PA 13-258—sSB 983

Judiciary Committee

Finance, Revenue and Bonding Committee

AN ACT CONCERNING THE RECOMMENDATIONS OF THE CONNECTICUT SENTENCING COMMISSION REGARDING UNCLASSIFIED FELONIES

SUMMARY: By law, felonies are punishable by more than one year imprisonment. They are classified according to severity as class A, B, C, or D. There are also unclassified felonies punishable by more than one year in prison.

This act creates a new felony classification, a class E felony, punishable by up to three years in prison, a fine of up to $3,500, or both. For class D felonies, the act eliminates a minimum one-year prison term, which was not a mandatory minimum and could be suspended in all or part by a judge. Thus, the act makes class D felonies punishable by up to five years in prison, a fine of up to $5,000, or both.

The act also adjusts the penalties of many previously unclassified felonies to fit them into classifications while deeming others to be classified.

Regarding class E felonies, the act:

1. classifies 11 unclassified felonies as class E felonies without changing their prison penalties but increasing their maximum fines;

2. classifies one unclassified felony as an E felony by changing its prison penalty and fine; and

3. deems (a) 11 unclassified felonies to be class E felonies without changing their prison penalties but increasing their maximum fines, (b) one unclassified felony to be a class E felony with a change in prison penalty and fine, and (c) any other unclassified felony with a maximum prison term of more than one but not more than three years to be a class E felony without any changes to the prison term or fine.

The act classifies as class D felonies:

1. 23 unclassified felonies without changing their maximum prison penalties and fines but eliminating a one-year minimum sentence that was not a mandatory minimum and could be suspended in all or part by a judge,

2. 38 unclassified felonies without changing their prison penalties but increasing their maximum fines,

3. one unclassified felony by changing its prison penalty and fine, and

4. 40 unclassified felonies without any change in prison penalties or fines.

The act classifies six unclassified felonies as class C felonies without changing their maximum prison penalties but adding a minimum one-year prison term, which is not a mandatory minimum and can be suspended fully by a judge (it also increases the fine for one of these crimes).

Finally, the act makes technical and conforming changes ( 5-7, 92).

EFFECTIVE DATE: October 1, 2013

1-3 — CLASSES OF FELONIES AND UNCLASSIFIED FELONIES DEEMED CLASSIFIED

By law, felonies are crimes that are punishable by more than one year in prison. The act creates a new class E felony punishable by up to three years in prison, a fine of up to $3,500, or both. Under the act, an unclassified felony that specifies a maximum prison penalty that is more than one year but not more than three years is deemed a class E felony.

The act also eliminates the statutory one-year minimum sentence for a class D felony, which was not a mandatory minimum sentence and a judge could suspend all or a portion of it.

With the act's changes, Table 1 displays the felony classifications and their penalties. The act allows for fines, other than those listed in Table 1, if a statute so specifies.

Table 1: Felony Classifications and their Penalties

Felony

Prison Term

Fine

Class A felony—murder with special circumstances

Life without the possibility of release

Up to $20,000

Class A felony—murder

25 to 60 years

Up to $20,000

Class A felony—aggravated sexual assault of a minor

25 to 50 years

Up to $20,000

Class A felony

10 to 25 years

Up to $20,000

Class B felony—1st degree manslaughter with a firearm

Five to 40 years

Up to $15,000

Class B felony

One to 20 years

Up to $15,000

Class C felony

One to 10 years

Up to $10,000

Class D felony

Up to 5 years

Up to $5,000

Class E felony

Up to 3 years

Up to $3,500

4 & 8 — PRETRIAL RELEASE OF INMATES

The act applies two rules about the pretrial release of inmates to the crimes it classifies as D and E felonies.

Release from Prison

By law, the Department of Correction (DOC) can release arrestees charged only with a misdemeanor or most class D felonies to a DOC-approved residence unless a court orders otherwise. The act extends DOC's authority to release pretrial inmates under this provision to anyone charged with a class E felony.

By law, DOC can impose conditions when it releases a person under this provision, including requiring participating in a substance abuse treatment program and using electronic monitoring or other monitoring technology or services. The person remains under DOC custody and is supervised by DOC employees. The person can be returned to prison for violating the conditions.

Bail Modification

The law requires a bail modification review every 30 days for someone (1) charged with a class D felony or misdemeanor and (2) incarcerated because he or she cannot make bail. This does not apply to someone held pending extradition to another state or for a parole violation. The act extends this review requirement to anyone charged with a class E felony.

