Bill Passes Committee Requiring Sex Offender Suspects to Test for HIV
Sex Offender Convictions
In addition to social stigmatization, registering for the sex offenders list, fines, and incarceration, a sex crime conviction in Utah also requires the offender to undergo a HIV test. The mandatory test was designed to inform the victims of sex crimes of the possibility of contracting the terrible disease. HIV tests invade the privacy of the sex offender but are administered only when the offender has been proven in court that he or she has committed a sex crime.
Proposed Change to Sex Crime Law
Currently in Utah, HIV tests may only be administered upon a conviction of a sex crime. One Utah legislator is seeking to broaden the state’s power to invade the privacy of an individual by allowing a suspect, not just a convict, to be tested for HIV. If passed, House Bill 324 would allow a court to order a person suspected of a sex offense to undergo an invasive HIV test. This alarming bill would severely invade individual privacy rights without the due process of law. Unfortunately, this bill is quickly on its way to becoming law with its passage in a house committee today.
The bill would not make it mandatory upon suspects to undergo testing, but a judge would have a large amount of discretion in deciding when to order the testing. A prosecutor need only show probable cause that a person committed the sexual offense for the HIV test to be ordered. In other words, instead of requiring the state to prove that someone committed a sex crime, the prosecutor need only show that a person could have done it and the test can be ordered. Unfortunately, probable cause can be easy to show even if one has been accused falsely of a sexual offense. Requiring a suspect, and not a convict, to test for HIV invades a person’s privacy and stigmatizes a person who has not been found guilty of a crime.
Protect Your Rights if Accused of a Sex Offense
House Bill 324 still has several hurdles before it is passed by the legislature and becomes a law, but its chances of becoming a law seem to be likely. To be accused of a sexual offense is a terrible ordeal that can destroy the good reputation of those who have struggled so hard to build their good character. Allowing the state to also force suspects to test for HIV would only make the accusations more detrimental.
Hopefully, HB324 will not become law. If it does become law, however, the experienced attorneys at the law firm of the Salcido Law Firm will fight hard to protect your rights from being invaded by the state. The lawyers at Salcido Law Firm fight hard everyday to protect their clients who have been accused of sex crimes. Call them today at 801.618.1334 if you have been accused of any sexual offense and they will fight hard to protect your rights.