicle is operated on a public highway or right-of-way. The penalties
for the offense is a fine ranging from $50 to $100 and authorizes the collection
of court costs. Act 15 provides that an "open alcoholic beverage
container" shall not mean any bottle, can, or other receptacle that
contains a frozen alcoholic beverage unless the lid is removed, a straw
protrudes therefrom, or the contents of said receptacle have been partially
removed. Additionally, municipal or parish governing authorities may enact any
code or ordinance that does not conflict with proposed law, except such code or
ordinance may provide for the imposition and collection of fines and court costs
for violations for amounts in excess of the amounts provided present law. Act
15 specifically excludes the following areas from the open container law
1. Possession of an
open container of alcoholic beverage in the trunk of a motor vehicle.
2. If the motor
vehicle is not equipped with a trunk, possession of an open container or
alcoholic beverages in any of the following areas:
(a) In a locked glove
or utility compartment.
(b) In an area of the
vehicle not normally occupied by, and not readily accessible to the driver or
Senate Bill 523 by Senator Bajoie (Act 661)
provides that whoever commits the crime of illegal carrying of weapons with any
firearm used in the commission of a crime of violence, within one thousand feet
of any parade, shall be fined not more than $2,000, or imprisoned, with or
without hard labor, for not less than one year nor more than five years, or
both. Act 661 also states lack of knowledge shall not be a defense.
Senate Bill 633 by Senator Kostelka (Act 801) makes
it a crime for any obligor to intentionally fail to pay a support obligation for
any child who resides in this state, if such obligation has remained unpaid for
a period longer than one year or is greater than $5,000. Additionally, Act 801
contains a rebuttable presumption that the existence of the support obligation
presumes the ability to pay.
Senate Bill 659 by Senator Ullo (Act 676)
changes the name of the offense of aggravated sexual battery to second degree
House Bill 33 by Representative Farrar (Act 143)
includes within the crime of cruelty to a juvenile, the intentional or
criminally negligent exposure, by anyone seventeen years of age or older, of any
child under the age of seventeen, or any unborn child to a clandestine
Currently the crime of cruelty to juveniles is
the intentional or criminally negligent mistreatment or neglect, by anyone over
the age of seventeen, of any child under the age of seventeen whereby
unjustifiable pain or suffering is caused to said child. There is also a
provision stating lack of knowledge of the child's age shall not be a defense.
The penalties for conviction of such crime shall be not more than $1,000 or
imprisonment with or without hard labor for not more than ten years, or both.
House Bill 42 by Representative Faucheux (Act
144) amends the definition of household
member for the purpose of the crime of domestic abuse battery to include any
minor children living in the same residence or living in the same residence
within five years of the offense, or any biological minor child of the offender
regardless of where the child resides.
House Bill 43 by Representative Faucheux (Act
145) adds the killing of a witness to the
crime of first degree murder when the victim was a witness to a crime or was a
member of the immediate family of a witness to a crime committed on a prior
occasion and the killing was done to influence or prevent testimony or as
retribution for the victim's prior testimony.
House Bill 109 by Representative Baudoin (Act
742) requires any person who operates or rides upon a motorcycle,
motor-driven cycle, or motorized bicycle to wear a safety helmet.
House Bill 1244 by Representative Triche (Act
111) creates the crime for any person to organize or conduct any commercial
or private event, wherein there is a display of combat or fighting among one or
more domestic or feral canines and feral or domestic hogs and in which it is
intended or reasonably foreseeable that the canines or hogs would be injured,
maimed, mutilated, or killed. The Act prohibits any person to intentionally do
any of the following for the purpose of organizing, conducting, or financially
or materially supporting any hog and canine fighting event:
commercially advertise, supply materials, sell tickets of admission, or employ
2. Own, manage, or
operate any facility or property.
3. Supply, breed,
train, or keep canines or hogs.
4. Knowingly purchase
tickets of admission.
Additionally, Act 111 shall not apply
to any competitive event in which canines, which are trained for hunting or
herding activities, are released in an enclosed area to locate and corner hogs,
and in which competitive points are deducted if a hog is caught and held, unless
by such actions it is reasonably foreseeable that the canines or hogs would be
injured, maimed, mutilated, or killed. Act 111 further shall not apply to
the use of canines for the management, farming, or herding of hogs which are
livestock. Act 111 creates an exception to the crime for "Uncle
Earl's Hog Dog Trials," as defined in present law. Act 111 creates
another exception for hunting of hogs with canines. Penalties for this Act shall
be not more than $1,000 and imprisonment for not more than six months, or both.