UNCLASSIFIED FELONIES CLASSIFIED OR DEEMED CLASSIFIED AS CLASS E FELONIES

Classified With No Change In Prison Penalty But Increased Maximum Fines

The act classifies the 11 crimes in Table 2 as class E felonies. In doing so, the maximum prison sentence each carries remains the same, but the maximum fines increase to $3,500. In one instance, the act eliminates a minimum fine ( 26).

Table 2: Unclassified Felonies Classified as E Felonies With No Change in Prison Penalty But Increased Fines

Act

Statute

Description

Prior Penalty

(prison term, fine, or both)

21

9-355

Willful neglect of election duty

Up to three years

Up to $2,000

22

14-149(f)

Altering a motor vehicle identification number or selling or possessing a vehicle with an altered number (1st offense)

Up to three years

Up to $2,500

23

22-126

Illegally entering a horse in a race

Up to three years

Up to $1,000

25

29-37(a)

Violating pistol permit requirements or failing to display gun sales permit

Up to three years

Up to $500

26

31-48a(a)

Hiring professional strikebreakers

Up to three years

$100 to $1,000

27

51-87(a)

Illegally soliciting cases for an attorney

Up to three years

Up to $1,000

27

51-87(b)

Illegally receiving payment for an attorney referral

Up to three years

Up to $1,000

28

51-87b

Illegal referral to a real estate broker or salesperson or mortgage broker or lender

Up to three years

Up to $1,000

29

53-202f(a)

Illegally transporting an assault weapon

Up to three years

Up to $500

30

53-206(a)

Carrying a dangerous weapon

Up to three years

Up to $500

31

53-368

False certification regarding oath

Up to three years

Up to $1,000

Classified With Change in Prison Penalty and Fine

The act classifies as a class E felony the crime of stealing, confining, concealing, killing, or injuring a companion animal or concealing the identity of its owner, when it is a subsequent offense or involves multiple animals ( 24, CGS 22-351). Accordingly, it eliminates a minimum one-year prison term, which was not a mandatory minimum term, and retains the maximum three-year prison term. It also increases the maximum fine from $2,000 to $3,500.

Deemed Classified With Increased Maximum Fines

The act deems the 11 crimes in Table 3 to be class E felonies without changing their prison penalties, but increasing their maximum fines to $3,500, which is the default maximum fine set for a class E felony.

Table 3: Unclassified Felonies Deemed to be Class E Felonies With No Change in Prison Penalty But Increased Fines

Act

Statute

Description

Prior Penalty

(prison term, fine, or both)

9

30-86(b)(2)

Delivering liquor to a minor

Up to 18 months

Up to $1,500

11

14-196(b)

Willfully misusing a motor vehicle title certificate

Up to two years

Up to $1,000

12

21a-165

Selling defective oil for wick lamps or stoves

Up to two years

Up to $300

13

21a-255(b)

Certain controlled substance violations including failing to keep drug records with intent to violate the drug laws and various other specified controlled substance violations without other penalties such as making controlled substances without a license and violating labeling requirements (1st offense)

Up to two years

Up to $1,000

14

29-152

Violating professional bondsmen requirements

Up to two years

Up to $1,000

15

30-99

Selling adulterated liquor

Up to two years

Up to $1,000

16

36b-28(b)

Violating the uniform securities act

Up to two years

Up to $2,000

17

36b-73(b)

Violating the business opportunity investment act

Up to two years

Up to $2,000

18

38a-658

Violating credit life insurance or credit accident and health insurance requirements

Up to two years

Up to $1,500

19

53-201

Illegally aiding a prize fight

Up to two years

Up to $500

20

53a-209

Violating an injunction-obscene matters

Up to two years

Up to $1,000

Deemed Classified With Change in Prison Penalty and Fine

The act deems the crime of fraudulent voting on a regional school district budget to be a class E felony. It leaves in place the maximum prison penalty of two years but increases the maximum fine from $500 to $3,500. It eliminates a minimum $300 fine and a minimum one year prison sentence, which was not a mandatory minimum prison sentence ( 10, CGS 10-51).

UNCLASSIFIED FELONIES CLASSIFIED AS CLASS D FELONIES

Classified with a Change in Minimum Prison Penalty But No Change In Maximum Prison Penalty or Fine

Prior law punished the 22 unclassified crimes in Table 4 by one to five years in prison and a fine of up to $5,000. The act classifies these crimes as class D felonies. In doing so, it (1) eliminates the minimum one year sentence, which was not a mandatory minimum sentence and (2) does not change the maximum fine.

