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Several new laws take effect July 1 in Indiana

There are several new laws that take effect in Indiana on July 1. One law creates a child abuse registry, another requires drivers to remove their vehicles form the roadway after a property damage accident.

Here's a rundown of a few of the new laws.

Senate Bill 357

 

Registry of convicted child abusers. Defines "crime of child abuse" and requires the division of state court administration (division) to establish an electronic child abuse registry containing information relating to persons convicted of a crime of child abuse.

This law was inspired by the death of 19-month-old Kirk Coleman.

House Bill 1187

Stolen valor. Makes it committing stolen valor, a Class A misdemeanor, for a person to knowingly or intentionally, with the intent to obtain money, property, or another benefit: (1) fraudulently represent himself or herself to be an active member or veteran of the armed forces of the United States; (2) use falsified military identification; or (3) fraudulently claim to be the recipient of certain military honors.

House Bill 1048

Motor vehicle accidents. Makes it a Class C infraction if a motor vehicle involved in an accident comes to a stop in the traveled portion of a highway, and the operator fails (with certain exceptions) to move the motor vehicle off the traveled portion of the highway in a manner that does not obstruct traffic more than is necessary. Provides that, with certain exceptions, a person who knowingly or intentionally possesses a plate or label that contains an identification number not attached to the motor vehicle or motor vehicle part to which the plate or label was originally assigned by a manufacturer or governmental entity commits a Class A misdemeanor, increases the penalty to a Level 6 felony if the person possesses more than one unattached plate or if the value of the motor vehicle or motor vehicle part to which the plate is attached is between $750 and $50,000, and increases the penalty to a Level 5 felony if the value of the motor vehicle or motor vehicle part to which the plate is attached is at least $50,000. Provides that a person that damages, removes, or alters an original or a special identification number commits a Level 6 felony. Increases the penalty for selling a motor vehicle with an altered identification number to a Level 6 felony if the value of the vehicle is between $750 and $50,000, and to a Level 5 felony if the value of the vehicle is at least $50,000. Makes the penalty for counterfeiting a motor vehicle title a Class A misdemeanor (under current law, the offense is a Class B misdemeanor), and increases the penalty to a Level 6 felony if the value of the vehicle is between $750 and $50,000, and to a Level 5 felony if the value of the vehicle is at least $50,000. Defines the term "emergency incident". Expands the definition of the term "emergency incident area".

Senate Bill 352

Identifying information for adoptions. Repeals, effective July 1, 2016, provisions applicable to adoptions finalized before January 1, 1994, that prohibit the release of identifying adoption information unless a consent to release the information is on file. Provides that, beginning July 1, 2016, identifying adoption information may be released unless a nonrelease is on file, regardless of when the adoption was filed. (Under current law, this provision applies only to adoptions filed after December 31, 1993.)

House Bill 1019

Establishes a procedure for the release of law enforcement recordings (recordings) under the public records law. Exempts custodial interrogations described in Indiana Evidence Rule 617 from provisions applicable to other law enforcement recordings. Requires a public agency to permit the following persons (defined as a "requestor" in the statute) to view a recording at least twice: (1) A person depicted in a recording, or if the person is deceased or incapacitated, the person's relative or representative. (2) An owner or occupant of real property depicted in a recording. (3) A crime victim, if the depicted events are relevant to the crime. (4) A person who suffers a loss due to personal injury or property damage, if the depicted events are relevant to the person's loss. Allows a "requestor" to be awarded attorney's fees, court costs, and other reasonable expenses if the "requestor" prevails in an action against a public agency to view a recording. Requires a public agency to permit all persons to inspect and copy a recording unless the public agency can demonstrate that release of the recording would: (1) pose a significant risk of harm to a person or the public; (2) interfere with a person's ability to get a fair trial; (3) affect an ongoing investigation; or (4) not serve the public interest. Provides that a recording that captures information relating to airport security may not be released for public inspection without the approval of the airport operator. Specifies the procedure to obtain a court order for the release of a law enforcement recording, and requires a court to expedite the proceedings. Caps the fee for copying a law enforcement recording at $150, and specifies that the agency collecting the fee may spend the fee for certain purposes. Specifies information that a public agency may or must obscure from a law enforcement recording before disclosing it. Establishes the length of time that a public agency must retain a law enforcement recording. Exempts a law enforcement recording from a criminal statute prohibiting placement of a camera on the private property of another person. Resolves technical conflicts with SEA 378-2016 and HEA 1022-2016. (The introduced version of this bill was prepared by the interim study committee on government.)

Senate Bill 142

Operating while intoxicated. Provides that a person who commits the offense of causing the death of another person when operating a vehicle: (1) with an alcohol concentration equivalent to at least 0.08 gram of alcohol per 100 milliliters of the person's blood or 210 liters of the person's breath; (2) with a controlled substance listed in schedule I or II or its metabolite in the person's blood; or (3) while intoxicated; commits a Level 4 felony instead of a Level 5 felony if the person has a previous conviction of operating while intoxicated within 10 years preceding the commission of the offense instead of within five years preceding the commission of the offense. Provides that a person convicted of a Level 6 felony may be committed to the department of correction (DOC) if the person has received an enhanced sentence for being a habitual vehicular substance offender. Provides that a person who operates a motorboat while intoxicated (motorboat OWI) shall receive an enhanced penalty if the person has a previous conviction under a repealed version of the crime.

House Bill 1012

Developmental disability bracelet and identification card. Requires the state department of health (state department), upon request, to issue a bracelet, an identification card, or both indicating that an individual has been medically diagnosed with a developmental disability. Allows the state department to charge a fee for the bracelet and identification card. Provides that the information collected by the state department is confidential and establishes requirements before information may be released under a court order.

Senate Bill 141

Criminal gang organization. Changes the term "criminal gang" to "criminal organization". Provides that a criminal organization is a group organized to commit a felony or the crime of battery. Increases the penalty for assisting a criminal to a Level 6 felony if the person who commits the offense or the person assisted is a member of a criminal organization. Makes criminal organization activity a Level 6 felony, and increases the penalty to a Level 5 felony if the person commits an offense involving the unlawful use of a firearm. Specifies certain additional evidence that the trier-of-fact may consider in determining whether a person has committed specified offenses involving criminal organizations.

House Bill 1085

Firearms and certification. Defines "chief law enforcement officer" as an official whose certification is required under federal law for a person to manufacture or transfer certain firearms, and requires a chief law enforcement officer to issue a requested certification unless the person requesting the certification is: (1) prohibited by law from receiving or possessing a firearm; or (2) the subject of a proceeding that could result in the person being prohibited by law from receiving or possessing a firearm. Requires a chief law enforcement officer who denies a request for certification to explain the reasons for the denial in writing. Permits a person whose certification is denied the right to challenge the denial by filing an action in a circuit or superior court, specifies that the chief law enforcement officer bears the burden of proving that the denial was lawful, and permits the award of reasonable attorney's fees and other costs to the person if there was no substantial basis for the denial. Provides civil immunity to a chief law enforcement officer for acts or omissions made in good faith.

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