The Missouri State Highway Patrol (MSHP) recently released a synopsis of new state laws that have recently gone into effect after being passed by the Missouri Legislature during the last legislative session in Jefferson CIty and being signed by the governor. The abbreviated descriptions are intended to make the public aware of some of the new legislation enacted by the Missouri General Assembly which is related to crime and motor vehicles. Unless otherwise noted, these laws went into effect Aug. 28. According to the press release the patrol felt it important to make the public aware of several of these new laws or changes to increase public awareness and education. For a complete description of these newly enacted laws, visit the Missouri House of Representatives or Missouri Senate websites.

House Bill 1682, relating to medical marijuana edibles, (Section 195.805 RSMo.) prohibits the sale of edible marijuana-infused products, packaging, or logos in the shape of a human, animal, or fruit, but geometric shapes shall be permitted. Each package, or packages within a package, containing 10 or more milligrams of tetrahydrocannabinols (THC) shall be stamped with a universal symbol and the amount of THC, as described in the act.

Any medical marijuana licensed or certified entity regulated by the Department of Health and Senior Services found to have violated this provision shall be subject to sanctions, including an administrative penalty. The department shall promulgate rules regarding prohibiting edible marijuana-infused products designed to appeal to persons under 18 years of age, as well as developing a process by which a licensed or certified entity may seek approval of a product design, package, or label prior to manufacture or sale to determine compliance with these provisions.

House Bill 1896, relates to drug trafficking (Sections 579.065 and 579.068 RSMo.) and

adds to the offense of trafficking drugs in the first degree knowingly distributing, delivering, manufacturing, or producing or attempting to distribute, deliver, manufacture, or produce more than 10 milligrams of fentanyl or any derivative thereof, or any mixture or substance containing more than 10 milligrams of fentanyl or carfentanil, as a Class B felony and a Class A felony when the amount is 20 milligrams or more. Additionally, trafficking in the first degree of one or more grams of flunitrazepam or any amount of gamma-hydroxybutyric acid for the first offense shall be a Class B felony and a Class A felony for any second or subsequent offense.

This act adds to the offense of trafficking drugs in the second degree knowingly possessing or having under one's control, purchasing or attempting to purchase, or bringing into the state more than 10 milligrams of fentanyl or any derivative thereof, or any mixture or substance containing a detectable amount of fentanyl or carfentanil as a Class C felony and a Class B felony when the amount is 20 milligrams or more. Additionally, trafficking in the second degree of less than one gram of flunitrazepam shall be a Class C felony for the first offense and a Class B felony for any second or subsequent offense.

Finally, this act modifies current law for the Class B felony offense of trafficking of drugs in the first degree and the Class C felony offense of trafficking drugs in the second degree by removing the ceiling of the ranges of grams or milligrams of various controlled substances, including heroin, cocaine, LSD, PCP, phencyclidine, marijuana, and amphetamines and methamphetamines.

House Bill 1963 deals with off-highway vehicles (Sections 300.010, 301.010, 407.815, 407.1025 and 577.001 RSMo.).

According to the new law, This act provides that in addition to the other requirements specified in the definition, a vehicle need only meet the seating and handlebar requirements "or" the maximum width requirement to meet the definition of "all-terrain vehicle," and specifies that the width shall be measured from the outsides of the tire rims. These definitions are also modified to specify a maximum weight of 1,500 pounds rather than 600 pounds or rather than 1,000 pounds.

The act modifies the definition of "recreational off-highway vehicle" by specifying a maximum width of 80 inches, rather than 67 inches. The act provides that the width shall be measured from the outsides of the tire rims, and specifies a maximum unladen dry weight of 3,500 pounds rather than 2,000 pounds.

The definition of "utility vehicle" is modified to specify a maximum width of 80 inches, rather than 67 inches. The act also provides that the width shall be measured from the outsides of the tire rims, and specifies a maximum unladen dry weight of 3,500 pounds rather than 2,000 pounds.

