2017 LEGISLATIVE UPDATE ON ALABAMA CRIMINAL LAW AND PROCEDURE

2017 Proposed Legislation Regarding Alabama Criminal Law and Procedure alabama criminal law

A number of bills have been introduced in the 2017 Alabama Legislative Session that relate to Alabama Criminal Law and Procedure.

House Bill 12 – Mandatory Time for Certain Sex Offenses

House Bill 12 provides that a person convicted of rape in the first degree, sodomy in the first degree, or sexual abuse in the first degree would be required to serve a mandatory minimum sentence of 3 years imprisonment.  The 3 year mandatory minimum sentence would not be eligible for probation, parole, good time credits, or any other reduction in time.

House Bill 15 – Amending the Offense of Resisting Arrest

House Bill No. 15 is a bill which would prohibit the arrest of a person for the crime of resisting arrest unless the law enforcement officer is concurrently arresting the person for a separate unrelated offense.  In other words, in order for a person to be charged with resisting arrest, the officer must be in the process of making a valid arrest of the person for some other offense.  This proposed amendment would not allow the offense of resisting arrest to be a stand alone offense.  If the underlying arrest is invalid in some way, then it would be factually impossible to resist the arrest.

Senate Bill 7 – Raising the Amount of Marijuana Needed for Marijuana Trafficking Offense

Senate Bill No. 7 would raise the minimum amount of marijuana a person must sell, manufacture, deliver, or possess in order to be charged or convicted of drug trafficking in marijuana. Currently the law requires that the person possess or sell more than 1 kilo or 2.2 pounds of marijuana in order to be charged with trafficking in marijuana.  The proposed law would raise this amount significantly.  Under Senate Bill 7, those amounts would be raised to 4.5 kilos or 10 pounds.  This change in the Alabama drug trafficking law is desperately needed, especially considering the legalization of marijuana in other states and the general relaxing of attitudes concerning marijuana possession and use.

Senate Bill 46 – Termination of Parental Rights of 1st Degree Rape Defendants

Senate Bill 46 proposes terminating the parental rights of a person convicted of rape in the first degree in which a child is conceived due to or as a result of the rape. The law would apply only to the child who was the product of the rape.  Under the bill if a person is convicted of rape in the first degree, they would lose parental rights as to any child born as a result of the rape.

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