Introduced Version House Bill 2436 History

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H. B. 2436

(By Delegates Fragale and Iaquinta)

[Introduced February 16, 2005 ; referred to the

Committee on the Judiciary.]

A BILL to amend and reenact §25-4-6 of the Code of West Virginia, 1931,as amended, relating to young adult offenders; defining "felony offense" to include a plea of guilty to a misdemeanor as the result of bargaining down from a felony charge.

Be it enacted by the Legislature of West Virginia:

That §25-4-6 of the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended, be amended and reenacted to read as follows:


§25-4-6. Assignment of offenders to center; period of center confinement; return to court; sentence or probation; revocation of probation.

The judge of any court with original criminal jurisdiction may suspend the imposition of sentence of any young adult, as defined in this section, convicted of or pleading guilty to a felony offense, other than an offense punishable by life imprisonment, including, but not limited to,
a plea of guilty to a misdemeanor in exchange for the reduction of a felony charge and felony violations of the provisions of chapter seventeen-c of this code, who has attained his or her eighteenth birthday but has not reached his or her twenty-third birthday at the time of the sentencing by the court and commit the young adult to the custody of the West Virginia Commissioner of Corrections to be assigned to a center. Young adult offenders who have previously been committed to a young adult offender center are not eligible for commitment to this program. The period of confinement in the center shall be for a period of not less than six months or longer to successfully complete the program requirements set by the warden, but in any event the period of confinement may not exceed no longer than two years. The court shall order a presentence investigation to be conducted and provide the warden with a copy of the presentence investigation report, along with the commitment order.
If, in the opinion of the warden, the young adult offender proves to be an unfit person to remain in the center, the offender shall be returned to the committing court to be dealt with further according to law. The offender is entitled to a hearing before the committing court to review the warden?s determination. The standard for review is whether the warden, considering the offender?s overall record at the center and the offender?s compliance with the center?s rules, regulations, programs and services, abused his or her discretion in determining that the offender is an unfit person to remain in the center. At the hearing before the committing court, the state need not offer independent proof of the offender?s disciplinary infractions contained in the record of the center, when opportunity for an administrative hearing on those infractions was previously made available at the institution. In the event that the court upholds the warden?s determination, the court may sentence the offender for the crime for which the offender was convicted. In his or her discretion, the judge may allow the defendant credit on the sentence for time the offender spent in the center.
A young adult offender shall be returned to the jurisdiction of the court which originally committed the offender when, in the opinion of the warden, the young adult offender has satisfactorily completed the center training program. The offender is then eligible for probation for the offense with which the offender is charged and the judge of the court shall immediately place the offender on probation. In the event the offender's probation is subsequently revoked, the judge shall impose the sentence the young adult offender would have originally received had the offender not been committed to the center and subsequently placed on probation. The court shall, however, give the offender credit on his or her sentence for the time spent in the center.

NOTE: The purpose of this bill is to treat a young adult as being convicted of a felony, under the section, if he or she plea bargained a felony charge down to a misdemeanor conviction.

Strike-throughs indicate language that would be stricken from the present law, and underscoring indicates new language that would be added.
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