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  • Summary date: May 27 2014 - View Summary

    Amends GS 7A-304(a), concerning costs in criminal actions, providing that the court can order fees in the amount of $600, to be remitted for the reimbursement and support of a prosecutorial district for the services of any private hospital performing toxicological testing under contract with that prosecutorial district. Limits when the cost can be assessed as in cases where the laboratory has performed testing of bodily fluids of the defendant for the presence of alcohol or other controlled substances as part of the investigation leading to the defendant's conviction. Also required for reimbursement is a finding by the court that the work performed by the local hospital is equivalent to the work performed by the NC State Crime Laboratory.

    Further provides that costs can be ordered by the court for expert witnesses that are employed by the private hospitals to perform toxicological testing and that also provide testimony about that analysis in a trial in the amount of $600. This amount is in addition to any costs awarded pursuant to the above section for hospital reimbursement.

    Directs the Administrative Office of the Courts (AOC) and the Conference of District Attorneys to evaluate the contracts between prosecutorial districts and private hospitals performing the tests in order to recommend a reasonable limitation for the amount to be paid under the contract per each test performed. Directs the AOC to report its recommendations to the chairs of the Joint Legislative Oversight Committee on Justice and Public Safety, the chairs of the Senate Appropriations Committee on Justice and Public Safety, and to the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Justice and Public Safety by February 1, 2015.

    Makes conforming changes.

    Effective July 1, 2014, applying to fees assessed or collected on or after that date.