Table 4: Unclassified Felonies Classified as D Felonies With Change in Minimum Prison Penalty But No Change in Maximum Prison Penalty or Fine

Act

Statute

Description

33

4d-39(d)

Violating nondisclosure requirements-Department of Information Technology contract

42

12-206(e)

Insurance, hospital, or medical corporation tax fraud

43

12-231(b)

Corporation business tax fraud

44

12-268e(b)

Public service company tax fraud

45

12-304(b)

Avoiding tax on 20,000 or more cigarettes (this penalty also applies to cigarette use or storage tax fraud under CGS 12-321)

46

12-306b(b)

Cigarette tax fraud

47

12-330f(c)

Willfully avoiding tobacco taxes

48

12-330j(b)

Tobacco products tax fraud

49

12-405d(g)

Estate income tax fraud

50

12-428(2)

Sales/use tax fraud

51

12-452(b)

Alcoholic beverage tax fraud

52

12-464(b)

Motor vehicle fuels tax fraud

53

12-482(b)

Motor carrier road tax fraud

54

12-519(b)

Dividend, interest, and capital gains tax fraud

55

12-551(b)

Admission or cabaret tax fraud

56

12-591(b)

Petroleum products tax fraud

57

12-638g(b)

Controlling interest transfer tax fraud

58

12-737(b)

State income tax fraud

84

20-329x

Prohibited acts-real estate

109

45a-729

Illegally placing a child for adoption

110

49-8a(h)

Recording a false affidavit on land records

119

54-142c(b)

False statement-obtaining criminal history

Similarly, the act classifies the crime of sale or possession of zappers or phantom-ware (which falsify cash register receipts) as a class D felony. In doing so, the act eliminates the prior one year minimum prison penalty, which was not a mandatory minimum; retains the maximum five year prison term; and retains the maximum $100,000 fine ( 120, CGS 12-428a(b)).

Classified With No Change In Prison Penalty But Increase In Maximum Fine

The act classifies the 38 crimes in Table 5 as class D felonies. By doing so, it retains their maximum prison penalties but increases their maximum fines. In two instances, the act eliminates a minimum fine ( 39 and 61). One crime, carrying a pistol without a permit, carries a mandatory minimum sentence which the act retains ( 25).

Table 5: Unclassified Felonies Classified as D Felonies With No Change in Prison Penalty But Increased Fines

Act

Statute

Description

Prior Penalty

(prison term, fine, or both)

25

29-37(b)

Carrying a pistol without a permit

Up to five years

One-year mandatory minimum absent mitigating circumstances

Up to $1,000

32

1-103

Hindering legislation by threat

Up to five years

Up to $1,000

34

7-64

Violating requirements for disposal of a dead body

Up to five years

Up to $500

35

7-66(d)

Violating a sexton's burial duties

Up to five years

Up to $500

36

9-264

Illegally assisting a disabled voter

Up to five years

Up to $1,000

37

9-352

Tampering by an election official

Up to five years

Up to $1,000

38

9-353

False return by an election officer

Up to five years

Up to $1,000

39

9-354

Improperly printing a ballot label

Up to five years

$100 to $1,000

61

15-69(a)

Tampering with an airport or its equipment

Up to five years

$200 to $1,000

64

17a-83

False statement-commit child to a hospital for mental illness

Up to five years

Up to $1,000

65

17a-274(m)

False statement-involuntary commitment to Department of Developmental Services

Up to five years

Up to $1,000

66

17a-504

False statement-mentally ill commitment

Up to five years

Up to $1,000

69

19a-324

Violating cremation requirements including certain false statements and illegally removing a body for cremation

Up to five years

Up to $500

70-79

Various from 20-14 to 20-138a(b)

Practicing the following without a license: medicine, chiropractic, natureopathy, podiatry, physical therapy, occupational therapy, nursing, dentistry, dental hygiene, or optometry

Up to five years

Up to $500

80

20-161

Violating optician requirements

Up to five years

Up to $500

81

20-185i(b)

Misrepresenting self as board certified behavior analyst

Up to five years

Up to $500

82

20-193

Practicing psychology without a license

Up to five years

Up to $500

83

20-206p

Illegally using dietitian or nutritionist title

Up to five years

Up to $500

85

20-395h

Violating audiologist requirements

Up to five years

Up to $500

86

20-417

Violating speech and language pathologist requirements

Up to five years

Up to $500

88

21a-279(b)

