SENATE SUBSTITUTE NO. 1
SENATE BILL NO. 100
AS AMENDED BY HOUSE AMENDMENT NO. 1
AN ACT TO AMEND PART VI, TITLE 11 OF THE DELAWARE CODE RELATING TO VICTIMS OF CRIMES.
BE /7 ENACTED BY THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF THE STATE OF DELAWARE:
Section 1. Amend Part VI, Title 11 of the Delaware Code by adding the following new chapter:
"CHAPTER 94. VICTIMS' BILL OF RIGHTS.
As used in this chapter, unless the context otherwise requires:
(a) "Victim" means the person, organization, partnership, business, corporation, agency or governmental entity identified as the victim of a crime (enumerated in §9402) in a police report, a criminal complaint or warrant, an indictment or information, or other charging instrument. Victim shall include a parent, guardian or custodian of a victim who is unable to meaningfully understand or participate in the legal process due to, physical, psychological or mental impairment. Victim shall include the following relations of a deceased victim if the relation is not the defendant, co—defendant or conspirator:
(1) the spouse, and/or
(1) an adult son, stepson, daughter or stepdaughter, and/or
(1) a parent, and/or
(1) a sibling.
(b) "Prosecuting Attorney" means a representative of the Attorney General's Office.
(c) "Court" means the Superior Court, Family Court, Court of Common Pleas, Justice of the Peace Court, and Municipal Court.
This Chapter shall only apply to victims of the following offenses defined in the following Sections of Title 11:
OFFENSES AGAINST THE PERSON
(25) Offensive touching; unclassified misdemeanor.
(26) Menacing; unclassified misdemeanor.
(27) Reckless endangering in the second degree; class A misdemeanor.
(28) Reckless endangering in the first degree; class E felony.
(2) Assault in the third degree; class A misdemeanor.
(3) Assault in the second degree; class D felony.
(4) Assault in the first degree; class C felony.
621. Terroristic threatening; class A misdemeanor.
(1) Vehicular assault in the second degree; class B misdemeanor.
(1) Vehicular assault in the first degree; class A misdemeanor.
(1) Vehicular homicide in the second degree; class F felony; minimum sentence.
630A. Vehicular homicide in the first degree; class E felony; minimum
(1) Criminally negligent homicide; class E felony.
(1) Manslaughter; class C felony.
(36) Murder in the second degree; class B felony.
(37) Murder in the first degree; class A felony.
645. Promoting suicide; class F felony.
(2) Indecent exposure in the second degree; unclassified
(3) Indecent exposure in the first degree; class A misdemeanor.
(4) Incest; class A misdemeanor.
(5) Unlawful sexual contact in the third degree; class A
(6) Unlawful sexual contact in the second degree; class G felony.
(7) Unlawful sexual contact in the first degree; class F felony.
(8) Unlawful sexual penetration in the third degree; class E felony.
(9) Unlawful sexual penetration in the second degree; class
(10) Unlawful sexual penetration in the first degree; separate
charges; class C felony.
(11) Unlawful sexual intercourse in the third degree; class C felony.
(12) Unlawful sexual intercourse in the second degree; class B
(13) Unlawful sexual intercourse in the first degree; class A felony.
(1) Unlawful imprisonment to the second degree; class A misdemeanor.
(1) Unlawful imprisonment in the first degree; class G felony.
(1) Kidnapping in the second degree; class C felony.
783A. Kidnapping in the first degree; class B felony.
785. Interference with custody; class G felony; class A misdemeanor.
OFFENSES INVOLVING PROPERTY
479, Arson in the third degree; affirmative defense; class G felony.
480, Arson in the second degree; affirmative defense; class D felony.
481, Arson in the first degree; class C felony.
<13) Criminal trespass in the first degree; class A misdemeanor.
<14) Burglary in the third degree; class F felony.
<15) Burglary in the second degree; class D felony.