House Concurrent Resolution 295 by Representative
Triche (enrolled) requests state police
to faithfully enforce state law and any violations of state law, including
illegal gambling activities and cruelty to animals that may occur at hog and
canine fighting events and to enforce the crime of hog and canine fighting (Act
111 of the 2004 R.S.) upon its effective date. This resolution also requests the
attorney general, pursuant to the powers and duties conferred in the
constitution of this state, in the interest of the state, ensure that the
provisions of Act 111 are enforced and prosecuted.
Sexual offenders and sexually violent predators.
Senate Bill 164 by Senator N. Gautreaux (Act
178) provides that it is unlawful for a sexually violent predator to
physically reside within one thousand feet of any public or private elementary
or secondary school.
House Bill 137 by Representative Walker (Act 147)
amends the definition of "aggravated offense" to require sex offenders
who engage in sexual acts involving penetration with a victim under the age of
fourteen to register as a sex offender for life.
House Bill 541 by Representative LaFleur (Act
408) creates the Louisiana Sexual Assault
Task Force to study investigation issues, procedures used in obtaining and
analyzing sexual assault evidence, training requirements for law enforcement
officers and others in sexual assault cases.
House Bill 925 by Representative Jack Smith (Act
338) requires a sex offender who provides
recreational instruction to persons under the age of seventeen years to post a
notice in the building or facility where such instruction is being given.
Senate Bill 485 by Senator Mount (pending Senate
committee) would have established
procedures for the involuntary civil commitment of persons determined to be
sexually violent predators.
Senate Concurrent Resolution 110 by Senator
Chaisson (enrolled) extends the authority for the Forensic Strategic Task
Force to study the feasibility of implementing the components of an effective
comprehensive statewide system to address the demands of the increasing adult
forensic population and its economic burden on health care service in the state.
Senate Concurrent Resolution 110 allows the Task Force to create a
subcommittee, within the Forensic Strategic Task Force, to specifically study
the issue of identification, commitment, and treatment of sexually violent
predators, in order to develop and implement an effective comprehensive
statewide system of control, monitoring, and treatment of this identified
House Concurrent Resolution 32 by Representative
Walker (enrolled) requests the Louisiana
State Police to increase public awareness regarding Louisiana's Sex Offender
Registry through the use of public service announcements.
Senate Bill 570 by Senator Chaisson (Act 694)
provides that a statement is not hearsay if the declarant testifies at the trial
or hearing and is subject to cross-examination concerning the statement and the
statement is inconsistent with his testimony and was given under oath at the
accused's preliminary examination or the accused's prior trial and the witness
was subject to the cross-examination by the accused. Additionally, Act 694
provides that a statement is not hearsay if the declarant testifies at the trial
or hearing and is subject to cross-examination concerning the statement and the
statement in a criminal case, inconsistent with his testimony, provided that the
proponent has first fairly directed the witness' attention to the statement and
the witness has been given the opportunity to admit the fact.
Senate Bill 837 by Senator Cain (Act 470)
authorizes the deputy secretary of public safety services to enter into
reciprocity agreements with other states which have substantially the same or
restrictive requirements for obtaining a concealed permit. This bill removes
authority from the deputy secretary and provides that where an out-of-state
resident has a valid concealed handgun permit from another state, that
out-of-state permit shall be considered valid in Louisiana if that state
recognizes Louisiana’s concealed permits.
House Bill 134 by Representative Bruce (Act
241) expands the provisions of law which authorize the taking of testimony
outside of the courtroom and the use of videotaped statements of all protected
persons who may have been a witness to or a victim of a crime. "Protected
persons" means any person who is a victim of a crime or a witness in a
criminal or juvenile proceeding and who (1) is 14 years of age or younger, or
(2) has a developmental disability or mental retardation. Act 241 requires that
either the person conducting the interview or the person supervising the
interview shall be present and available to testify.
House Bill 542 by Representative LaFleur (Act
379) creates a provision that if the
offender is charged with the crime of first or second degree murder and it
cannot be determined where the offense or the elements of the offense occurred,
the offense is deemed to have been committed in the parish where the body of the
victim was found.
