Bill Text: TX HB3566 | 2019-2020 | 86th Legislature | Introduced


Bill Title: Relating to the forensic examination of a victim of an alleged strangulation assault or sexual assault.

Spectrum: Partisan Bill (Democrat 1-0)

Status: (Introduced) 2019-04-17 - Left pending in committee [HB3566 Detail]

Download: Texas-2019-HB3566-Introduced.html
  86R5773 AJZ-D
 
  By: Farrar H.B. No. 3566
 
 
 
A BILL TO BE ENTITLED
 
AN ACT
  relating to the forensic examination of a victim of an alleged
  strangulation assault or sexual assault.
         BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF TEXAS:
         SECTION 1.  Article 56.01, Code of Criminal Procedure, is
  amended by adding Subdivisions (1-a) and (2-b) and amending
  Subdivision (3) to read as follows:
               (1-a)  "Forensic nurse" means a registered nurse who
  provides care primarily to populations affected by violence and
  trauma and who has received at least two hours of training on the
  treatment of victims of family violence and strangulation.
               (2-b)  "Strangulation assault" means an offense under
  Section 22.01, 22.011, 22.02, 22.021, 22.04, or 22.05, Penal Code,
  that is committed by impeding the normal breathing or circulation
  of the blood of the person by applying pressure to the person's
  throat or neck or by blocking the person's nose or mouth.
               (3)  "Victim" means a person who is the victim of the
  offense of assault, aggravated assault, sexual assault,
  kidnapping, aggravated robbery, trafficking of persons, deadly
  conduct, or injury to a child, elderly individual, or disabled
  individual or who has suffered personal injury or death as a result
  of the criminal conduct of another.
         SECTION 2.  Article 56.02(a), Code of Criminal Procedure, is
  amended to read as follows:
         (a)  A victim, guardian of a victim, or close relative of a
  deceased victim is entitled to the following rights within the
  criminal justice system:
               (1)  the right to receive from law enforcement agencies
  adequate protection from harm and threats of harm arising from
  cooperation with prosecution efforts;
               (2)  the right to have the magistrate take the safety of
  the victim or his family into consideration as an element in fixing
  the amount of bail for the accused;
               (3)  the right, if requested, to be informed:
                     (A)  by the attorney representing the state of
  relevant court proceedings, including appellate proceedings, and
  to be informed if those proceedings have been canceled or
  rescheduled prior to the event; and
                     (B)  by an appellate court of decisions of the
  court, after the decisions are entered but before the decisions are
  made public;
               (4)  the right to be informed, when requested, by a
  peace officer concerning the defendant's right to bail and the
  procedures in criminal investigations and by the district
  attorney's office concerning the general procedures in the criminal
  justice system, including general procedures in guilty plea
  negotiations and arrangements, restitution, and the appeals and
  parole process;
               (5)  the right to provide pertinent information to a
  probation department conducting a presentencing investigation
  concerning the impact of the offense on the victim and his family by
  testimony, written statement, or any other manner prior to any
  sentencing of the offender;
               (6)  the right to receive information regarding
  compensation to victims of crime as provided by Subchapter B,
  including information related to the costs that may be compensated
  under that subchapter and the amount of compensation, eligibility
  for compensation, and procedures for application for compensation
  under that subchapter, the payment for a medical examination for a
  victim of a sexual assault under Article 56.06 or 56.065 or for a
  victim of a strangulation [sexual] assault under Article 56.066 or
  56.067, and when requested, to referral to available social service
  agencies that may offer additional assistance;
               (7)  the right to be informed, upon request, of parole
  procedures, to participate in the parole process, to be notified,
  if requested, of parole proceedings concerning a defendant in the
  victim's case, to provide to the Board of Pardons and Paroles for
  inclusion in the defendant's file information to be considered by
  the board prior to the parole of any defendant convicted of any
  crime subject to this subchapter, and to be notified, if requested,
  of the defendant's release;
               (8)  the right to be provided with a waiting area,
  separate or secure from other witnesses, including the offender and
  relatives of the offender, before testifying in any proceeding
  concerning the offender; if a separate waiting area is not
  available, other safeguards should be taken to minimize the
  victim's contact with the offender and the offender's relatives and
  witnesses, before and during court proceedings;
               (9)  the right to prompt return of any property of the
  victim that is held by a law enforcement agency or the attorney for
  the state as evidence when the property is no longer required for
  that purpose;
               (10)  the right to have the attorney for the state
  notify the employer of the victim, if requested, of the necessity of
  the victim's cooperation and testimony in a proceeding that may
  necessitate the absence of the victim from work for good cause;
               (11)  the right to request victim-offender mediation
  coordinated by the victim services division of the Texas Department
  of Criminal Justice;
               (12)  the right to be informed of the uses of a victim
  impact statement and the statement's purpose in the criminal
  justice system, to complete the victim impact statement, and to
  have the victim impact statement considered:
                     (A)  by the attorney representing the state and
