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H.B. 251






Chief Sponsor: Rebecca D. Lockhart

Senate Sponsor: John L. Valentine

             8      LONG TITLE
             9      General Description:
             10          This bill provides a procedure by which a criminal defendant can object to the
             11      admission of crime lab reports.
             12      Highlighted Provisions:
             13          This bill:
             14          .    requires the defendant to provide notice of an objection to an analytical report;
             15          .    requires the defendant to be specific in the objection;
             16          .    provides the court with instructions if the objection is sustained; and
             17          .    provides that if the defendant fails to raise an objection, the right to have the affiant
             18      testify is waived.
             19      Monies Appropriated in this Bill:
             20          None
             21      Other Special Clauses:
             22          None
             23      Utah Code Sections Affected:
             24      ENACTS:
             25          77-14-7, Utah Code Annotated 1953
             27      Be it enacted by the Legislature of the state of Utah:

             28          Section 1. Section 77-14-7 is enacted to read:
             29          77-14-7. Admission of crime lab report -- Objection by defendant -- Written
             30      notice requirements.
             31          (1) Notwithstanding any other provision of law, in all prosecutions in which an
             32      analysis of a controlled substance or other evidentiary sample was conducted, a copy of the
             33      analytical report signed by the director of the laboratory, or by the analyst or forensic scientist
             34      conducting the analysis, shall be admitted as prima facie evidence of the results of the
             35      analytical findings, and the chain of custody pertaining to that sample, unless the defendant has
             36      provided notice to the prosecutor of an objection not less than 60 days prior to trial. If the
             37      defendant intends to object at trial to the admission of a copy of an analytical report as
             38      provided in this section, the defendant shall file a timely written notice of the objection with
             39      the court and serve a copy of the notice on the prosecuting attorney.
             40          (2) If the defendant makes an objection, the defendant must specify sufficient legal and
             41      factual grounds for the objection to give the prosecution reasonable notice of the issues and to
             42      enable the court to determine appropriate proceedings to address them.
             43          (3) If the court sustains the defendant's objection, the court may order the prosecution
             44      to produce the witness, and continue the trial for a length of time the court considers reasonably
             45      necessary to prepare for and receive the testimony. The time within which a trial is required is
             46      extended by the length of the continuance.
             47          (4) If a defendant fails to raise an objection to the admission of a copy of an analytical
             48      report into evidence under Subsection (1), the defendant waives the right to have the affiant
             49      testify in court at the trial.

Legislative Review Note
    as of 1-21-10 3:38 PM

Office of Legislative Research and General Counsel

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