House bills clarify crimes, criminals

By Bonnie Culverhouse

Police officers put their lives on the line every day, and if three bills proposed by District 10 Rep. Wayne McMahen become laws, certain offenses and offenders may face steeper penalties by clarification.

House Bill 99 adds to the present law (R.S. 14:108.2) crime of resisting a police officer with force or violence to the list of enumerated crimes of violence.

Current law provides for a definition of “crime of violence” which means an offense that has, as an element, the use, attempted use, or threatened use of physical force against the person or property of another, and that, by its very nature, involves a substantial risk that physical force against the person or property of another may be used in the course of committing the offense or an offense that involves the possession or use of a dangerous weapon.

This bill is pending discussion in the House Administration of Criminal Justice committee.

House Bill 371 amends the definition of “police officer” for the crimes of battery of a police officer and resisting a police officer with force or violence to include juvenile detention facility officers.

Present law defines “police officer” to include any commissioned police officer, sheriff, deputy sheriff, marshal, deputy marshal, correctional officer, constable, wildlife enforcement agent, state park warden, or probation and parole officer.

This bill was scheduled for floor debate Monday.

House Bill 634 would raise the age of offenders from 17 to 18 years of age or older.

Present law further provides that the age of the offenders of those present law crimes is 17 years of age or older.

Present law provides for the crimes of sexual battery, second degree sexual battery, felony carnal knowledge of a juvenile, misdemeanor carnal knowledge of a juvenile, pornography involving juveniles, molestation of a juvenile or a person with a physical or mental disability, computer-aided solicitation of a minor, illegal use of controlled dangerous substances in the presence of persons under seventeen years of age, contributing to the delinquency of juveniles, cruelty to juveniles, second degree cruelty to juveniles and video voyeurism.

This bill is pending discussion in the House Administration of Criminal Justice committee.

The 2022 session of the Louisiana Legislature convened Monday, March 14 and will adjourn no later than 6 p.m. Monday, June 6.


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