826. Burglary in the first degree; class C felony.
a) Robbery in the second degree; class E felony.
b) Robbery in the first degree.
(1) Shoplifting; class G felony; class A misdemeanor.
(2) Theft; class G felony; class A misdemeanor.
846. Extortion; class E felony.
848. Misapplication of property; class G felony; class A misdemeanor.
851. Receiving stolen property; class G felony; class A misdemeanor.
861. Forgery; class F felony; class G felony; class A misdemeanor;
900. Issuing a bad check; class A misdemeanor; class G felony.
903. Unlawful use of credit card; class G felony; class A
OFFENSES RELATING TO CHILDREN AND INCOMPETENTS
1101. Abandonment of child; class A misdemeanor.
1102. Endangering the welfare of a child; class A misdemeanor.
1105. Endangering the welfare of an incompetent person; class A
1108. Sexual exploitation of a child; class B felony. OFFENSES RELATING TO JUDICIAL AND SIMILAR PROCEEDING
1261. Bribing a witness; class E felony.
1263. Tampering with a witness; class E felony.
1263A. Interfering with child witness.
1264. Bribing a juror; class E felony.
1312. Aggravated harassment; class B misdemeanor.
OFFENSES AGAINST PUBLIC HEALTH, ORDER AND DECENCY
1339. Adulteration; class G felony; class E felony; class A felony.
RELEASE OF PERSONS ACCUSED OF CRIMES
2113. Penalties for noncompliance with conditions of recognizance;
bond or conditions.
WITNESS & EVIDENCE
3532. Act of Intimidation; Class D felony
3533. Aggravated Intimidation.
§9403. Child victims.
Whenever the victim is a child, any notification required by this chapter shall be provided to the following relations if that relation is not a defendant, co-defendant, or conspirator:
a. a parent, guardian or custodian; or
b. if (1) does not apply, a grandparent; or
a. if (1) and (2) do not apply, an adult sibling; or
a. if (1), (2) and (3) do not apply, an adult aunt or uncle; or
a. if (1), (2), (3) and (4) do not apply, the adult designated as the child victim's next of kin,
§9404. Law enforcement agencies/police based victim service units responsibilities.
(a) At the initial contact between the victim of a reported crime and the law enforcement agency having the responsibility for investigating that crime, that agency shall provide the victim with a copy of the initial incident report which will include information concerning:
(2.) a referral to the victim service unit within the department or, in the absence of such a unit within that law enforcement agency, the referral shall be made to the Statewide Victim Center;
(3.) information regarding the violent crimes compensation program;
(i) notice of availability of pretrial release; and
f. contact information for the investigating law enforcement
agency so that victim may check the status of arrest.
(b) The law enforcement agency having the responsibility for
investigating a reported crime shall promptly return to the victim property which is taken in the course of the investigation, unless:
a. the property is contraband; or
"d. the ownership of the property is in dispute; or
"e. it is a weapon which was used in the commission of a crime; or
"a. it is evidence deemed necessary for prosecution by the
§9405. Pretrial release information.
It shall be the responsibility of any court arraigning a defendant, setting bail, or setting conditions of release or commitment, including any modification thereof, to provide the following information to the victim:
(3) procedures the victim may follow to ascertain if the defendant is released from custody;
(4) notice of the type of bond and any conditions of commitment or release; and
(5) procedures victims may follow if threatened, intimidated, or if conditions of bail or commitment are violated or breached.
§9406. Victim information and riahts — criminal justice proceedings
(a) The prosecuting attorney's office has the responsibility to
provide the following information, in both written and oral form, to victims:
(a) a statement of the procedural steps in the processing of a
(a) rights under this Chapter;
(a) procedures if the victim is threatened or harassed;
(a) victim compensation information when appropriate;
(a) the right of the victim to confer with the prosecutor prior to trial;
(a) the right of the victim to consult with the prosecuting attorney about the disposition of the case, including the victim's views on dismissal, plea negotiationst -or diversion programs;
(b) the right of the victim to be present at trial and sentencing;
(c) a victim notification request form which will be used to notify victims of future criminal case events; and
(d) notice of a reversal upon appeal of a conviction.
