Senate Bill No. 61
(Senator Foster, original sponsor)
[Passed March 4, 2011; in effect ninety days from passage.]
AN ACT to amend the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended, by
adding thereto a new section, designated §49-5-2b; and to
amend and reenact §62-15-4 of said code, all relating
generally to juvenile drug courts; appointment of hearing
officers for juvenile drug courts; and authorizing additional
juvenile drug courts.
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 §49-5-2b; and that §62-
15-4 of said code be amended and reenacted, all to read as follows:
CHAPTER 49. CHILD WELFARE.
ARTICLE 5. JUVENILE PROCEEDINGS.
§49-5-2b. Juvenile drug courts.
Juvenile drug courts shall be designed and operated consistent
with the developmental and rehabilitative needs of juveniles as defined in this article. The Supreme Court shall provide uniform
referral, procedure and order forms that shall be used in juvenile
drug courts. The Supreme Court is further authorized to appoint
appropriate hearing officers in those jurisdictions which choose to
operate a juvenile drug court. Hearing officers for juvenile drug
courts shall be limited to current or senior status circuit court
judges or family court judges.
CHAPTER 62. CRIMINAL PROCEDURE.
ARTICLE 15. DRUG OFFENDER ACCOUNTABILITY AND TREATMENT ACT.
§62-15-4. Court authorization and structure.
(a) Each judicial circuit or two or more adjoining judicial
circuits may establish a drug court or regional drug court program
under which drug offenders will be processed to address
appropriately, the identified substance abuse problem as a
condition of pretrial release, probation, incarceration, parole or
other release from a correctional facility.
(b) The structure, method, and operation of each drug court
program may differ and should be based upon the specific needs of
and resources available to the judicial circuit or circuits where
the drug court program is located.
(c) A drug court program may be preadjudication or
post-adjudication for an adult offender.
(d) Participation in drug court, with the consent of the
prosecution and the court, shall be pursuant to a written
(e) A drug court may grant reasonable incentives under the
written agreement if it finds that the drug offender:
(1) Is performing satisfactorily in drug court;
(2) Is benefitting from education, treatment and
(3) Has not engaged in criminal conduct; or
(4) Has not violated the terms and conditions of the
(f) A drug court may impose reasonable sanctions on the drug
offender, including incarceration for the underlying offense or
expulsion from the program, pursuant to the written agreement, if
it finds that the drug offender:
(1) Is not performing satisfactorily in drug court;
(2) Is not benefitting from education, treatment or
(3) Has engaged in conduct rendering him or her unsuitable for
(4) Has otherwise violated the terms and conditions of the
(5) Is for any reason unable to participate.
(g) Upon successful completion of drug court, a drug
offender's case shall be disposed of by the judge in the manner
prescribed by the agreement and by the applicable policies and
procedures adopted by the drug court. This may include, but is not
limited to, withholding criminal charges, dismissal of charges,
probation, deferred sentencing, suspended sentencing, split sentencing, or a reduced period of incarceration.
(h) Drug court shall include the Ten Key Components and the
drug court team shall act to ensure compliance with them.
(i) Nothing contained in this article confers a right or an
expectation of a right to participate in a drug court nor does it
obligate a drug court to accept every drug offender.
(j) Neither the establishment of a drug court nor anything
herein may be construed as limiting the discretion of the
jurisdiction's prosecutor to act on any criminal case which he or
she deems advisable to prosecute.
(k) Each drug court judge may establish rules and may make
special orders as necessary that do not conflict with rules and
orders promulgated by the Supreme Court of Appeals which has
administrative authority over the courts. The Supreme Court of
Appeals shall provide uniform referral, procedure and order forms
that shall be used in all drug courts in this state.