SB318 (2014)

Establishing the crime of domestic violence.


Status: HOUSE: IN COMMITTEE (Details)
Length: 1020 words.

Revisions of this bill in our system:

 HouseSenate
Public hearing:(unscheduled) 2014-01-14 00:00:00
Executive session:(unscheduled)(unscheduled)
Floor vote:(unscheduled)2014-02-13 00:00:00

SB 318-FN – AS AMENDED BY THE SENATE

02/13/14 0411s

2014 SESSION

14-2811

05/10

SENATE BILL 318-FN

AN ACT establishing the crime of domestic violence.

SPONSORS: Sen. Soucy, Dist 18; Sen. Boutin, Dist 16; Sen. Watters, Dist 4; Sen. Hosmer, Dist?7; Sen. Odell, Dist 8; Sen. Cataldo, Dist 6; Rep. Cushing, Rock 21; Rep.?G.?Chandler, Carr 1; Rep. S. Chandley, Hills 22; Rep. Shurtleff, Merr 11; Rep. Charron, Rock 4

COMMITTEE: Judiciary

ANALYSIS

This bill establishes the crime of domestic violence.

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Explanation: Matter added to current law appears in bold italics.

Matter removed from current law appears [in brackets and struckthrough.]

Matter which is either (a) all new or (b) repealed and reenacted appears in regular type.

02/13/14 0411s

14-2811

05/10

STATE OF NEW HAMPSHIRE

In the Year of Our Lord Two Thousand Fourteen

AN ACT establishing the crime of domestic violence.

Be it Enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Court convened:

1 Name of Act. This act shall be known as “Joshua’s law.”

2 New Section; Crime of Domestic Violence. Amend RSA 631 by inserting after section 2-a the following new section:

631:2-b Domestic Violence.

I. A person is guilty of domestic violence if the person commits any of the following against a family or household member or intimate partner:

(a) Purposely or knowingly causes bodily injury or unprivileged physical contact against another by use of physical force;

(b) Recklessly causes bodily injury to another by use of physical force;

(c) Negligently causes bodily injury to another by means of a deadly weapon;

(d) Uses or attempts to use physical force, or by physical conduct threatens to use a deadly weapon for the purpose of placing another in fear of imminent bodily injury;

(e) Threatens to use a deadly weapon against another person for the purpose to terrorize that person;

(f) Coerces or forces another to submit to sexual contact by using physical force or physical violence;

(g) Threatens to use physical force or physical violence to cause another to submit to sexual contact and the victim believes the actor has the present ability to execute the threat;

(h) Threatens to use a deadly weapon to cause another to submit to sexual contact and the victim believes the actor has the present ability to carry out the threat;

(i) Confines another unlawfully, as defined in RSA 633:2, by means of physical force or the threatened use of a deadly weapon, so as to interfere substantially with his or her physical movement;

(j) Knowingly violates a term of a protective order issued pursuant to RSA 173-B:4, I by means of the use or attempted use of physical force or the threatened use of a deadly weapon;

(k) Uses physical force or the threatened use of a deadly weapon against another to block that person’s access to any cell phone, telephone, or electronic communication device with the purpose of preventing, obstructing, or interfering with:

(1) The report of any criminal offense, bodily injury, or property damage to a law enforcement agency; or

(2) A request for an ambulance or emergency medical assistance to any law enforcement agency or emergency medical provider.

II. Domestic violence is a class A misdemeanor unless the person uses or threatens to use a deadly weapon as defined in RSA 625:11, V, in the commission of an offense, in which case it is a class B felony.

III. For purposes of this section:

(a) “Family or household member” means:

(1) The actor’s spouse or former spouse;

(2) A person with whom the actor is cohabiting as a spouse, parent, or guardian;

(3) A person with whom the actor cohabited as a spouse, parent, or guardian but no longer shares the same residence;

(4) An adult with whom the actor is related by blood or marriage; or

(5) A person with whom the actor shares a child in common.

(b) “Intimate partner” means a person with whom the actor is currently or was formerly involved in a romantic relationship, regardless of whether or not the relationship was sexually consummated.

IV. Upon conviction and sentencing, the court shall document on the sentencing form the specific nature of the relationship between the defendant and the victim, by reference to subparagraphs III(a)(1)-(5) and III(b).

3 New Paragraph; First Degree Assault. Amend RSA 631:1 by inserting after paragraph II the following new paragraph:

III. Upon proof that the victim and defendant were intimate partners or family or household members, as those terms are defined in RSA 631:2-b, III, a conviction under this section shall be recorded as “First Degree Assault – Domestic Violence.”

4 New Paragraph; Second Degree Assault. Amend RSA 631:2 by inserting after paragraph II the following new paragraph:

III. Upon proof that the victim and defendant were intimate partners or family or household members, as those terms are defined in RSA 631:2-b, III, a conviction under this section shall be recorded as “Second Degree Assault – Domestic Violence.”

