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HB1304: What It Means for Juvenile Justice - Criminal Justice News

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Criminal Justice News

Posted on: May 6, 2015

By Jenny P. Harrison, Marion County Public Defender Agency

On Tuesday, May 5, Governor Mike Pence signed HB1304, which contains several new provisions in regards to juveniles. 

Many of us are aware of how many juveniles are now being charged in adult court. Under HB1304, the Criminal Justice Institute is now required to track, by age and offense, the number of juveniles under the jurisdiction of adult court due either to direct file or waiver from juvenile to adult court. The institute will provide this data, along with other data the institute is already tracking, to the governor and the legislative council. Under the law, the institute also shall provide recommendations on how to improve the criminal justice system in Indiana.

HB1304 amended IC 31-30-3-4, which is the statute on waiver of a juvenile charged with murder. Under the old law, a juvenile could be waived if (1) the child is charged with an act that would be murder if committed by an adult; (2) there is probable cause to believe the child has committed the act; and (3) the child was at least ten years of age on the date of commission. Now, a child must be 12 years of age at the date of commission to be waived into adult court on a murder charge.

This bill also adds IC 31-30.5-1 to the Indiana Code. This requires custodial interrogations of juveniles to be recorded, much like adult interrogations, as set forth in Indiana Evidence Rule 617. For interrogations conducted in a place of detention, as defined by IRE 617, to be admissible the interrogations must comply with the requirements of IRE 617. For custodial interrogations not at a place of detention but at a school or another place where a juvenile is detained in connection with the investigation, the statements are only admissible if the interrogation complies with IRE 617 or the interrogation is recorded with audio equipment and complies with every other requirement under IRE 617 except that the recording be an audio-visual recording.

IC 31-30.5-2 regulates the restraint of juveniles in court. A juvenile shall not be restrained in court unless (1) the court has determined on the record that the juvenile is dangerous or potentially dangerous or (2) the juvenile has caused a physical disruption while in open court.

HB1304 expands the definition of a runaway under IC 31-37-2-2 to include a child who leaves a specific location previously designated by the child’s parent, guardian or custodian without reasonable cause or permission.

To learn more about juvenile law and how it differs from adult criminal law, please attend the Criminal Justice Section's CLE "Kids Incarcerated: An Overview of Juvenile Justice" on Thursday, June 25, from noon to 1 p.m. This program will cover an explanation of waiver hearings, legal standards in juvenile court, legal effects of true findings and sentencing options. Not only will you earn one hour of CLE credit for your attendance, but you will also gain a wealth of knowledge from Dan Schroeder!

This post was written by Jenny P. Harrison of the Marion County Public Defender Agency. If you would like to submit content or write an article for the Criminal Justice Section page, please email Rachel Beachy at


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