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Minnesota Legislature

Office of the Revisor of Statutes

SF 1153

1st Engrossment - 91st Legislature (2019 - 2020) Posted on 02/25/2019 03:15pm

KEY: stricken = removed, old language.
underscored = added, new language.

Current Version - 1st Engrossment

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A bill for an act
relating to crime; providing guidance to courts on sentencing veterans for criminal
offenses related to a service-related disorder; proposing coding for new law in
Minnesota Statutes, chapter 609.

BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MINNESOTA:

Section 1.

new text begin [609.1056] MILITARY VETERAN OFFENDERS RESTORATIVE
JUSTICE SENTENCE.
new text end

new text begin Subdivision 1. new text end

new text begin Offenses as a result of military service; presentence supervision
procedures.
new text end

new text begin (a) In the case of any person charged with a criminal offense that is either
Severity Level 7 or D7, or lower, in the Minnesota Sentencing Guidelines, who could
otherwise be sentenced to county jail or state prison and who alleges that the person
committed the offense as a result of sexual trauma, traumatic brain injury, post-traumatic
stress disorder, substance abuse, or mental health conditions stemming from service in the
United States military, the court shall, prior to entering a plea of guilty, make a determination
as to whether the defendant was, or currently is, a member of the United States military and
whether the defendant may be suffering from sexual trauma, traumatic brain injury,
post-traumatic stress disorder, substance abuse, or mental health conditions as a result of
that person's service. The court may request, through existing resources, an assessment to
aid in that determination.
new text end

new text begin (b) A defendant who requests to be sentenced under this section shall release or authorize
access to military service and records relating to the alleged conditions stemming from
service in the United States military. These records shall be filed as confidential and remain
sealed, except as provided for in this paragraph. The defendant, through existing records or
licensed professional evaluation, shall establish the diagnosis of the condition and its
connection to military service. The court, on the prosecutor's motion with notice to defense
counsel, may order the defendant to furnish to the court for in-camera review or to the
prosecutor copies of all medical and military reports and records previously or subsequently
made concerning the defendant's condition and its connection to service. Based on the
record, the court shall make findings on whether, by clear and convincing evidence, the
defendant suffers from a diagnosable condition and whether that condition stems from
service in the United States military. Within 15 days of the court's findings, either party
may file a challenge to the findings and demand a hearing on the defendant's eligibility
under this section.
new text end

new text begin (c) If the court concludes that a defendant who entered a plea of guilty to a criminal
offense is a person described in this subdivision or the parties stipulate to eligibility, and if
the defendant is otherwise eligible for probation, the court shall, upon the person entering
a plea of guilty, without entering a judgment of guilty and with the consent of the person,
defer further proceedings and place the person on probation upon reasonable conditions as
it may require and for a period not to exceed the maximum sentence provided for the
violation.
new text end

new text begin (d) Upon violation of a condition of the probation, the court may enter an adjudication
of guilt and proceed as otherwise provided by law, including sentencing pursuant to the
guidelines, application or waiver of statutory mandatory minimums, or a departure pursuant
to subdivision 2, paragraph (d).
new text end

new text begin (e) As a condition of probation, the court may order the defendant to attend a local, state,
federal, or private nonprofit treatment program for a period not to exceed that period that
the defendant would have served in state prison or county jail, provided the defendant agrees
to participate in the program and the court determines that an appropriate treatment program
exists.
new text end

new text begin (f) A defendant granted probation under this section and ordered to attend a residential
treatment program shall earn sentence credits for the actual time the defendant serves in
residential treatment.
new text end

new text begin (g) The court, in making an order under this section to order a defendant to attend an
established treatment program, shall give preference to a treatment program that has a history
of successfully treating veterans who suffer from sexual trauma, traumatic brain injury,
post-traumatic stress disorder, substance abuse, or mental health problems as a result of that
service, including, but not limited to, programs operated by the United States Department
of Defense or the United States Department of Veterans Affairs.
new text end

new text begin (h) The court and the assigned treatment program shall, when available, collaborate with
a county veterans service officer and the United States Department of Veterans Affairs to
maximize benefits and services provided to the veteran.
new text end

new text begin (i) If available in the county or judicial district having jurisdiction over the case, the
defendant may be supervised by the veterans treatment court program pursuant to subdivision
3. If there is a veterans treatment court that meets the requirements of subdivision 3 in the
county in which the person resides or works, supervision of the person may be transferred
to that county or judicial district veterans treatment court program. If the person successfully
completes the veterans treatment court program in the supervising jurisdiction, that
jurisdiction shall sentence the person pursuant to this section. If the person is unsuccessful
in the veterans treatment court program, the person's supervision should be returned to the
jurisdiction that initiated the transfer for standard sentencing.
new text end

new text begin Subd. 2. new text end

new text begin Restorative justice for military veterans; dismissal of charges. new text end

new text begin (a) It is in
the interests of justice to restore a defendant who acquired a criminal record due to a mental
health condition stemming from service in the United States military to the community of
law abiding citizens. The restorative provisions of this subdivision shall apply to cases in
which a court monitoring the defendant's performance of probation pursuant to this section
finds at a public hearing, held after not less than 15 days' notice to the prosecution, the
defense, and any victim of the offense, that all of the following describe the defendant:
new text end