5 New Paragraph; Reckless Conduct. Amend RSA 631:3 by inserting after paragraph III the following new paragraph:

IV. Upon proof that the victim and defendant were intimate partners or family or household members, as those terms are defined in RSA 631:2-b, III, a conviction under this section shall be recorded as “Reckless Conduct – Domestic Violence.”

6 New Paragraph; Aggravated Felonious Sexual Assault. Amend RSA 632-A:2 by inserting after paragraph IV the following new paragraph:

V. Upon proof that the victim and defendant were intimate partners or family or household members, as those terms are defined in RSA 631:2-b, III, a conviction under this section shall be recorded as “Aggravated Felonious Sexual Assault – Domestic Violence.”

7 New Paragraph; Felonious Sexual Assault. Amend RSA 632-A:3 by inserting after paragraph IV the following new paragraph:

V. Upon proof that the victim and defendant were intimate partners or family or household members, as those terms are defined in RSA 631:2-b, III, a conviction under this section shall be recorded as “Felonious Sexual Assault – Domestic Violence.”

8 New Paragraph; Sexual Assault. Amend RSA 632-A:4 by inserting after paragraph III the following new paragraph:

IV. Upon proof that the victim and defendant were intimate partners or family or household members, as those terms are defined in RSA 631:2-b, III, a conviction under this section shall be recorded as “Sexual Assault – Domestic Violence.”

9 New Paragraph; Kidnapping. Amend RSA 633:1 by inserting after paragraph II the following new paragraph:

III. Upon proof that the victim and defendant were intimate partners or family or household members, as those terms are defined in RSA 631:2-b, III, a conviction under this section shall be recorded as “Kidnapping – Domestic Violence.”

10 New Paragraph; Stalking. Amend RSA 633:3-a by inserting after paragraph VII the following new paragraph:

VIII. Upon proof that the victim and defendant were intimate partners or family or household members, as those terms are defined in RSA 631:2-b, III, a conviction under this section shall be recorded as “Stalking – Domestic Violence.”

11 Effective Date. This act shall take effect January 1, 2015.

LBAO

14-2811

Amended 02/20/14

SB 318-FN FISCAL NOTE

AN ACT establishing the crime of domestic violence.

FISCAL IMPACT:

      The Judicial Branch, Judicial Council, Department of Corrections, and New Hampshire Association of Counties state this bill, as amended by the Senate (Amendment #2014-0411s), may increase state and county expenditures by an indeterminable amount in FY 2015 and each year thereafter. There will be no fiscal impact on local expenditures, or state, county, and local revenue.

METHODOLOGY:

    The Judicial Branch states this bill establishes the crime of domestic violence by adding RSA 631:2-b as well as adding a new subparagraph to several other crimes to label them with “domestic violence” after the name of the offense. The Branch states this bill may not result in a change in the number of cases handled by the Branch, as it just re-labels criminal activity resulting from a domestic situation. On the assumption this bill would neither add nor remove cases from the Branch’s caseload, it is expected to have no fiscal impact. The Branch states it may have a fiscal impact of less than $10,000 associated with making changes to some forms and ensuring the superior court captures the domestic violence related crimes in its system. The Branch states it already has the functionality to capture domestic violence related crimes in the circuit court.

    The Judicial Council states this bill does not create any new criminal offenses nor does it increase or decrease most of the penalties for offenses that are already crimes. The Council assumes some misdemeanor offenses that are now brought as class B misdemeanors will be filed as class A misdemeanors. The Council states this bill may result in an indeterminable increase in general fund expenditures if an individual is found to be indigent and the public defender program is unable to provide representation. The majority of the cases (approximately 85%) are handled by the public defender program, with the remaining cases going to contract attorneys (14%) or assigned counsel (1%). The public defender program is appropriated monies that it expends according to the terms of its contract with the Council, of which the proposed changes in this bill would not impact. The Council states if the public defender program is not used then a contract attorney is used, charging a flat fee of $275 per misdemeanor case. If an assigned counsel attorney is used the fee is $60 per hour with a cap of $1,400 for a misdemeanor charge.

    The Department of Corrections states it is not able to determine the fiscal impact of this bill because it does not have sufficient information to predict the number of individuals who would be subject to this legislation. The Department states the average annual cost of incarcerating an individual in the general prison population for the fiscal year ending June 30, 2013 was $32,872. The cost to supervise an individual by the Department’s division of field services for the fiscal year ending June 30, 2013 was $570.

    The New Hampshire Association of Counties states to the extent individuals are charged, convicted, and sentenced to incarceration in a county correctional facility, the counties will have expenditures. The Association is unable to determine the number of individuals who may be charged, convicted or incarcerated as a result of this bill to determine an exact fiscal impact. The average annual cost to incarcerate an individual in a county correctional facility is approximately $35,000. There is no impact on county revenue.

    The Department of Justice states this bill will not have a fiscal impact on the Department because such offenses are typically prosecuted by local and county prosecutors not the Department and any appeals for a conviction for such an offense could be handled within the Department’s existing budget.