Missouri State Highway Patrol Provides Synopsis of Some New Laws Related to Crime, Motor Vehicle and Boat Use
Below is a synopsis of some of the new legislation the Missouri General Assembly recently enacted that is related to crime, motor vehicles, and boats. Governor Jay Nixon has signed the listed legislation into law. Unless otherwise noted, these laws went into effect August 28, 2016. The Patrol wishes to make the public aware of several of these new laws or changes to increase public awareness and education. For a complete description of these newly enacted laws, visit the Missouri House of Representatives or Missouri Senate websites.
HB 1562 ─ SEX TRAFFICKING
This bill specifies that any recordings or photographs of a minor or his or her body who is alleged to be the victim of an offense under Chapter 566 RSMo. cannot be disclosed unless required by Supreme Court Rule 25.03 or if a court orders the disclosure. The bill specifies that any visual or aural recordings that could be used to identify or locate any victim of an offense under Chapter 566 or a victim of domestic assault or stalking must be closed and redacted from the record prior to disclosure to the public, including an unobstructed visual image of the victim's face or body.
Beginning in 2017, as a result of SB 491 (2014), aggravated stalking will be known as stalking in the first degree. This bill also adds the act of knowingly accessing, or attempting to access, the address of a participant of the address confidentiality program to the elements of first degree stalking. This bill adds the act of knowingly accessing, or attempting to access, the address of a participant of the address confidentiality program administered by the Secretary of State to the elements of aggravated stalking.
This bill adds knowingly advertising a specified minor to participate in a commercial sex act, performance, or the production of explicit sexual material to the offenses of: sexual trafficking of a child in the first degree, sexual trafficking of a child in the second degree, sexual trafficking of a child, and sexual trafficking of a child under the age of 12. The bill adds the advertising element to the offense of trafficking for the purpose of sexual exploitation. See Sections 510.035, 545.950, 565.225, 566.209, 566.210, 566.211, 566.212, 566.213, 589.660, 589.663, and 595.226 RSMO.
HB 1649 ─ IMMUNITY FROM CIVIL LIABILITY
This bill specifies that a person may forcibly enter a motor vehicle for the purpose of removing a child from the vehicle if there is a reasonable belief the child is in imminent danger. The person must contact emergency response personnel prior to entering the vehicle and must remain with the child until authorities arrive. If these conditions are met, the person is immune from civil liability for damages to the vehicle. This bill contains an emergency clause and is already in effect (Section 537.555 RSMo.).
HB 2332 ─ JUDICIAL PROCEEDINGS
This bill modifies provisions relating to crime.
During the 2014 session, the General Assembly passed a large-scale revision of the Missouri Criminal Code, which included the addition of a class E felony and a modification of the terms of imprisonment for class C, D, and E felonies. Currently, the maximum term for a class C felony is seven years and the maximum term for a class D felony is four years. Beginning January 1, 2017, when SB 491 (2014) takes effect, the term of imprisonment for a class C felony will be three to 10 years, the maximum term for a class D felony will be seven years, and the maximum term for a class E felony will be four years. (Sections 192.2260, 301.559, 339.100, 400.9-501, 571.020-571.072, 632.520, and Section B)
INTOXICATION-RELATED BOATING AND TRAFFIC OFFENSES
This bill provides that a person is an "aggravated boating offender" if he or she has been found guilty of two or more intoxication-related boating offenses committed on separate occasions when at least one of the incidents involved the defendant injuring or killing another person while operating a vessel while intoxicated.
In addition, this bill reinserts county and municipal ordinance violations of driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs into the definition of "intoxication-related traffic offense." Such municipal and county ordinance violations are included in the definition under current law, but not in the Revised Code to take effect January 2017.
The definition of "persistent offender" was also modified under the bill to include a person who has been found guilty of one intoxication-related traffic offense in which the defendant was operating a vehicle while intoxicated and another person was injured or killed. Similar changes were made to the definition of "persistent boating offender." This bill specifies that habitual offenders of intoxication-related traffic and boating offenses must serve two years in prison before being eligible for probation.
Under the Revised Code, if a chemical test demonstrates a blood alcohol content of less than .08, any criminal charge related to the operating of a vehicle, vessel, or aircraft while intoxicated or with excessive blood alcohol content must be dismissed unless certain other evidence exists. This bill removes the reference to offenses of operating a vehicle, vessel, or aircraft with an excessive blood alcohol content from this provision, so it only applies to operating a vehicle, vessel, or aircraft while intoxicated. (Sections 577.001, 577.010, 577.012, 577.013, 577.014, and 577.037 RSMo.)