new text begin (1) the person was granted probation and was at the time that probation was granted a
person eligible under subdivision 1 of this section;
new text end

new text begin (2) the person is in substantial compliance with the conditions of that probation;
new text end

new text begin (3) the person has successfully participated in court-ordered treatment and services to
address the sexual trauma, traumatic brain injury, post-traumatic stress disorder, substance
abuse, or mental health problems stemming from military service;
new text end

new text begin (4) the person does not represent a danger to the health and safety of others; and
new text end

new text begin (5) the person has demonstrated significant benefit from court-ordered education,
treatment, or rehabilitation to clearly show that granting restorative relief pursuant to this
subdivision would be in the interests of justice.
new text end

new text begin (b) When determining whether granting restorative relief pursuant to this subdivision is
in the interests of justice, the court may consider, among other factors, all of the following:
new text end

new text begin (1) the defendant's completion and degree of participation in education, treatment, and
rehabilitation as ordered by the court;
new text end

new text begin (2) the defendant's progress in formal education;
new text end

new text begin (3) the defendant's development of career potential;
new text end

new text begin (4) the defendant's leadership and personal responsibility efforts;
new text end

new text begin (5) the defendant's contribution of service in support of the community; and
new text end

new text begin (6) the level of harm to the community or victim from the offense.
new text end

new text begin (c) If the court finds that a case satisfies each of the requirements described in paragraph
(a), then upon expiration of the period of probation the court shall discharge the person and
dismiss the proceedings against that person. Discharge and dismissal under this subdivision
shall be without court adjudication of guilt, but a not public record of it shall be retained
by the Bureau of Criminal Apprehension for the purpose of use by the courts in determining
the merits of subsequent proceedings against the person. The not public record may also be
opened only upon court order for purposes of a criminal investigation, prosecution, or
sentencing. Upon request by law enforcement, prosecution, or corrections authorities, the
bureau shall notify the requesting party of the existence of the not public record and the
right to seek a court order to open it pursuant to this section. The court shall forward a record
of any discharge and dismissal under this subdivision to the bureau, which shall make and
maintain the not public record of it as provided under this subdivision. The discharge or
dismissal shall not be deemed a conviction for purposes of disqualifications or disabilities
imposed by law upon conviction of a crime or for any other purpose. For purposes of this
subdivision, "not public" has the meaning given in section 13.02, subdivision 8a.
new text end

new text begin (d) If the charge the person entered was a plea of guilty pursuant to subdivision 1,
paragraph (c), of this section is for an offense that is a presumptive commitment to state
imprisonment, the court may use the factors of paragraph (a) to justify a dispositional or
durational departure, or any sentence appropriate, including the application or waiver of
statutory mandatory minimums. If the court finds paragraph (a), clauses (1) to (5), factors,
defendant is presumed amenable to probation.
new text end

new text begin (e) A dismissal pursuant to this subdivision does not apply to offense for which
registration is required pursuant to section 243.166, subdivision 1b.
new text end

new text begin Subd. 3. new text end

new text begin Optional veterans treatment court program; procedures for eligible
defendants.
new text end

new text begin A county or judicial district may supervise probation under this section through
a veterans treatment court, using county veterans service officers appointed under sections
197.60 to 197.606, United States Department of Veterans Affairs veterans justice outreach
specialists, probation agents, and any other rehabilitative resources available to the court.
"Veterans treatment court program" means a program that has the following essential
characteristics:
new text end

new text begin (1) the integration of services in the processing of cases in the judicial system;
new text end

new text begin (2) the use of a nonadversarial approach involving prosecutors and defense attorneys to
promote public safety and to protect the due process rights of program participants;
new text end

new text begin (3) early identification and prompt placement of eligible participants in the program;
new text end

new text begin (4) access to a continuum of alcohol, controlled substance, mental health, and other
related treatment and rehabilitative services;
new text end

new text begin (5) careful monitoring of treatment and services provided to program participants;
new text end

new text begin (6) a coordinated strategy to govern program responses to participants' compliance;
new text end

new text begin (7) ongoing judicial interaction with program participants;
new text end

new text begin (8) monitoring and evaluation of program goals and effectiveness;
new text end

new text begin (9) continuing interdisciplinary education to promote effective program planning,
implementation, and operations;
new text end

new text begin (10) development of partnerships with public agencies and community organizations,
including the United States Department of Veterans Affairs; and
new text end

new text begin (11) inclusion of a participant's family members who agree to be involved in the treatment
and services provided to the participant under the program.
new text end

new text begin Subd. 4. new text end

new text begin Authorization for creation of county and city diversion programs. new text end

new text begin Any
county or city may establish and operate a veterans pretrial diversion program for offenders
eligible under subdivision 1 of this section without penalty under section 477A.0175. "Pretrial
diversion" means the decision of a prosecutor to refer an offender to a diversion program
on condition that the criminal charges against the offender will be dismissed after a specified
period of time, or the case will not be charged, if the offender successfully completes the
program of treatment recommended by the United States Department of Veterans Affairs
or a local, state, federal, or private nonprofit treatment program.
new text end

new text begin EFFECTIVE DATE. new text end

new text begin This section is effective August 1, 2019.
new text end