  the judge before sentencing or before a plea bargain agreement is
  accepted; and
                     (B)  by the Board of Pardons and Paroles before an
  inmate is released on parole;
               (13)  for a victim of an assault or sexual assault who
  is younger than 17 years of age or whose case involves family
  violence, as defined by Section 71.004, Family Code, the right to
  have the court consider the impact on the victim of a continuance
  requested by the defendant; if requested by the attorney
  representing the state or by counsel for the defendant, the court
  shall state on the record the reason for granting or denying the
  continuance; and
               (14)  if the offense is a capital felony, the right to:
                     (A)  receive by mail from the court a written
  explanation of defense-initiated victim outreach if the court has
  authorized expenditures for a defense-initiated victim outreach
  specialist;
                     (B)  not be contacted by the victim outreach
  specialist unless the victim, guardian, or relative has consented
  to the contact by providing a written notice to the court; and
                     (C)  designate a victim service provider to
  receive all communications from a victim outreach specialist acting
  on behalf of any person.
         SECTION 3.  Subchapter A, Chapter 56, Code of Criminal
  Procedure, is amended by adding Articles 56.066 and 56.067 to read
  as follows:
         Art. 56.066.  MEDICAL EXAMINATION FOR STRANGULATION ASSAULT
  VICTIM WHO HAS REPORTED ASSAULT; COSTS.  (a)  If a strangulation
  assault is reported to a law enforcement agency within 120 hours of
  the assault, the law enforcement agency, with the consent of the
  victim, a person authorized to act on behalf of the victim, or an
  employee of the Department of Family and Protective Services, shall
  request a forensic medical examination of the victim of the alleged
  assault for use in the investigation or prosecution of the offense.  
  A law enforcement agency may decline to request a forensic medical
  examination under this subsection only if the person reporting the
  strangulation assault has made one or more false reports of
  offenses involving family violence, as defined by Section 71.004,
  Family Code, to any law enforcement agency and if there is no other
  evidence to corroborate the current allegations of strangulation
  assault.
         (b)  If a strangulation assault is not reported within the
  period described by Subsection (a), on receiving the consent
  described by that subsection the law enforcement agency may request
  a forensic medical examination of a victim of an alleged
  strangulation assault as considered appropriate by the agency.
         (c)  On application to the attorney general, a health care
  facility that provides a forensic medical examination to a
  strangulation assault victim in accordance with this article is
  entitled to be compensated for the reasonable costs of the forensic
  portion of that examination and for the strangulation assault
  evidence collection kit, not to exceed the amount the law
  enforcement agency would otherwise be required to pay under
  Subsection (d), if the examination was performed by a forensic
  nurse.
         (d)  A law enforcement agency that requests a forensic
  medical examination of a victim of an alleged strangulation assault
  for use in the investigation or prosecution of the offense shall pay
  the costs, less any amount to be paid directly to the health care
  facility by the attorney general under Subsection (c), of the
  forensic portion of the examination and of the strangulation
  assault evidence collection kit. On application to the attorney
  general, the law enforcement agency is entitled to be reimbursed
  for the reasonable costs of the forensic portion of that
  examination and of the strangulation assault evidence collection
  kit if the examination was performed by a forensic nurse.
         (e)  A law enforcement agency or prosecuting attorney's
  office may pay all costs related to the testimony of a forensic
  nurse in all criminal proceedings regarding the results of the
  forensic medical examination or manner in which it was performed.
         (f)  This article does not require a law enforcement agency
  to pay any costs of treatment for injuries.
         (g)  The attorney general may make a payment to or on behalf
  of an individual for the reasonable costs incurred for medical care
  provided to a victim of an alleged strangulation assault.
         Art. 56.067.  MEDICAL EXAMINATION FOR STRANGULATION ASSAULT
  VICTIM WHO HAS NOT REPORTED ASSAULT; COSTS.  (a)  In this article:
               (1)  "Crime laboratory" has the meaning assigned by
  Article 38.35.
               (2)  "Department" means the Department of Public
  Safety.
         (b)  This article applies to the following health care
  facilities that provide diagnosis or treatment services to victims
  of strangulation assault:
               (1)  a general or special hospital licensed under
  Chapter 241, Health and Safety Code;
               (2)  a general or special hospital owned by this state;
               (3)  an outpatient clinic; and
               (4)  a private physician's office.
         (c)  Except as provided by Subsection (f), a health care
  facility shall conduct a forensic medical examination of the victim
  of an alleged strangulation assault if:
               (1)  the victim arrives at the facility within 120
  hours after the assault occurred;
               (2)  the victim consents to the examination; and
               (3)  at the time of the examination the victim has not
  reported the assault to a law enforcement agency.
         (d)  On application to the attorney general, a health care
  facility that provides a forensic medical examination to a
  strangulation assault victim in accordance with this article is
  entitled to be compensated for the appropriate costs of the
