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Legal Statutes: Alabama

UPDATED July 28, 2016

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Article 2. Alabama Sentencing Reform Act of 2003

back to topSection 12-25-32. Definitions

For the purposes of this article, the following terms have the following meanings:

(1) COMMISSION. The Alabama Sentencing Commission, established as a state agency under the Supreme Court by this chapter.

(2) CONTINUUM OF PUNISHMENTS. An array of punishment options, from probation to incarceration, graduated in restrictiveness according to the degree of supervision of the offender including, but not limited to, all of the following:

a. Active Incarceration. A sentence, other than an intermediate punishment or unsupervised probation, that requires an offender to serve a sentence of imprisonment. The term includes time served in a work release program operated as a custody option by the Alabama Department of Corrections or in the Supervised Intensive Restitution program of the Department of Corrections pursuant to Article 7, commencing with Section 15-18-110, of Chapter 18 of Title 15.

b. Intermediate Punishment. A sentence that may include assignment to any community based punishment program or may include probation with conditions or probation in conjunction with a period of confinement. Intermediate punishments include, but are not limited to, all of the following options:

1. A split sentence pursuant to Section 15-18-8.

2. Assignment to a community punishment and corrections program pursuant to the Alabama Community Punishment and Corrections Act or local acts.

3. Assignment to a community based manual labor work program pursuant to Sections 14-5-30 to 14-5-37, inclusive.

4. Intensive probation supervision pursuant to Section 15-22-56.

5. Cognitive and behavioral training.

6. Community service work.

7. County probation.

8. Day fines or means-based fines.

9. Day reporting.

10. Drug or alcohol testing.

11. Drug court programs.

12. Educational programs.

13. Electronic monitoring.

14. Home confinement or house arrest.

15. Ignition interlock.

16. Intermittent confinement.

17. Jail and prison diversion programs.

18. Job readiness and work.

19. Literacy and basic learning.

20. Pretrial diversion programs.

21. Residential drug treatment.

22. Residential community based punishment programs in which the offender is required to spend at least eight hours per day, or overnight, within a facility and is required to participate in activities such as counseling, treatment, social skills training, or employment training, conducted at the residential facility or at another specified location.

23. Restorative justice as established in Section 12-17-226.6.

(i) Victim impact panels.

(ii) Voluntary victim offender conferencing.

(iii) Voluntary victim offender mediation.

24. Self-help groups.

25. Sobrietor or breath alcohol remote monitoring.

26. Substance abuse education and treatment.

27. Treatment alternatives to street crime (TASC).

28. Voice recognition, curfew restriction, or employment monitoring.

29. Work release, other than those work release programs operated by the Alabama Department of Corrections, as a custody option.

c. Unsupervised Probation. A sentence in a criminal case that includes a period of probation but does not include supervision, active incarceration, or an intermediate punishment.

d. Post-release Supervision. A mandatory period of supervision following sentences of active incarceration as defined in paragraph a. that may include one or more intermediate punishment options.

(3) COURT. Unless otherwise stated, a district or circuit court exercising jurisdiction to sentence felony offenders.

(4) EVIDENCE-BASED PRACTICES. Policies, procedures, programs, and practices proven by widely accepted and published research to reliably produce reductions in recidivism.

(5) FELONY OFFENSE. A noncapital felony offense.

(6) INITIAL VOLUNTARY STANDARDS. The voluntary sentencing standards effective on October 1, 2006. These standards were based on statewide historic sentences imposed with normative adjustments designed to reflect current sentencing policies.

(7) NONVIOLENT OFFENSE. All offenses which are not violent offenses.

(8) NONVIOLENT OFFENDER. Any offender who does not qualify as a violent offender pursuant to subdivision (14).

(9) OFFENDER. A person convicted of a noncapital felony offense.

(10) RELEASE AUTHORITY. Any public official, agency, or other entity authorized by law to release a sentenced offender from incarceration or other conditions of a sentence.

(11) VALIDATED RISK AND NEEDS ASSESSMENT. An actuarial tool that has been validated and established by administrative rule in Alabama to determine the likelihood of an offender engaging in future criminal behavior. The Board of Pardons and Paroles and the Department of Corrections shall adopt compatible tools to conduct a validated risk and needs assessment upon offenders within the jurisdiction of the state. A validated risk and needs assessment shall include, but not be limited to, an offender's prior criminal history, the nature and severity of the present offense, and potential for future violence.

(12) TRUTH-IN-SENTENCING STANDARDS. Truth in sentencing is scheduled to become effective October 1, 2020.

(13) UNDER SUPERVISION. All offenders under the supervision of any criminal justice agency or program including, but not limited to, any of the following entities:

a. The Alabama Department of Corrections.

b. State or county probation offices.

c. Community corrections programs pursuant to Alabama Community Corrections Act.

d. Jails.

e. State or local law enforcement agencies.

f. Any court.