The definition of owner is modified in relation to the transfer of motor vehicles in House Bill 1963, (Sections 301.010, 301.140, 301.190, 301.210, 301.213, 301.280 and 301.560 RSMo.).

The act modifies the definition of "owner" of a vehicle to include a person who has executed a buyer's order or retail installment sales contract with a licensed motor vehicle dealer when there is an immediate right for the buyer to possess the vehicle.

Operation of a motor vehicle with temporary license plates or license plates transferred from a trade-in shall be legal for no more than 60 days when a dealer sells the vehicle with an agreement for the delayed transfer of title as provided in the act.

Vehicle owners obtaining a vehicle as specified in the act shall apply for a certificate of title within 30 days of receiving title from the dealer.

A vehicle transfer shall be "presumed" fraudulent and void unless the vehicle's title is assigned and passed to the buyer at the time of transfer, or unless the parties have agreed to delayed delivery of title as provided in the act.

The act specifies that licensed motor vehicle dealers may deliver a motor vehicle or trailer to a purchaser with a written agreement to pass the certificate of ownership with an assignment to the purchaser within 30 days after delivery. The agreement shall be in a form prescribed by the Director of the Department of Revenue, shall provide that if the dealer does not pass the assigned certificate of ownership to the purchaser within 30 days, the purchase shall be voidable at the purchaser's option, and the dealer shall re-purchase the vehicle as provided in the act.

Motor vehicle registration periods (Section 301.030 RSMo.)

This act specifies that fees for the renewal of noncommercial motor vehicle registrations shall be payable no later than the last day of the month that follows the final month of the expired registration period. No renewal penalty shall be assessed, and no violation for expired registration shall be issued, until the second month that follows the expired registration period.

Fleet vehicle registration (Section 301.032 RSMo.)

This act provides that the registration for fleet vehicles shall be fully payable at the time the license plates are ordered, except that when the plates are ordered after the first month of registration, the fees shall be prorated.

Responsibilities of the MSHP (Sections 301.560 and 301.564 RSMo.)

This act replaces certain references to officers of the Missouri State Water Patrol with references to "authorized or designated employees" of the Missouri State Highway Patrol.

The act makes this change in a statute regarding the certification of a boat manufacturer's or boat dealer's bona fide place of business (Section 301.560 RSMo.), and in a statute regarding the inspection of certain documents and records (Section 301.564 RSMo.).

Motorcycle helmet law (Sections 302.020 and 302.026 RSMo.)

This act provides that persons under the age of 26 who are operating or riding as a passenger on a motorcycle or motortricycle shall wear a helmet when the vehicle is in motion. Similarly, a person who is 26 or older, is operating a motorcycle or motortricycle, and who has been issued an instruction permit shall wear a helmet when the vehicle is in motion. No political subdivision of the state shall impose a protective headgear requirement on the operator or passenger of a motorcycle or motortricycle. No person shall be stopped, inspected, or detained solely to determine compliance with these provisions.

The act also provides that qualified operators who are 26 or older may operate a motorcycle or motortricycle without a helmet if he or she is covered by a health insurance policy or other form of insurance which will provide the person with medical benefits for injuries incurred as a result of a motorcycle or motortricycle accident. Proof of such coverage shall be provided on request of law enforcement by showing a copy of the qualified operator's insurance card. No person shall be stopped, inspected, or detained solely to determine compliance with these provisions. (Section 302.026)

Digital driver’s licenses (Section 302.181.10 RSMo.)

This act authorizes the Department of Revenue to design and implement a secure digital driver's license program that allows license applicants to obtain a digital driver's license in addition to a card-based license. The digital license shall be accepted for all purposes for which a card-based license is used. Department of Revenue contracted entity(ies) may develop a mobile software application capable of being utilized through a person's electronic device to access the person's digital driver's license. The Department shall suspend, disable, or terminate a person's participation in the digital driver's license program if the driver's driving privilege is suspended, revoked, denied, withdrawn, or cancelled as provided by law, or if the person reports their electronic device has been lost, stolen, or compromised.