Possessing hallucinogens or more than 4 oz. of marijuana (1st offense)*

Up to five years

Up to $2,000

88

21a-279(c)

Possessing certain controlled substances or between . 5 and 4 oz. of marijuana (2nd and subsequent offenses)*

Up to five years

Up to $3,000

93

28-22

Damaging civil preparedness equipment or impersonating civil preparedness official

Up to five years

Up to $1,000

94

29-38

Carrying in a car a weapon, pistol without a permit, or unregistered machine gun

Up to five years

Up to $1,000

112

53-23

Abandoning a child

Up to five years

Up to $500

113

53-200

Illegal prize fighting

Up to five years

Up to $1,000

115

53-320

Distributing noxious seed or poisons

Up to five years

Up to $1,000

116

53-334

Unlawful disinterment

Up to five years

Up to $2,000

117

53-341

Illegally using the title of physician, surgeon, doctor, or osteopath

Up to five years

Up to $500

*The law authorizes an alternative indeterminate sentence for this crime which is unchanged by the act.

The act specifies that the prohibition on advanced practice nursing without a license only applies if it is done for remuneration. The act makes this punishable as a class D felony, which increases the maximum fine for violations from $500 to $5,000 but does not change the prison penalty ( 76).

Classified With Change in Prison Penalty and Fine

The act classifies the crime of motor vehicle title certificate fraud as a class D felony ( 11, CGS 14-196(a)). It eliminates a one-year minimum prison term, which was not a mandatory minimum. It also eliminates a minimum $500 fine and increases the maximum fine from $1,000 to $5,000.

Classified With No Change in Prison Penalty or Fine

The act classifies the 40 unclassified crimes in Table 6 as class D felonies without changing their prison penalties or fines. For crimes with a maximum fine higher than $5,000, the default maximum fine for a class D felony, the act retains the prior maximum fine. In three instances, the act also retains a minimum fine ( 96-98).

Table 6: Unclassified Felonies Classified as D Felonies Without Changing Prison Penalties or Fines

Act

Statute

Description

Prior Penalty

(prison term, fine, or both)

22

14-149(f)

Altering a motor vehicle identification number or selling or possessing a vehicle with an altered number (2nd and subsequent offenses)

Up to five years

Up to $5,000

40*

9-623

Violating campaign financing requirements

Up to five years

Up to $5,000

41

10-390

Illegal acts at archeological or sacred sites

Up to five years

Up to $5,000 or twice value of site or artifact

59

14-149a(b)

Operating a chop shop (1st offense)

Up to five years

Up to $5,000

59

14-149a(b)

Operating a chop shop (2nd and subsequent offenses)

Up to five years

Up to $10,000

60

14-299a(f)

Traffic signal preemption device violations causing an accident

Up to five years

Up to $15,000

62

16-33

False statement-report to public utility regulators

Up to five years

Up to $5,000

63

16a-18(b)

Creating a fuel shortage

Up to five years

Up to $250,000

67

17b-30(d)

Illegally releasing biometric identification

Up to five years

Up to $5,000 plus prosecution costs

68

19a-32d(c)

Violating embryo, egg, or sperm disposal requirements

Up to five years

Up to $50,000

68

19a-32d(f)

Violating embryonic stem cell research requirements

Up to five years

Up to $50,000

87

20-581

Violating the Pharmacy Practice Act, including practicing pharmacy without a license

Up to five years

Up to $5,000

89

22a-131a(a)

Violating hazardous waste records requirements (2nd and subsequent offenses)

Up to five years

Up to $50,000 per day

89

22a-131a(b)

Violating hazardous waste permit or order requirements (1st offense)

Up to five years

Up to $50,000 per day

89

22a-131a(c)

Violating used oil requirements (2nd and subsequent offenses)

Up to five years

Up to $100,000 per day

90

22a-226a

Illegally disposing of asbestos, violating waste facility requirements or permits, handling waste without a permit, illegal dumping, violating solid waste management regulations, violating resources recovery regulations, or violating a waste abatement order (2nd and subsequent offenses)

Up to five years

Up to $50,000 per day

91

22a-226b

Committing the violations listed under 90 and knowingly placing another person in imminent danger of death or serious injury (2nd and subsequent offenses)

