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NO. 137. AN ACT RELATING TO YOUTHFUL OFFENDERS.

(S.321)

It is hereby enacted by the General Assembly of the State of Vermont:

Sec. 1. 33 V.S.A. § 5505(e) is amended to read:

(e) A defendant in a criminal proceeding who has attained the age of *[14]* 10 but not the age of 16 at the time an offense specified in subsection 5506(a) of this title is alleged to have been committed, may file a motion requesting treatment as a youthful offender.

Sec. 2. 33 V.S.A. § 5529e is amended to read:

§ 5529e. TERMINATION OR CONTINUANCE OF DISPOSITION

(a) If the youthful offender successfully completes the juvenile disposition, on motion, the court shall hold a hearing to determine whether the youthful offender has been rehabilitated, and the youthful offender shall bear the burden of so proving by a preponderance of the evidence. Successful completion of the disposition shall create a rebuttable presumption that the youthful offender has been rehabilitated. If the youthful offender meets this burden, the burden is then on the state to show otherwise by clear and convincing evidence.

(b) In determining whether a youthful offender has been sufficiently rehabilitated, the court shall base its finding on:

(1) the youthful offender's performance during treatment;

(2) reports of treatment personnel; and

(3) any other relevant facts associated with the youthful offender's behavior.

(c) If the court finds that the youthful offender has successfully completed the terms of the juvenile disposition order and has been rehabilitated, it shall terminate the disposition order, discharge the youthful offender and dismiss the criminal case.

(d) Upon discharge and dismissal under subsection (c) of this section, the records of the criminal case and juvenile proceeding shall be sealed.

(e) If the court finds that the youthful offender has not successfully completed the terms of the disposition or has not been sufficiently rehabilitated, it may deny the motion, extend the disposition or impose the criminal sentence.

Sec. 3. DISTRIBUTION OF INFORMATION REGARDING BLENDED SENTENCES FOR YOUTHFUL OFFENDERS

The Office of the Court Administrator shall distribute information about the availability of blended sentences for youthful offenders to all district and superior court judges and magistrates, the executive director of the state’s attorneys and sheriff’s department for distribution to all state’s attorneys, and to the defender general for distribution to all public defenders and private attorneys under contract with the defender general.

Approved: May 17, 2000