(14) VIOLENT OFFENDER. A violent offender is an offender who has been convicted of a violent offense, or who is determined by the trial court judge or a release authority to have demonstrated a propensity for violence, aggression, or weapons related behavior based on the criminal history or behavior of the offender while under supervision of any criminal justice system agency or entity.

(15) VIOLENT OFFENSE.

a. For the purposes of this article, a violent offense includes each of the following offenses, or any substantially similar offense to those listed in this subdivision created after June 20, 2003:

1. Capital murder pursuant to Sections 13A-6-2 and 13A-5-40.

2. Murder pursuant to Section 13A-6-2.

3. Manslaughter pursuant to Section 13A-6-3.

4. Criminally negligent homicide pursuant to Section 13A-6-4.

5. Assault I pursuant to Section 13A-6-20.

6. Assault II pursuant to Section 13A-6-21.

7. Compelling street gang membership pursuant to Section 13A-6-26.

8. Kidnapping I pursuant to Section 13A-6-43.

9. Kidnapping II pursuant to Section 13A-6-44.

10. Rape I pursuant to Section 13A-6-61.

11. Rape II pursuant to Section 13A-6-62.

12. Sodomy I pursuant to Section 13A-6-63.

13. Sodomy II pursuant to Section 13A-6-64.

14. Sexual torture pursuant to Section 13A-6-65.l.

15. Sexual abuse I pursuant to Section 13A-6-66.

16. Enticing a child to enter a vehicle for immoral purposes pursuant to Section 13A-6-69.

17. Stalking pursuant to Section 13A-6-90.

18. Aggravated stalking pursuant to Section 13A-6-91.

19. Soliciting a child by computer pursuant to Section 13A-6-110.

20. Domestic violence I pursuant to Section 13A-6-130.

21. Domestic violence II pursuant to Section 13A-6-131.

22. Burglary I pursuant to Section 13A-7-5.

23. Burglary II pursuant to Section 13A-7-6.

24. Burglary III pursuant to subdivision (1) or subdivision (2) of subsection (a) of Section 13A-7-7.

25. Arson I pursuant to Section 13A-7-41.

26. Criminal possession of explosives pursuant to Section 13A-7-44.

27. Extortion I pursuant to Section 13A-8-14.

28. Robbery I pursuant to Section 13A-8-41.

29. Robbery II pursuant to Section 13A-8-42.

30. Robbery III pursuant to Section 13A-8-43.

31. Pharmacy robbery pursuant to Section 13A-8-51.

32. Terrorist threats pursuant to Section 13A-10-15.

33. Escape I pursuant to Section 13A-10-31.

34. Promoting prison contraband I pursuant to Section 13A-10-36, involving a deadly weapon or dangerous instrument.

35. Intimidating a witness pursuant to Section 13A-10-123.

36. Intimidating a juror pursuant to Section 13A-10-127.

37. Treason pursuant to Section 13A-11-2.

38. Discharging a weapon into an occupied building, dwelling, automobile, etc., pursuant to Section 13A-11-61.

39. Promoting prostitution I pursuant to Section 13A-12-111.

40. Production of obscene matter involving a minor pursuant to Section 13A-12-197.

41. Trafficking pursuant to Section 13A-12-231.

42. Child abuse pursuant to Section 26-15-3.

43. Elder abuse pursuant to Section 38-9-7.

44. Terrorism pursuant to Section 13A-10-152.

45. Hindering prosecution for terrorism pursuant to Section 13A-10-154.

46. Domestic violence III pursuant to subsection (d) of Section 13A-6-132.

47. Domestic violence by strangulation or suffocation pursuant to Section 13A-6-138.

48. Human trafficking I pursuant to Section 13A-6-152.

49. Human trafficking II pursuant to Section 13A-6-153.

50. Hindering prosecution in the first degree pursuant to Section 13A-10-43.

51. Any substantially similar offense for which an Alabama offender has been convicted under prior Alabama law or the law of any other state, the District of Columbia, the United States, or any of the territories of the United States.

b. The basis for defining these offenses as violent is that each offense meets at least one of the following criteria:

1. Has as an element, the use, attempted use, or threatened use of a deadly weapon or dangerous instrument or physical force against the person of another.

2. Involves a substantial risk of physical injury against the person of another.

3. Is a nonconsensual sex offense.

4. Is particularly reprehensible.

c. Any attempt, conspiracy, or solicitation to commit a violent offense shall be considered a violent offense for the purposes of this article.

d. Any criminal offense which meets the criteria provided in paragraph b. enacted after 2003.

(Act 2003-354, p. 948, § 3; Act 2009-742, p. 2220, § 1; Act 2012-473, p. 1304, § 1; Act 2014-346, p. 1289, § 1(b)(3); Act 2015-185, § 1.)