When a prosecuting attorney is not assigned to the case, it shall be the responsibility of the court to provide the information required by this subsection.
(b) The court has the responsibility to provide the following
informatiom in written form to victims:
(a) scheduling of court proceedings and changes including trial dates, case review, plea negotiation proceedings and sentencing hearings;
(b) notice of conviction and crimes of conviction;
(c) notice of the specifics of any sentencing order (information will be included regarding victim notification rights with respect to Department of Correction and Parole Board activities);
(d) notice of sentence reductions or modification orders; and
(e) in cases where a pre-sentence report is not required, the court shall notify victims of their right to appear and present an impact statement at the time of sentencing.
(c) In cases where a pre-sentence report is ordered, the court has the responsibility to:
(a) provide a Loss/Impact Statement to victims and assist victims with the completion of same; and
(b) notify victims of their right to appear and present an impact statement at the time of sentencing.
(d) The Department of Correction has the responsibility to notify the victim in writing of:
(b) projected prison release date;
(a) release to a community based program, including supervised
custody, work release or furlough;
(c) escape - the Department of Correction shall notify the victim by telephone or in person, immediately upon an escape;
(d) "max out" date, if applicable; and
(e) parole board hearing date.
(e) The Board of Parole has the responsibility to inform the victim in writing of:
(1) the right of the victim to address the parole board in writing or in person; and
(2) the decision of the Parole Board.
(f) The Board of Pardons has the responsibility to inform the victim in writing of:
(1) the right of the victim to address the Board of Pardons in writing or in person;
(2) any commutation of sentence that is granted; and
(3) any pardon that is granted.
§9407. Other Rights.
(1) The court shall provide a waiting area for victims separate from defendant, defendant's relatives, and defense witnesses if such an area is available and the use of the area is practical. If a separate waiting area is not available or practical, the court shall provide other safeguards to minimize the victim's contact with the defendant, defendant's relatives, and defense witnesses during court proceedings.
(1) The victim's address and telephone number maintained by a court or law enforcement agency pursuant to this Chapter is exempt from disclosure under the freedom of information act.
(1) Proceedings shall be expedited in cases involving a child victim or witness particularly in child abuse and sexual abuse cases.
(1) Victims shall be protected from employer discipline for required court appearances. The prosecuting attorney shall provide necessary
(1) Victims may also be entitled to:
(1) restitution for property damage or loss;
(2) compensation for innocent victims of violent crime; or
(3) distribution of monies received as the result of a commission of a crime.
§9408. Failure to comply with this chapter.
Failure to provide a right, privilege, or notice to a victim under this Chapter shall not be grounds for the defendant to seek to have the conviction or sentence set aside.
19409. Requirement of State Aaencies to File Annual Reports.
All departments affected by this Chapter are required to submit an annual report with related statistics outlining compliance with victim rights legislation. This annual report shall be submitted at the end of each fiscal year to the Governor, the Criminal Justice Council and the Victim Rights Task Force. When the requirements stated in this Act cannot be achieved by an agency or department for any reason, the agency shall so state in the annual report. They shall therein explain in detail the nature of the obstacles in complying with the Act or other causes for the inability to achieve the objectives. The Governor shall advise State agencies of any statutory changes which require an amendment to the Victims' Bill of Rights."
Section 2. Funding to comply with the mandates of this Act shall be
contingent upon an appropriation contained in the Annual Appropriations Act of the State of Delaware and will be limited initially to implementation of Sections 9405 and 9406 as they relate to Justice of the Peace Courts and the Delaware Justice Information System. Future funding may be incremental and shall be contingent upon an appropriation in the Annual Appropriations Act of the State of Delaware. This section shall not preclude any agency from offering victims services programs in effect prior to enactment of this legislation.
Approved July 23, 1992