HBA-KMH H.B. 831 76(R) BILL ANALYSIS Office of House Bill AnalysisH.B. 831 By: Talton Criminal Jurisprudence 3/16/1999 Introduced BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE Pretrial services agencies supervise different types of defendants. Generally, these defendants can be categorized as: 1) those who are released by the courts on a personal bond through the agency, 2) those who the courts order to submit to agency supervision as a condition of release on a cash or surety bond, or 3) adjudicated defendants who the court directs to the agency for monitoring. Currently, courts can assess a personal bond fee on defendants in the first category pursuant to Article 17.42, Code of Criminal Procedure. The existing rate is "$20 or three percent of the amount of the bail fixed for the accused, whichever is greater." This fee helps to defray the agency's operational costs. When the agency supervises any other type of defendant the court does not have statutory authority to assess a fee that may help defray the associated costs. In Harris County, for example, almost half of the defendants with a felony offense that the Harris County Pre-Trial Agency supervised in 1997 were not released on a personal bond and therefore could not pay a personal bond fee. H.B. 831 authorizes the court to assess a supervision fee of "not less than $25 or more than $40 each month" when the accused is released on a cash or surety bond. This bill sets one uniform fee of $30 to be assessed for the supervision of those defendants released on a personal bond. This bill also authorizes county commissioners courts to allow district and county courts served by a pretrial agency to participate in the management of a program. RULEMAKING AUTHORITY It is the opinion of the Office of House Bill Analysis that this bill does not expressly delegate any additional rulemaking authority to a state officer, department, agency, or institution. SECTION BY SECTION ANALYSIS SECTION 1. Amends Article 17.031(b), Code of Criminal Procedure, to replace personal bond office with pretrial services office. Makes conforming and nonsubstantive changes. SECTION 2. Amends Article 17.42, Code of Criminal Procedure, as follows: ARTICLE 17.42. New Title: PRETRIAL SERVICES OFFICE Sec. 1. Expands the reporting duty of a pretrial services office to include each court in the county or judicial district, as appropriate, having criminal jurisdiction. Authorizes a pretrial services office established under this subsection to operate programs in order to supervise persons released on personal, cash, or surety bond and defendants placed on community supervision. Makes conforming and nonsubstantive changes. Sec. 2. Entitles appropriate judges to participate in the management of the pretrial services office. Authorizes district and county judges who participate in the management of a pretrial services office to employ a director of the office. Redesignates existing Subsections (a) and (b) to Subsections (b) and (c). Makes conforming and nonsubstantive changes. Sec. 3. Makes no changes. Sec. 4. Increases the personal bond fee to $30, from $20. Requires a court to assess a fee of between $25 and $40 each month during which the defendant is under the supervision of the pretrial services office. Authorizes a court to require payment of these fees as a condition of release or bond, or as court costs. Authorizes the court to require a defendant to pay costs incurred by a pretrial services office in requiring the defendant to submit to electronic monitoring or urinalysis or to provide the defendant with an interlock ignition device or other services related to the supervision of the defendant. Redesignates existing Subsections (b) and (c) to Subsections (e) and (f). Makes conforming and nonsubstantive changes. Sec. 5. Makes conforming and nonsubstantive changes. Sec. 6. Makes conforming and nonsubstantive changes. SECTION 3. Repealer: Article 17.03(g), Code of Criminal Procedure (which authorizes a court to order that a personal bond fee assessed under Section 17.42 be paid before the defendant is released, paid as a condition of bond, paid as court costs, reduced as otherwise provided for by statute, or waived). SECTION 4. Makes application of this Act to Section 4 prospective. SECTION 5. Effective date: September 1, 1999. SECTION 6. Emergency clause.