House Bill 663 by Representative Winston (Act
103) requires the Bureau of Criminal
Identification and Information to make available to the Department of Social
Services state and national criminal history record information on (1) parents
of children who have been removed from their custody and placed in the custody
of the department; (2) parents or caretakers involved in investigations of abuse
or neglect; (3) potential caretakers of a child who is either in the custody of
the department or is the subject of an investigation of abuse or neglect. Act
103 adds a provision during an emergency situation when a child must be
removed from his home due to exigent circumstances and placed in the home of an
individual, the department may request that a criminal justice agency perform a
national name-based criminal history record check of each adult residing in that
home. The results of the name-based criminal history record check may be
provided to the department, which shall then provide a complete set of each
adult resident's fingerprints to the bureau for the immediate submission to the
FBI within twelve calendar days from the date the name-based criminal history
record check search was conducted. The bureau shall either positively identify
the fingerprint subject or forward the fingerprints to the FBI within fifteen
calendar days from the date the name-based criminal history record check search
was conducted. Act 103 further provides that the child shall be removed
from the home immediately if any adult resident fails to provide such
fingerprints or written permission to perform a federal criminal history record
check when requested to do so.
requires that when placement of a child in a home is denied as a result of a
name-based criminal history record check of a resident and the resident contests
that denial, each such resident shall, within five business days, submit to the
department a complete set of the resident's fingerprints with written permission
allowing the department to forward the fingerprints to the bureau for submission
to the FBI.
House Bill 738 by Representative Martiny (Act
413) requires that if a judge orders a
mistrial, upon motion of either the state or the defendant, the court shall
order an automatic 24-hour stay of all proceedings in which either the state or
the defendant may take an emergency writ application to the appropriate
reviewing court. Act 413 also requires the jury shall not be released pending
the stay unless both the state and defendant agree to release the jury.
House Bill 1458 by Representative LaFleur (Act
401) requires that if a written waiver of
rights form is used during the acceptance of a guilty plea, the notice of the
post-conviction relief prescriptive period may be included in the written waiver
House Bill 1697 by Representative Faucheux (Act
359) provides that a justice of the peace
has criminal jurisdiction parish wide as a committing magistrate, the power to
bail or discharge in cases not capital or necessarily punishable at hard labor,
and the power to require bonds to keep the peace. Act 359 also authorizes a
justice of the peace to retain original jurisdiction over a judgment,
enforcement, and collection of garnishments, judgment debtor examinations, and
the issuance of any writ to enforce its judgment. Act 359 grants the
constable of a justice of the peace court to have parish wide authority to
enforce its judgments.
House Concurrent Resolution 90 by Representative
Townsend (enrolled) requests the
Louisiana Supreme Court to study and make recommendations for a uniform and
streamlined procedure for expungement of criminal records. This resolution
requests a report of the study be submitted to the legislature 120 days prior to
the 2005 Regular Session.
Senate Bill 544 by Senator Holden (pending Senate
passage- subject to call) pertained to
the issue of mental retardation of a capital defendant which is determined prior
to trial. The bill would have required the judge to select a panel consisting of
two psychologists licensed by the Louisiana State Board of Examiners of
Psychologists and approved by the Louisiana Office for Citizens with
Developmental Disabilities and the Louisiana Psychological Association. In
addition to the panel, the bill would have given the state and the defense the
right to an independent psychological examination of the defendant for the
determination of the issue of mental retardation of the defendant.
House Bill 549 by Representative Baldone (Act
762) requires an offender shall be placed
on supervised probation after release from custody. Act 762 further requires the
offender to submit and complete either of the following treatment plans:
1. A treatment plan
recommended by the office for addictive disorders following evaluation,
including inpatient substance abuse treatment for at least four weeks and the
additional 12 months of treatment, or
2. Substance abuse
treatment in an alcohol and drug abuse program provided by a drug court
Additionally, Act 762 provides any offender
sentenced to home incarceration is on supervised probation and that his
probation may be revoked if he violates any condition of probation, including
conditions of home incarceration. Act 762 also contains provisions for monthly
home visitation by personnel of the department occurring for the first six
months, and thereafter, the department shall determine the level of supervision
needed based upon a risk assessment instrument.
House Bill 918 by Representative Baldone (pending
conference committee) was introduced with
requirements for the court to mandate an ignition interlock device on any
vehicle operated by a person charged with second or subsequent offense of
driving while intoxicated, underage driving under the influence, vehicular
homicide, vehicular negligent injuring, and first degree vehicular negligent
injuring as a condition of release on bail. The bill provided penalties for
failure to comply with the provisions which result in the revocation of bail and
reincarceration of the defendant. Additionally, this bill would have allowed the
court to waive these provisions under exceptional circumstances.
House Bill 1710 by Representative Baldone (Act
903) requires that when the court imposes
the use of an interlock device upon any person, the person must provide proof of
installation within 30 days.
House Bill 1712 by Representative Baldone (Act
905) requires courts to order the
installation of an ignition interlock device on any vehicles registered to
persons whose driving privileges have been suspended because of a DWI-related
offense. The ignition interlock device shall remain on the vehicle for a period
of time not less than the remaining period of suspension, revocation, or
cancellation. Act 905 further prohibits persons who are ordered to have an
ignition interlock device installed after driving while under suspension for a
DWI-related offense to apply for a hardship appeal.