Up to five years

Up to $250,000

95

29-353

Illegally possessing unlabeled explosives

Up to five years

Up to $10,000

96

31-15a

Employer, parent, or guardian violations: illegal hours of labor for certain employees at manufacturing, mechanical, or mercantile work or employing minors at night

Employer: permitting illegal employment of minor; illegal hours of labor-other establishments; certain employers-failing to post hours of employment of minors, elderly, and people with handicaps; illegally employing a minor in certain work; or illegally employing a minor in hazardous work

Up to five years

$2,000 to $5,000

97

31-69(b)

Minimum wage violation-unpaid wages over $2,000

Up to five years

$4,000 to $10,000

98

31-71g

Violating wage payment requirements over $2,000

Up to five years

$2,000 to $5,000

99

36b-51(a)

Violating the Tender Offer Act

Up to five years

Up to $5,000

100

38a-140(c)(2)

False statement-holding company officer

Up to five years

Up to $50,000

101

40-51

Illegally issuing a warehouse receipt

Up to five years

Up to $5,000

102

40-53

Illegally duplicating a warehouse receipt

Up to five years

Up to $5,000

103

41-47

Fraudulently issuing a bill of lading

Up to five years

Up to $5,000

104

41-49

Illegally issuing a duplicate bill of lading

Up to five years

Up to $5,000

105

41-51

Illegally transferring a bill of lading

Up to five years

Up to $5,000

106

41-52

Illegally soliciting a bill of lading

Up to five years

Up to $5,000

107

41-53

Issuing an improper nonnegotiable bill of lading

Up to five years

Up to $5,000

108

42-232(d)

Intentionally or repeatedly violating a supply emergency order

Up to five years

Up to $5,000

111

53-20(a)(1)

Intentional cruelty to persons

Up to five years

Up to $5,000

111

53-20(b)(1)

Intentional cruelty to a child under age 19

Up to five years

Up to $5,000

114

53-247(a)

Animal cruelty (2nd and subsequent offenses)

Up to five years

Up to $5,000

114

53-247(b)

Maliciously wounding or killing an animal

Up to five years

Up to $5,000

114

53-247(c)

Using an animal for fighting

Up to five years

Up to $5,000

114

53-247(d)

Injuring a peace officer animal or volunteer canine search animal

Up to five years

Up to $5,000

118

53-347a(a)

Forging a stamp or label

Up to five years

Up to $250,000

118

53-347a(b)

Affixing a fraudulent marking

Up to five years

Up to $250,000

118

53-347a(c)

Using a counterfeit marking

Up to five years

Up to $250,000

*PA 13-180, 10, as of June 18, 2013, makes these violations punishable by only a fine of up to $25,000 or a higher fine otherwise provided by law.

CLASS C FELONIES

The act classifies the following six crimes as class C felonies. In doing so, it keeps the same maximum prison penalty for these crimes but adds a one year minimum sentence, which is not a mandatory minimum sentence. Regarding fines, the act does not change the fine for one of these crimes, which matches the default $10,000 maximum fine for a class C felony; increases the fine for one crime to the $10,000 maximum fine for a class C felony; and retains the higher fines previously set in law for four of these crimes. Table 7 displays these crimes.

Table 7: Unclassified Felonies Classified as C Felonies

Act

Statute

Description

Prior Penalty

(prison term, fine, or both)

13

21a-255(b)

Certain controlled substance violations including failing to keep drug records with intent to violate the drug laws and various other controlled substance violations without other specified penalties such as making controlled substances without a license and violating labeling requirements (2nd and subsequent offenses)

Up to 10 years

Up to $10,000

88

21a-279(b)

Possessing a hallucinogen or more than 4 oz. of marijuana (2nd and subsequent offenses)*

Up to 10 years

Up to $5,000

89

22a-131a(b)

Violating hazardous waste permit/regulations (2nd and subsequent offenses)

Up to 10 years

Up to $100,000 per day

121

22a-438(c)

Knowingly violating water pollution control requirements and various other environmental statutes and regulations (2nd and subsequent offenses)

Up to 10 years

Up to $100,000 per day

121

22a-438(e)

Illegally discharging gasoline (2nd and subsequent offenses)

Up to 10 years

Up to $100,000 per day

122

22a-628(b)

Violating mercury requirements (2nd and subsequent offenses)

Up to 10 years

Up to $50,000 per day

*The law authorizes an alternative indeterminate sentence for this crime which is unchanged by the act.

OLR Tracking: CR: JO: JKL: ts