Bill would change the way people with priors are sentenced for habitual offenses

Published: Apr. 19, 2019 at 10:40 AM CDT
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A new bill filed in the Louisiana House of Representatives by Rep. Randal Gaines (D-Dist. 57), who represents St. Charles and St. John the Baptist Parishes, would change the way people with priors are considered for enhanced penalties and habitual offender status.

Currently, any convicted felon who commits a subsequent felony within the state can be subject to enhanced penalties. But, House Bill 518 would amend the present law to state that the "habitual offender law shall only be applied to persons whose instant conviction and any prior conviction is for a crime of violence."

Current law also states that, for the purposes of the habitual offender law, the most recent offense cannot be counted if more than five years have passed between the date of the commission of the current offense(s) and the expiration of the maximum sentence(s) for the previous conviction(s). When it comes to crimes of violence or sex offenses, that time is extended to 10 years.

But, the proposed law would change that. HB 518 would allow the five year time period to apply to crimes of violence, and the 10 year time period would apply to sex offenses.

The bill has been referred to the Committee on Administration of Criminal Justice. A copy of the bill is attached to this page.

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