The Senate Committee on Corrections & Criminal Law voted this week to move legislation that will allow an indictment or information to be amended to include a habitual offender charge at any time before trial, as long as the amendment doesn’t prejudice the substantial rights of the defendant.
Senate Bill 31, authored by Sen. Randy Head, R-Logansport, an attorney, passed out of committee after changes were approved adding that the amendment of an indictment or information to include the charge must be made at least 30 days before the commencement of trial. Another amendment includes that if the court allows the filing of the charge less than 30 days before the beginning of trial, the court shall grant a continuance at the request of the state for good cause shown or the defendant for any reason.
The number of habitual offenders committed to the Department of Correction from 2009 to 2011 has decreased from 366 to 214.
The bill moves on to second reading in the Senate.