BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    



                                                                  SB 769
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          SENATE THIRD READING
          SB 769 (Block)
          As Amended  April 1, 2013
          Majority vote 

           SENATE VOTE  :35-0  
           
           PUBLIC SAFETY       7-0                                         
           
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          |Ayes:|Ammiano, Melendez,        |     |                          |
          |     |Jones-Sawyer, Mitchell,   |     |                          |
          |     |Quirk, Skinner, Waldron   |     |                          |
          |     |                          |     |                          |
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           SUMMARY  :  Clarifies that dismissal of a case under provisions  
          for veteran defendants who had military-service-related mental  
          health issues does not restore a defendant's right to possess a  
          firearm, and does not prevent conviction for being a felon or  
          drug addict in possession of a firearm.

           EXISTING LAW  : 

          1)Requires the court, in the case of a person convicted of a  
            criminal offense who would otherwise be sentenced to county  
            jail or state prison and who alleges that he or she committed  
            the offense as a result of post-traumatic stress disorder  
            (PTSD), substance abuse, or psychological problems stemming  
            from service in a combat theater in the United States  
            military, to hold a hearing before sentencing to determine if  
            the defendant was a member of the military who served in  
            combat and to assess whether the defendant suffers from PTSD,  
            substance abuse, or psychological problems as a result of that  
            service.  

          2)States that if the court concludes that a defendant convicted  
            of a criminal offense was a member of the military suffering  
            from PTSD, substance abuse, or psychological problems stemming  
            from service in a combat theater and if the defendant is  
            otherwise eligible for probation and the court places the  
            defendant on probation, the court may order the defendant into  
            a local; state; federal; or private, non-profit treatment  
            program for a period not to exceed that which the defendant  
            would have served in state prison or county jail, provided the  








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            defendant agrees to participate in the program and the court  
            determines that an appropriate treatment program exists.  

          3)Obligates counties to provide mental health treatment services  
            to members of the military forces of the United States  
            suffering from PTSD, substance abuse, or psychological  
            problems stemming from service in a combat theater only to the  
            extent that resources are available for that purpose.  If  
            mental health treatment services are ordered by the court, the  
            county mental health agency shall coordinate appropriate  
            referral of the defendant to the county veterans-service  
            officer.  The county mental health agency shall not be  
            responsible for providing services outside its traditional  
            scope of services.  An order shall be made referring a  
            defendant to a county mental health agency only if that agency  
            has agreed to accept responsibility for the treatment of the  
            defendant.  

          4)Provides restorative relief to a veteran defendant who  
            acquires a criminal record due to a mental disorder stemming  
            from military service.  

          5)Provides that the restorative relief provision shall apply to  
            cases in which a trial court or a court monitoring the  
            defendant's performance on probation finds at a public hearing  
            that the defendant meets the following eligibility criteria:

             a)   He or she was granted probation, and at the time that  
               probation was granted had alleged the offense was committed  
               as a result of sexual trauma, traumatic brain injury,  
               post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), substance abuse, or  
               mental health problems stemming from military service; 

             b)   He or she is in substantial compliance with the  
               conditions of that probation;

             c)   He or she has successfully participated in court-ordered  
               treatment and services to address the sexual trauma,  
               traumatic brain injury, PTSD, substance abuse, or mental  
               health problems stemming from military service; 

             d)   He or she does not represent a danger to the health and  
               safety of others; and, 









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             e)   He or she has demonstrated significant benefit from  
               court-ordered education, treatment, or rehabilitation to  
               clearly show that granting restorative relief pursuant to  
               this subdivision would be in the interests of justice.  

          6)Enumerates factors the court may consider in determining  
            whether the grant of restorative relief would be in the  
            interests of justice.  

          7)Allows the court to order any of the following upon a finding  
            that a case satisfies the eligibility requirements of  
            restorative relief:

             a)   Deem all conditions of probation, including fines, fees,  
               assessments, and programs, except victim restitution, to be  
               satisfied and terminate probation early;

             b)   Exercise discretion under Penal Code Section 17(b) to  
               reduce an eligible felony to a misdemeanor; and,

             c)   Grant relief in accordance with Penal Code Section  
               1203.4.  

          8)Provides that, notwithstanding the language of Penal Code  
            Section 1203.4, a dismissal of the action under this  
            subdivision releases the defendant from all penalties and  
            disabilities resulting from the offense of which the defendant  
            has been convicted in the dismissed action.  

          9)Prohibits the dismissal of the specified criminal offenses,  
            most of which are sex offenses.  

          10)Specifies that a dismissal under this section does not affect  
            the requirement to register as a sex offender under Penal Code  
            Section 290.  

          11)States that, when information concerning prior arrests or  
            convictions is requested to be given under oath, affirmation,  
            or otherwise, the defendant will not have to disclose his or  
            her arrest on the dismissed action, the dismissed action, or  
            the conviction that was set aside, except for when the  
            question is contained in a questionnaire or application for  
            any law enforcement position.  









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          12)Gives the court discretion to seal the arrest and court  
            records of the dismissed action, making the records thereafter  
            viewable by the public pursuant to a court order.  

          13)Provides that the dismissal of the action under these  
            provisions shall be a bar to any future action based on the  
            conduct charged in the dismissed action.  

          14)Specifies that dismissed convictions can still be pleaded and  
            proved as a prior conviction in a subsequent prosecution for  
            another offense.  

          15)Provides that a set-aside conviction can still be considered  
            a conviction for the purpose of administratively revoking or  
            suspending or otherwise limiting the defendant's driving  
            privilege on the grounds of multiple convictions.  

          16)Specifies that the defendant's DNA sample and profile shall  
            not be removed as a result of a dismissal under these  
            provisions.  

          17)Provides a procedure for many felons and misdemeanants  
            granted formal probation, with the exception of those  
            convicted of certain crimes, to obtain dismissal of the case.   
            This includes those who successfully complete formal  
            probation, as well as any other case in which a court, in its  
            discretion and in the interests of justice, determines the  
            relief is warranted.  

          18)States that dismissal of an accusation or information  
            pursuant to Penal Code Section 1203.4 does not permit a person  
            to own, possess, or have in his or her custody or control any  
            firearm or prevent him or her from being convicted of the  
            offense of being an ex-felon in possession of a firearm.  

           FISCAL EFFECT  :  Unknown.  This bill is keyed non-fiscal by the  
          Legislative Counsel.

           COMMENTS  :  According to the author, "SB 769 is a technical  
          correction to a bill signed last year dealing with restorative  
          relief for veterans in veteran's court.  That bill, which is  
          current law, allows special veterans courts to expunge the  
          record of veterans who commit offenses while suffering from  
          service related mental health disorders. Although unintended,  








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          current law leaves open the possibility that restorative relief  
          may include the return of firearms to veterans with mental  
          disorders upon completion of court ordered conditions.

          "SB 769 corrects this inadvertent error and treats veterans like  
          all others who commit felonies and prohibits the veteran from  
          owning, possessing, or having a firearm in his or her possession  
          or control."

          Please see the policy committee analysis for a full discussion  
          of this bill.  


          Analysis Prepared by  :    Sandy Uribe / PUB. S. / (916) 319-3744 


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