CHAPTER 253

RELATING TO CRIMINAL OFFENDERS

AN ACT TO AMEND CHAPTERS 31 AND 39, TITLE 11, DELAWARE CODE, BY PROVIDING A NEW PROCEDURE FOR CHARGING AND SENTENCING REPEATING CRIMINAL OFFENDERS.

Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the State of Delaware:

Section 1. Chapter 31, Title 11, Delaware Code, is amended by repealing § 3101 thereof.

Section 2. Chapter 39, Title 11, Delaware Code, is amended by adding thereto the following section designated § 3912:

§ 3912. Sentence of greater punishment because of previous conviction

(a) If, at the time of sentence, it appears to the court that the conviction of a defendant constitutes a second or other conviction making the defendant liable to a punishment greater than the maximum which may be imposed upon a person not so previously convicted, the court shall fully inform the defendant as to such previous conviction or convictions and shall call upon the defendant to admit or deny such previous conviction or convictions. If the defendant shall admit the previous conviction or convictions, the court may impose the greater punishment. If the defendant shall stand silent or if he shall deny the prior conviction or convictions, he shall be tried upon the issue of previous conviction ; provided, however, that the foregoing procedure shall not apply in cases of fourth offenders liable to sentence of life imprisonment under § 3911.

(b) If, at any time after conviction and before sentence, it shall appear to the Attorney General or to the Superior Court that, by reason of such conviction and prior convictions, a defendant should be subjected to the provisions of § 3911, the Attorney General shall file an information charging the defendant as an habitual criminal under the provisions of § 3911.

The defendant shall be required to plead to such information. If the defendant remains silent or pleads not guilty, he shall be tried upon the charges of such information, with right to jury trial preserved. If the defendant is found guilty, or if he pleads guilty or nolo contendere, the court may impose the sentence provided by § 3911.

Approved June 8, 1955.