Commercial driver’s licenses (Sections 302.720 and 302.723 RSMo.)

This act provides for a process by which commercial driver's license applicants with disabilities may request testing accommodations for the written and driving tests, and specifies that the accommodations shall state that a hearing test shall not be required for applicants who are deaf or hard of hearing. These provisions shall be null and void if the United States Secretary of Transportation determines they will result in a loss of federal highway funding.

The act also specifies that any entity providing training to persons preparing to apply for a CDL shall provide reasonable accommodations for persons who are deaf or hard of hearing. These provisions shall be null and void if the United States Secretary of Transportation determines they or the provisions relating to disabled applicants requesting testing accommodations will result in a loss of federal highway funding.

Temporary boating safety ID cards (Section 306.127 RSMo.)

This act extends, from Dec. 31, 2022, to Dec. 31, 2032, the sunset date for provisions regarding the issuance of temporary boating safety identification cards.

Mud flap requirements (Section 307.015 RSMO.)

This act raises, from eight inches to 12 inches, the maximum distance from the ground to which the bottom edge of dump trucks' mud flaps is required to extend.

Senate Bill 569 creates the “Justice for Survivors Act” (Sections 192.2520 and 197.135 RSMo.) which directs the Department of Health and Senior Services to establish a statewide telehealth network for forensic examinations of victims of sexual offenses by July 1, 2022. This act requires any licensed hospital, by Jan.1, 2023, to perform a forensic examination using an evidentiary collection kit upon the request and consent of a victim of a sexual offense 14 years of age or older or the victim's guardian. Victims under 14 years of age shall be referred to a SAFE CARE provider. Nothing in this act shall be interpreted to prevent a hospital from performing a forensic examination for a minor under 14 years of age upon the minor or guardian's request in accordance with state law and regulations.

Sexual Assault Survivors’ Bill of Rights (Section 595.220 RSMo.) provides certain specified rights to survivors of sexual assault during any forensic examination and during any interview by a law enforcement official, prosecuting attorney, or defense attorney, including the right to consult with employees or volunteers of rape crisis centers during any examination or interview, the right to receive notice of these rights prior to an examination or interview, the right to a prompt analysis of the forensic evidence, and other specified rights.

Missouri Rights of Victims of Sexual Assault Task Force (Section 595.202 RSMo.) is created and membership set forth in the act. The task force shall make certain recommendations; collect data regarding sexual assault reporting, arrest, prosecution rates, access to sexual assault victims’ services, and any other important data; and collect feedback from stakeholders, practitioners, and leadership throughout the state and local law enforcement, victim services, forensic science practitioners, and health care communities.

Evidentiary collection kits (Section 595.220 RSMo.)

This act modified current law regarding procedures for tracking evidentiary collection kits. This act requires such victims to register with the system to track and obtain reports on the status and location of their kits through a secure web-based or similar system. Appropriate medical providers, law enforcement agencies, laboratories, court personnel, persons or entities involved in the final disposition or destruction of the kits, and all other entities and persons having custody of the kits shall participate in the tracking system.

Unreported kits shall be retained for five years, except in the case of minor victims, which sets the retention period as until five years after the victim reaches 18 years of age. Finally, records entered into the electronic tracking system shall be confidential and not subject to disclosure under state law.

Senate Bill 600

This bill modifies and creates provisions relating to dangerous felonies. If two or more defendants are charged with being joint participants in a conspiracy, it is presumed there is no substantial prejudice in charging both defendants in the same indictment or being tried together. A person cannot be convicted of an offense based upon a conspiracy to commit the offense unless he or she committed an overt act. (Refer to Chapter 2 of the Missouri Criminal Code for further guidance definitions on crimes involving conspiracy.)

