1998 Legislation
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HOUSE BILL NO. 437 – Domestic assault, household member


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H0437........................................................by MR. SPEAKER
              Requested by: Department of Health and Welfare
DOMESTIC ASSAULT - Amends existing law to provide that domestic assault or
battery statutes cover persons related by blood or marriage and persons who
are living together or who have lived together; and to authorize batterer
evaluations prior to sentencing and post-sentencing.

01/12    House intro - 1st rdg - to printing
01/12    Rpt prt - to Jud

Bill Text


 ||||              LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF IDAHO             ||||
Fifty-fourth Legislature                 Second Regular Session - 1998

                             IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

                                    HOUSE BILL NO. 437

                                      BY MR. SPEAKER
                      Requested by: Department of Health and Welfare

 1                                        AN ACT

 6    Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Idaho:

 7        SECTION  1.  That  Section  18-918, Idaho Code, be, and the same is hereby
 8    amended to read as follows:

 9        18-918.  DOMESTIC ASSAULT OR BATTERY. (1) For the purpose of this section,
10    "household member" means a person who is a spouse, former spouse,    per-
11    sons  related  by  blood  or  marriage,    persons  who reside or have resided
12    together,  or  a  person s  who   has  
13      have  a child in common regardless of whether they have been mar-
14    ried or have lived together at any time.
15        (2)  A household member who commits an  assault,  as  defined  in  section
16    18-901,  Idaho  Code,  against  another household member is guilty of domestic
17    assault.
18        (3)  A household member who commits  a  battery,  as  defined  in  section
19    18-903,  Idaho  Code,  against  another household member is guilty of domestic
20    battery.
21        (4)  Upon a first conviction, the crime of domestic assault or battery  is
22    punishable by a fine not exceeding one thousand dollars ($1,000) or by impris-
23    onment  in a county jail not to exceed six (6) months, or both.  Upon a second
24    conviction, within ten (10) years of the first conviction, the person so  con-
25    victed  shall be punished by imprisonment in the county jail for a term not to
26    exceed one (1) year or by a fine not exceeding two thousand  dollars  ($2,000)
27    or  by  both  fine  and  imprisonment.  Upon a third or subsequent conviction,
28    within fifteen (15) years of the first conviction,  the  person  so  convicted
29    shall be punished by imprisonment in the state prison for a term not to exceed
30    five (5) years or by a fine not to exceed five thousand dollars ($5,000) or by
31    both fine and imprisonment.
32        (5)  (a) Any person who pleads guilty or is found guilty of a violation of
33        this  section  shall  undergo,  at  the person's own expense , 
34         and   either  prior to  or  after    the
35        sentencing  date,  an  evaluation  by  a  person,  agency  or organization
36        approved by the court in accordance with subsection (c) of this section to
37        determine whether the defendant should be required  to  obtain  aggression
38        counseling  and/ or other appropriate treatment  for anger
39        control and prevention .  If the evaluation recommends counseling or
40        other  treatment, the evaluation shall recommend the type of counseling or
41        treatment considered appropriate for  the  defendant,  together  with  the
42        estimated  costs  thereof, and shall recommend any other suitable alterna-
43        tive counseling or treatment programs, together with the  estimated  costs


 1        thereof.  The defendant shall request that a copy of the completed evalua-
 2        tion  be  forwarded to the court. The court shall take the evaluation into
 3        consideration in determining an appropriate sentence. If  a  copy  of  the
 4        completed  evaluation  has  not  been provided to the court, the court may
 5        proceed to sentence the defendant; however, in such  event,  it  shall  be
 6        presumed  that counseling is required unless the defendant makes a showing
 7        by a preponderance of evidence that counseling is  not  required.  If  the
 8        defendant  has  not made a good faith effort to provide the completed copy
 9        of the evaluation to the court, the court may consider the failure of  the
10        defendant  to  provide the report as an aggravating circumstance in deter-
11        mining an appropriate sentence. If  counseling    or  other  treatment  is
12        ordered,  in  no  event shall the person, agency or organization doing the
13        evaluation be the person, agency or organization that provides  the  coun-
14        seling  or  other  treatment unless this requirement is waived by the sen-
15        tencing court, with the exception of federally recognized Indian tribes or
16        federal military installations, where diagnosis and treatment  are  appro-
17        priate  and  available. Nothing herein contained shall preclude the use of
18        funds authorized for court-ordered counseling  or  treatment  pursuant  to
19        this section for indigent defendants as provided by law. In the event that
20        funding  is  provided  for or on behalf of the defendant by a governmental
21        entity, the defendant shall be ordered to make restitution to such govern-
22        mental entity in accordance with the restitution procedure for crime  vic-
23        tims, as specified under chapter 53, title 19, Idaho Code.
24        (b)  If the evaluation recommends counseling or other treatment, the court
25        shall  order  the  person to complete the counseling or other treatment in
26        addition to any other sentence which may be imposed. If the  court  deter-
27        mines  that counseling or treatment would be inappropriate or undesirable,
28        the court shall enter findings articulating the reasons for such  determi-
29        nation  on the record. The court shall order the defendant to complete the
30        preferred counseling or treatment program set forth in the evaluation,  or
31        a comparable alternative, unless it appears that the defendant cannot rea-
32        sonably  obtain adequate financial resources for such counseling or treat-
33        ment. In that event, the court may order the defendant to complete a  less
34        costly  alternative  set  forth in the evaluation or a comparable program.
35        Nothing contained in this subsection shall be  construed  as  requiring  a
36        court  to  order  that  counseling  or treatment be provided at government
37        expense unless otherwise required by law.
38        (c)  Each judicial district shall by rule establish a uniform  system  for
39        the  qualification  and  approval of persons, agencies or organizations to
40        perform the  evaluations  required  in  this  subsection.  Only  qualified
41        evaluators approved by the court shall be authorized to perform such eval-
42        uations.  Funds  to establish a system for approval of evaluators shall be
43        derived from moneys designated therefor  and  deposited  in  the  district
44        court fund as provided in section 31-3201A(p), Idaho Code.

Statement of Purpose / Fiscal Impact


                           STATEMENT OF PURPOSE
    There are two purposes of this legislation. The first is to change the definition of 
    "household member" as defined by Idaho's Domestic Assault or Battery Statute (Idaho 
    Code 18-918) to include persons who live or have lived together, persons related by blood 
    or marriage, and persons who have a child in common. The current definition of 
    "household member" in Idaho Code 18-918 includes only current and former spouses, 
    while Idaho's Domestic Violence Crime Prevention Act (Idaho Code 39-6301 to 39-6317) 
    already includes this expanded definition. By making the language in these two statutes 
    read the same, this legislation will make it easier for law enforcement officers to enforce 
    both statutes in a consistent manner. In addition, this expanded language will once again 
    bring members of former common law marriages within the purview of this statute. This is 
    a large group that was meant to be covered by 18-918 at the time it was made into law.
    The second purpose is to allow domestic batterer assessments to be done either prior to 
    or after sentencing on domestic assault or battery charges. Currently, Idaho Code, 18918 
    requires that domestic batterer assessments be completed prior to the date of sentencing. 
    By allowing judges the option of sentencing defendants prior to their assessment, the 
    courts will have the additional tool of a probation violation to enforce no contact orders. 
    This will afford better protection to victims of domestic violence.
                               FISCAL IMPACT
    The legislation is expected to result in no additional cost to the state.
    Name: Celia Heady
    Agency: Council on Domestic Violence
    Phone: 334-5580
    Statement of Purpose/Fiscal Impact
    H 437