  forensic portion of that examination and for the strangulation
  assault evidence collection kit, not to exceed the amount the
  department would otherwise be required to pay under Subsection (e),
  if a forensic nurse conducts the forensic portion of the
  examination within 120 hours after the alleged strangulation
  assault occurred.
         (e)  The department shall pay the appropriate fees, as set by
  attorney general rule, less any amount to be paid directly to the
  health care facility by the attorney general under Subsection (d),
  for the forensic portion of the medical examination and for the
  strangulation assault evidence collection kit if a forensic nurse
  conducts the forensic portion of the examination within 120 hours
  after the alleged strangulation assault occurred.  The attorney
  general shall reimburse the department for fees paid under this
  subsection.
         (f)  If a health care facility does not provide diagnosis or
  treatment services to victims of strangulation assault, the
  facility shall refer a victim seeking a forensic medical
  examination under Subsection (c) to a health care facility that
  provides services to those victims.
         (g)  The department may develop procedures regarding the
  submission or collection of additional evidence of the alleged
  strangulation assault other than through an examination as
  described by this article.  The department shall develop procedures
  for the transfer and preservation of evidence collected under this
  article to a crime laboratory or other suitable location designated
  by the public safety director of the department.
         (h)  The victim may not be required to:
               (1)  participate in the investigation or prosecution of
  an offense as a condition of receiving a forensic medical
  examination under this article; or
               (2)  pay for the forensic portion of the medical
  examination or for the strangulation assault evidence collection
  kit.
         (i)  The attorney general and the department each shall adopt
  rules as necessary to implement this article.
         (j)  A communication or record that contains identifying
  information regarding a person who receives a forensic medical
  examination under this article and that is created by, provided to,
  or in the control or possession of the department is confidential
  for purposes of Section 552.101, Government Code.  In this
  subsection, "identifying information" includes:
               (1)  information revealing the identity, personal
  history, or background of the person; or
               (2)  information concerning the victimization of the
  person.
         SECTION 4.  Article 56.07(a), Code of Criminal Procedure, is
  amended to read as follows:
         (a)  At the initial contact or at the earliest possible time
  after the initial contact between the victim of a reported crime and
  the law enforcement agency having the responsibility for
  investigating that crime, that agency shall provide the victim a
  written notice containing:
               (1)  information about the availability of emergency
  and medical services, if applicable;
               (2)  notice that the victim has the right to receive
  information regarding compensation to victims of crime as provided
  by Subchapter B, Chapter 56, including information about:
                     (A)  the costs that may be compensated under that
  Act and the amount of compensation, eligibility for compensation,
  and procedures for application for compensation under that Act;
                     (B)  the payment for a medical examination for a
  victim of a sexual assault under Article 56.06 or 56.065 [of this
  code]; [and]
                     (C)  the payment for a medical examination for a
  victim of a strangulation assault under Article 56.066 or 56.067;
  and
                     (D)  referral to available social service
  agencies that may offer additional assistance;
               (3)  the name, address, and phone number of the law
  enforcement agency's victim assistance liaison;
               (4)  the address, phone number, and name of the crime
  victim assistance coordinator of the office of the attorney
  representing the state;
               (5)  the following statement:
         "You may call the law enforcement agency's telephone number
  for the status of the case and information about victims' rights";
  and
               (6)  the rights of crime victims under Articles 56.02
  and 56.021.
         SECTION 5.  Article 56.08(a), Code of Criminal Procedure, is
  amended to read as follows:
         (a)  Not later than the 10th day after the date that an
  indictment or information is returned against a defendant for an
  offense, the attorney representing the state shall give to each
  victim of the offense a written notice containing:
               (1)  a brief general statement of each procedural stage
  in the processing of a criminal case, including bail, plea
  bargaining, parole restitution, and appeal;
               (2)  notification of the rights and procedures under
  this chapter;
               (3)  suggested steps the victim may take if the victim
  is subjected to threats or intimidation;
               (4)  notification of the right to receive information
  regarding compensation to victims of crime as provided by
  Subchapter B, including information about:
                     (A)  the costs that may be compensated under
  Subchapter B, eligibility for compensation, and procedures for
  application for compensation under Subchapter B of this chapter;
                     (B)  the payment for a medical examination for a
  victim of a sexual assault under Article 56.06 or 56.065; [and]
                     (C)  the payment for a medical examination for a
  victim of a strangulation assault under Article 56.066 or 56.067;
  and
                     (D)  referral to available social service
  agencies that may offer additional assistance;
               (5)  the name, address, and phone number of the local
