COLUMBUS - The Senate today concurred with House amendments to Senate Bill 33, sponsored by State Senator John Eklund
(R–Munson Township), which strengthens the rights of defendants in certain criminal and traffic cases.
Under current law, some prosecutors do not provide copies of records to defendants because of concerns about violating laws regarding the Law Enforcement Automated Data System (LEADS). This legislation clarifies that a defendant has a right to see a copy of his or her criminal record during a traffic or criminal case, relieving confusion regarding the disclosure of information from LEADS to a defendant, or defendant's counsel.
“It’s important to have clarity and certainty in the procedures of our criminal justice system,” stated Eklund. “Without it, prosecutors' jobs are more difficult, defendants risk losing rights, and public confidence in the system suffers.”
No prosecutor or person assisting a prosecutor in providing discovery may be held civilly or criminally liable for disclosing information from LEADS in the manner authorized by the bill.
House amendments to the legislation included provisions that:
- Permit a state highway patrol officer to administer oaths and acknowledge certain criminal and juvenile court documents after completing a course of in-service training approved by the Director of Public Safety.
- Allows a court to continue the offender on in lieu of conviction (ILC), continue the offender on ILC with additional terms, conditions, and sanctions, or enter a finding of guilty and impose an appropriate sanction, rather than requiring a court to enter a finding of guilty and sentence an offender who has failed to comply with the terms and conditions of ILC.
Senate Bill 33 will now be presented to the Governor for his consideration.