Bill Addressing Motor Vehicle Theft Signed into Law
Over the past two years, Connecticut, like many states across our country, experienced an uptick in juvenile motor vehicle thefts and other criminal activity. House Democrats heard your calls for swift action and responded by leading bipartisan discussions to develop smart juvenile justice reforms. I'm pleased to share that bipartisan legislation addressing the pandemic-driven uptick in juvenile crime has been signed into law.
The new law updates Connecticut's criminal justice statutes so that our courts and law enforcement can effectively respond to juveniles with repeated motor vehicle theft and other crimes. This law:
- Makes juvenile arrest and delinquency proceedings more effective
- Requires youth who are arrested but not detained to be brought before the court within five business days.
- Increases from six to eight hours the amount of time a youth can be held if police are awaiting a judicial ruling on a detention order or are trying to locate a parent or guardian.
- Provides police officers with access to electronic records containing statewide pending charges and 90 days of prior arrest records.
- Allows courts to formally order that a youth be assessed for services.
- Provides more intensive responses to juveniles with serious, repeated charges
- Expands the special juvenile probation docket to include homicide and firearm crimes.
- Allows courts to order GPS monitoring for a youth charged with a second or subsequent motor vehicle offense.
- Focuses motor vehicle theft penalties on people with prior offenses
- Establishes a new structure for motor vehicle thefts with penalties that become more serious for subsequent offenses rather than basing penalties on the value of the vehicle.
This law, coupled with increased investment in diversion programs and services, will help stem juvenile crime over the long-term. Connecticut remains one of the safest places to live because of smart-on-crime policy and I will continue to support forward-thinking initiatives.