  victim assistance coordinator;
               (6)  the case number and assigned court for the case;
               (7)  the right to file a victim impact statement with
  the office of the attorney representing the state and the Texas
  Department of Criminal Justice; and
               (8)  notification of the right of a victim, guardian of
  a victim, or close relative of a deceased victim, as defined by
  Section 508.117, Government Code, to appear in person before a
  member of the Board of Pardons and Paroles as provided by Section
  508.153, Government Code.
         SECTION 6.  Article 56.54(k), Code of Criminal Procedure, is
  amended to read as follows:
         (k)  The attorney general may use the compensation to victims
  of crime fund to:
               (1)  reimburse a law enforcement agency for the
  reasonable costs of a forensic medical examination that are
  incurred by the agency under Article 56.06, [or] 56.065, 56.066, or
  56.067; [and]
               (2)  make a payment to or on behalf of an individual for
  the reasonable costs incurred for medical care provided under
  Article 56.06 or 56.065 in accordance with Section 323.004, Health
  and Safety Code;
               (3)  compensate a health care facility for certain
  costs of a forensic medical examination that are incurred by the
  facility under Article 56.066 or 56.067, as provided by those
  articles; and
               (4)  make a payment to or on behalf of an individual for
  the reasonable costs incurred for medical care provided under
  Article 56.066 or 56.067.
         SECTION 7.  Section 57.002(a), Family Code, is amended to
  read as follows:
         (a)  A victim, guardian of a victim, or close relative of a
  deceased victim is entitled to the following rights within the
  juvenile justice system:
               (1)  the right to receive from law enforcement agencies
  adequate protection from harm and threats of harm arising from
  cooperation with prosecution efforts;
               (2)  the right to have the court or person appointed by
  the court take the safety of the victim or the victim's family into
  consideration as an element in determining whether the child should
  be detained before the child's conduct is adjudicated;
               (3)  the right, if requested, to be informed of
  relevant court proceedings, including appellate proceedings, and
  to be informed in a timely manner if those court proceedings have
  been canceled or rescheduled;
               (4)  the right to be informed, when requested, by the
  court or a person appointed by the court concerning the procedures
  in the juvenile justice system, including general procedures
  relating to:
                     (A)  the preliminary investigation and deferred
  prosecution of a case; and
                     (B)  the appeal of the case;
               (5)  the right to provide pertinent information to a
  juvenile court conducting a disposition hearing concerning the
  impact of the offense on the victim and the victim's family by
  testimony, written statement, or any other manner before the court
  renders its disposition;
               (6)  the right to receive information regarding
  compensation to victims as provided by Subchapter B, Chapter 56,
  Code of Criminal Procedure, including information related to the
  costs that may be compensated under that subchapter and the amount
  of compensation, eligibility for compensation, and procedures for
  application for compensation under that subchapter, the payment of
  medical expenses for a victim of a sexual assault under Article
  [Section] 56.06 or 56.065, Code of Criminal Procedure, or for a
  victim of a strangulation assault under Article 56.066 or 56.067,
  Code of Criminal Procedure [for a victim of a sexual assault], and
  when requested, to referral to available social service agencies
  that may offer additional assistance;
               (7)  the right to be informed, upon request, of
  procedures for release under supervision or transfer of the person
  to the custody of the Texas Department of Criminal Justice for
  parole, to participate in the release or transfer for parole
  process, to be notified, if requested, of the person's release,
  escape, or transfer for parole proceedings concerning the person,
  to provide to the Texas Juvenile Justice Department for inclusion
  in the person's file information to be considered by the department
  before the release under supervision or transfer for parole of the
  person, and to be notified, if requested, of the person's release or
  transfer for parole;
               (8)  the right to be provided with a waiting area,
  separate or secure from other witnesses, including the child
  alleged to have committed the conduct and relatives of the child,
  before testifying in any proceeding concerning the child, or, if a
  separate waiting area is not available, other safeguards should be
  taken to minimize the victim's contact with the child and the
  child's relatives and witnesses, before and during court
  proceedings;
               (9)  the right to prompt return of any property of the
  victim that is held by a law enforcement agency or the attorney for
  the state as evidence when the property is no longer required for
  that purpose;
               (10)  the right to have the attorney for the state
  notify the employer of the victim, if requested, of the necessity of
  the victim's cooperation and testimony in a proceeding that may
  necessitate the absence of the victim from work for good cause;
               (11)  the right to be present at all public court
  proceedings related to the conduct of the child as provided by
  Section 54.08, subject to that section; and
               (12)  any other right appropriate to the victim that a
  victim of criminal conduct has under Article 56.02 or 56.021, Code
  of Criminal Procedure.
         SECTION 8.  This Act takes effect September 1, 2019.
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