HB 2380 ─ LICENSE PLATES
This bill corrects the citation to the U.S. Code in the definition (Section 301.010 RSMo.) of “local log truck.” The bill also enables all trailers and semitrailers to be permanently registered (currently only fifth wheel format trailers are allowed permanent registration), and shifts the supervision of tractor-trailer permitting from the Motor Carrier and Railroad Safety Division of the Department of Economic Development to the Highways and Transportation Commission (Section 301.067 RSMo.). This bill also allows owners of commercial motor vehicles (other than apportioned commercial motor vehicles) licensed up to and including 24,000 pounds, to obtain specialty personalized license plates. Currently, this is not available for vehicles registered over 18,000 pounds (301.130).
HB 2335 & SB 852 DENT COUNTY
The portion of Missouri Highway 32 crossing over the Meramec River in Dent County is designated the “Trooper Gary Snodgrass Memorial Bridge." The signage will be paid for by private donations. (Section 227.435 RSMo)
HB 2335 & SB 1009 AUDRAIN COUNTY
The portion of State Highway FF in Audrain County, from Elmwood Drive westward to County Road 977, is designated the "Trooper James M. Bava Memorial Highway." The signage will be paid for by private donations. (Section 227.439, 227.441 RSMo.)
SENATE BILLSSB 590 ─ FIRST DEGREE MURDER
Under current law, offenders who were under the age of 18 at the time they committed first degree murder must be sentenced to life imprisonment without eligibility for probation, parole, or conditional release. In June 2012, the U.S. Supreme Court in Miller v. Alabama held that mandatory life sentences without parole for juvenile criminal offenders are unconstitutional. As a result, this act repeals the mandatory life sentence. Such person may now be sentenced to life without eligibility for parole, life with eligibility for parole, or a term of imprisonment at least 30 years and not more than 40 years (Sections 558.047, 565.020, 565.030, 565.032, 565.033, 565.034, and 565.040 RSMo.). These provisions have an emergency clause and are currently in effect.
SB 624 ─ STEALING
Under this act, it is a Class B felony to physically take or attempt to take property from a person when the property is owned by or in the custody of a financial institution. Financial institution is defined as a bank, trust company, savings and loan association, or credit union (Sections 570.010, 570.030 RSMo.).
FRAUDULENT PROCUREMENT OF A CREDIT OR DEBIT DEVICE
Currently, possession of a cloned credit device in itself may not be illegal. This provision adds knowing possession as a stand-alone element to the crime of fraudulent procurement of a credit or debit device, a class A misdemeanor. Under current law, business entities must not be heldliable for accepting fraudulent applications for credit or debit devices or using fraudulent credit or debit devices in transactions without clear and convincing evidence that the business conspired with the fraudulent procuring of the credit or debit devices. This act clarifies that such entities must not be held criminally liable without such evidence. This provision takes effect January 1, 2017. (Section 570.135 RSMo.)
SB 657 ─ IGNITION INTERLOCK DEVICES
This act allows any person who is required to have an ignition interlock device installed on such person's vehicle due to committing certain intoxication-related traffic offenses to apply to the court for a variance to drive an employer-owned vehicle without such device. Such exemption shall not apply in certain situations, and such person shall not drive such employer-owned vehicle with certain passengers or for personal use (Sections 302.440, 302.441 RSMo.).
SB 732 ̶ PUBLIC SAFETY
MANDATED REPORTERS OF ELDER ABUSE
Under current law, certain individuals are required to report incidents of elder abuse to the Department of Health and Senior Services. This act adds first responders, as defined in the act, to the list of mandated reports. (Sections 192.2400, 192.2405, and 192.2475 RSMo.)
DUTY TO OBEY FIREFIGHTERS
Under current law, it is a class A misdemeanor to willfully fail or refuse to obey signals or directions or willfully resist or oppose a law enforcement officer in the proper discharge of his or her duties. This act includes firefighters in that crime. (Section 575.145 RSMo.)
MOBILE VIDEO RECORDINGS
Mobile video recordings from a law enforcement vehicle or a device carried by a law enforcement officer that includes a camera and recording capability are considered a closed record until the investigation becomes inactive. A mobile video recording in a nonpublic location may be closed, except that any person depicted in the recording or certain other persons may obtain a complete, unaltered, and unedited copy of the recording upon written request. The act adds legal guardians or parents of a minor as being able to obtain closed investigative or mobile video records in the same way that any person could obtain such records. (Section 610.100 RSMo.)
CRIME SCENE PHOTOS
The act further inserts new provisions to the Sunshine Law relating to crime scene photographs and video recordings. Under this provision, certain crime scene photographs or video recordings, including those produced by a state or local agency or by a perpetrator or suspect at a crime scene, shall be considered closed records and not subject to disclosure under the open meetings and records law, commonly known as the sunshine law. The provisions of this amendment shall not prohibit disclosure of the material to the deceased's next of kin or to an individual who has secured a written release from the next of kin. (Section 610.205 RSMo.)
The director of the Department of Public Safety must establish rules governing the viewing of the materials by the press.
The Missouri State Highway Patrol reminds the public that Senate Bill 491, from the 2014 Legislative Session, takes effect on January 1, 2017.