PENNSYLVANIA LEGISLATIVE UPDATE – PACKAGE OF BILLS AMENDING CRIMINAL LAWS AND EVIDENTIARY RULES PASSES STATE HOUSE AND HEADING FOR STATE SENATE
During the week of March 15, 2021, the Pennsylvania House of Representatives passed several bills reforming and amending various aspects of criminal law and evidentiary rules. These bills include:
- HB 103 – This bill would create the offense of harassment of a law enforcement officer if a person intentionally causes or attempts to cause a law enforcement officer to come into contact with blood, saliva, or other bodily fluids.
- HB 146 – This bill would preclude an inmate being paroled at the end of his or her minimum sentence if the inmate was convicted of a “violent offense” or an “obstruction of justice offense” while incarcerated.
- HB 156 – This bill would amend the Tender Years Hearsay Act to permit the court to allow introduction of hearsay statements made by children 16 years of age or younger concerning violent or sexual offenses. The law currently only allows the introduction of hearsay statements made by children 12 years of age or younger.
- HB 163 – This bill would increase the grading for a conviction of invasion of privacy if the offender is a teacher and the victim is a student or if the offender is an adult and the victim is a minor.
- HB 185 – This bill would provide that a person is guilty of aggravated assault, a second-degree felony, if he or she attempts to cause or intentionally or knowingly causes bodily injury to a person with a physical disability, intellectual disability, or autism spectrum disorder.
These bills will now head to the Pennsylvania State Senate for consideration. Zimmer Kunz will continue to monitor these bills and others as the Pennsylvania General Assembly remains in session through June. Inquiries about criminal legal matters and legislative updates can be directed to Daniel Cuddy firstname.lastname@example.org or Brian Lucot email@example.com.