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Introduced Version House Bill 2057 History

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hb2057 intr
H. B. 2057


(By Delegate Frederick)
[Introduced February 9, 2005; referred to the
Committee on the Judiciary.]




A BILL to amend the code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended, by adding thereto a new section, designated §61-8D-3b , relating to crimes and their punishment; creating the criminal offense of failing to supervise a child; and providing criminal penalty and defenses to the offense.

Be it enacted by the Legislature of West Virginia:
That the code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended, be amended by adding thereto a new section, designated §61-8D-3b
, to read as follows:
ARTICLE 8D. CHILD ABUSE.
§61-8D-3b. Creating the offense of failing to supervise a child; affirmatives; payment of restitution; warning and suspension of sentence for first offense; parent effectiveness program in lieu of fine for second offense; maximum fine.
(a) A parent, guardian or custodian commits the offense of failing to supervise a child under the age of eighteen years if the child:
(1) Commits an act that brings the child within the jurisdiction of the juvenile court;
(2) Violates a curfew law of a municipality, county or any other political subdivision of this state;
(3) Fails to attend school as required under the provisions of section one, article eight, chapter eighteen of this code.
(b) Nothing in this section applies to a child-caring agency or to foster parents.
(c) In a prosecution of a person for failing to supervise a child under subsection (a) of this section, it is an affirmative defense that the person: (1) Is the victim of the act that brings the child within the jurisdiction of the juvenile court; or (2) reported the act to the appropriate authorities.
(d) In a prosecution of a person for failing to supervise a child under subsection (a) of this section, it is an affirmative defense that the person took reasonable steps to control the conduct of the child at the time the person is alleged to have failed to supervise the child.
(e) (1) In a prosecution of a person for failing to supervise the child under the provisions of subsection (a) of this section, the court may order the person to pay restitution to a victim for pecuniary damages arising from the act of the child that brings the child within the jurisdiction of the juvenile court.
(2) The amount of restitution ordered under this subsection may not exceed two thousand five hundred dollars.
(3) If a person pleads guilty to or is found guilty of failing to supervise a child under this section and if the person has not previously been convicted of failing to supervise a child, the court: (i) Shall warn the person of the penalty for future convictions of failing to supervise a child and shall suspend imposition of sentence; and (ii) may not order the person to pay restitution under this section.
(f) (1) If a person pleads guilty to or is found guilty of failing to supervise a child under this section and if the person has only one prior conviction for failing to supervise a child, the court, with the consent of the person, may suspend imposition of sentence and order the person and the child to complete a parent effectiveness program to the satisfaction of the court and, upon satisfactory completion of the program, may discharge the person. If the person and the child fail to complete the parent effectiveness program to the satisfaction of the court, the court may impose a sentence authorized by this section.
(2) There may be only one suspension of sentence under this subsection with respect to a person.
(g) A person who fails to supervise a child is guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction thereof, shall be fined not more than one thousand dollars or, in the discretion of the court, ordered to complete a community service program.

NOTE: This bill creates the offense of failing to supervise a child; it provides affirmative defenses; allows a court to order payment of restitution; provides that a court may give a warning and suspension of imposition of sentence for first offense; allows a court to order, for second offense, parent and child to complete a parent effectiveness program in lieu of fine; and punishes violations by a maximum fine of $1000.00 or community service.

This section is new; therefore, strike-throughs and underscoring have been omitted.
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