August 23, 2019

SB 16-102: Removing Mandatory Sentences for Second Degree Assault and Bail Bond Crimes

On January 29, 2016, Sen. Andy Kerr and Rep. Dominick Moreno introduced SB 16-102Concerning the Elimination of Mandatory Sentences to Incarceration for Certain Crimes, and, in Connection Therewith, Making and Reducing an Appropriation. The bill was introduced in the Senate Judiciary Committee, where it passed without amendments and was referred to Appropriations. It was amended in Appropriations and sent to the Senate Committee of the Whole, where it passed with amendments on Second and Third Reading. In the House, the bill was assigned to and amended by the Judiciary Committee, then referred to Appropriations where it was again amended. The bill passed Second Reading in the House with amendments.

Under current law, a person who is convicted of certain types of second degree assault and convicted of violating bail bond conditions must be sentenced to a mandatory term of incarceration. This bill, if enacted, would remove the mandatory term of incarceration requirement in those circumstances.

Specifically, the Senate has proposed to delete language under C.R.S. § 18-8-212(3), which states that a person who fails to appear for a court proceeding with the intent of avoiding prosecution and who is convicted of a felony shall be sentenced to mandatory imprisonment of not less than one year if violating subsection (1) or not less than 6 months if violating subsection (2). The amendments that the Senate is proposing for this section would keep the imprisonment requirements “unless the court makes findings that unusual or extenuating circumstances exist and finds that a sentence to incarceration would not be in the interest of justice and would be inconsistent with the purposes of sentencing as described in section 18-1-102.5.”

Mark Proust is a 2016 J.D. Candidate at the University of Denver Sturm College of Law.

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