This act modifies provisions regarding conspiracy to create the offense of conspiracy if a person agrees, with one or more persons, to commit any Class A, B, or C felonies, or any unclassified felonies that exceed 10 years of imprisonment, and one or more persons do any act in furtherance of the agreement. The offense of conspiracy to commit an offense is a Class C felony.

Additionally, this act repeals the provisions barring a person from being charged, convicted, or sentenced for both the conspiracy to commit the offense and the actual offense.

Senate Bill 600 adds to the definition of "dangerous felony" the offense of armed criminal action, the offense of conspiracy to commit an offense when the offense is a dangerous felony, and the offense of vehicle hijacking when punished as a Class A felony.

Vehicle hijacking (Section 570.027 RSMo.)

This act creates the offense of vehicle hijacking, which is committed when an individual knowingly uses or threatens the use of physical force upon another individual to seize or attempt to seize possession or control of a vehicle. This offense is punished as a Class B felony unless one of the aggravating circumstances listed in the act was present during the commission of the offense, in which case it is punished as a Class A felony.

Senate Bill 600 changes the prison term for armed criminal action to three to 15 years for the first offense, five to 30 years for the second offense, and at least 10 years for any subsequent offense. These prison terms shall be served in addition to and consecutive to any punishment for the crime committed with the use of a deadly weapon. Additionally, this act provides that if the person convicted of armed criminal action is unlawfully possessing a firearm, the minimum prison term for the first offense is five years and the second offense and third offense is 15 years.

Senate Bill 600 increases the penalty for unlawful possession of a firearm by a person convicted of a dangerous felony from a Class D to a Class C felony.

Criminal street gangs (Sections 578.419 to 578.439 RSMo.)

Senate Bill 600 also establishes the "Missouri Criminal Street Gangs Prevention Act."

The act modifies the definition of a "criminal street gang" by defining such an organization to have as one of its motivating, rather than primary, activities the commission of one or more criminal acts. The definition of "pattern of criminal street gang activity" is modified to include "dangerous felony" as one of the offenses that would constitute a pattern.

This act changes the mental state and penalty for any person who is convicted of a felony or misdemeanor which is committed for the benefit of, at the direction of, or in association with, a criminal street gang. This act provides that such action must be with the purpose, rather than specific intent, to promote, further, or assist in any criminal conduct by gang members. The act repeals the applicability of this provision to a misdemeanor.

A person convicted under this act shall serve a term in addition and consecutive to the punishment for the felony conviction a term of two years, unless the felony is committed within 1,000 feet of a school then the term shall be three years. Finally, if a person is convicted of a dangerous felony under this act, he or she shall be punished by an additional five years.

Senate Bill 656, among other things, creates thespecial Purple Heart license plates (Section 301.451 RSMo.).

A recipient of the Purple Heart medal may acquire a Purple Heart special license plate at no charge for the first set of license plates issued. The Purple Heart recipient will be charged only regular registration fees for a second or subsequent set of such plate. Under the act, any registered co-owner of the vehicle shall be entitled to use and renew the plates until he or she remarries, or for the rest of his or her life if he or she does not remarry.

Central Missouri honor Flight special license plate (Section 301.3069 RSMo.)

This act establishes a "Central Missouri Honor Flight" special license plate. The plate requires an annual emblem-use fee of $25, paid to Central Missouri Honor Flight and to be used for financial assistance to transport veterans to Washington, D.C., to view veteran memorials, in addition to the $15 special personalized license plate fee and other requirements and fees as provided by law.

Meritorious Service Medal special license plates (Section 301.3159 RSMo.)

This act establishes a "Meritorious Service Medal" special license plate. Applicants shall provide proof of having been awarded the medal as required by the director of the Department of Revenue. There shall be an additional fee for issuance of the plates equal to the $15 special personalized license plate fee. Meritorious Service Medal license plates shall not be transferable to any other person, except that any registered co-owner of the motor vehicle shall be entitled to operate the motor vehicle with such plates for the duration of the year licensed in the event of the death of the qualified person.