H. B. 2436
(By Delegates Fragale and Iaquinta)
February 16, 2005
; referred to the
Committee on the Judiciary.]
Be it enacted by the Legislature of West Virginia:
of the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended,
be amended and reenacted to read as follows:
ARTICLE 4. CENTERS FOR HOUSING YOUNG ADULT OFFENDERS.
A BILL to amend and reenact §25-4-6
of the Code of West Virginia,
1931,as amended, relating to young adult offenders; defining
"felony offense" to include a plea of guilty to a misdemeanor
as the result of bargaining down from a felony charge.
§25-4-6. Assignment of offenders to center; period of center
confinement; return to court; sentence or probation;
revocation of probation.
The judge of any court with original criminal jurisdiction may
suspend the imposition of sentence of any young adult, as defined
in this section, convicted of or pleading guilty to a felony
offense, other than an offense punishable by life imprisonment, including, but not limited to,
a plea of guilty to a misdemeanor in
exchange for the reduction of a felony charge and
of the provisions of chapter seventeen-c of this code, who has
attained his or her eighteenth birthday but has not reached his or
her twenty-third birthday at the time of the sentencing by the
court and commit the young adult to the custody of the West
Virginia Commissioner of Corrections to be assigned to a center.
Young adult offenders who have previously been committed to a young
adult offender center are not eligible for commitment to this
program. The period of confinement in the center shall be for a
not less than six months or longer to successfully
complete the program requirements set by the warden, but in any
event the period of confinement may not exceed no longer than two
years. The court shall order a presentence investigation to be
conducted and provide the warden with a copy of the presentence
investigation report, along with the commitment order.
If, in the opinion of the warden, the young adult offender
proves to be an unfit person to remain in the center, the offender
shall be returned to the committing court to be dealt with further
according to law. The offender is entitled to a hearing before the
committing court to review the warden?s determination. The
standard for review is whether the warden, considering the
offender?s overall record at the center and the offender?s
compliance with the center?s rules, regulations, programs and services, abused his or her discretion in determining that the
offender is an unfit person to remain in the center. At the
hearing before the committing court, the state need not offer
independent proof of the offender?s disciplinary infractions
contained in the record of the center, when opportunity for an
administrative hearing on those infractions was previously made
available at the institution. In the event that the court upholds
the warden?s determination, the court may sentence the offender for
the crime for which the offender was convicted. In his or her
discretion, the judge may allow the defendant credit on the
sentence for time the offender spent in the center.
A young adult offender shall be returned to the jurisdiction
of the court which originally committed the offender when, in the
opinion of the warden, the young adult offender has satisfactorily
completed the center training program. The offender is then
eligible for probation for the offense with which the offender is
charged and the judge of the court shall immediately place the
offender on probation. In the event the offender's probation is
subsequently revoked, the judge shall impose the sentence the young
adult offender would have originally received had the offender not
been committed to the center and subsequently placed on probation.
The court shall, however, give the offender credit on his or her
sentence for the time spent in the center.
NOTE: The purpose of this bill is to treat a young adult as
being convicted of a felony, under the section, if he or she plea
bargained a felony charge down to a misdemeanor conviction.
Strike-throughs indicate language that would be stricken from
the present law, and underscoring indicates new language that would