Bill Text - SB276 (2012)

(2nd New Title) establishing the vandalizing or defacing of state or municipal property as criminal mischief.


Revision: May 18, 2012, midnight

SB 276-FN – VERSION ADOPTED BY BOTH BODIES

03/28/12 1370s

9May2012… 1879h

2012 SESSION

12-2873

04/09

SENATE BILL 276-FN

AN ACT establishing the vandalizing or defacing of state or municipal property as criminal mischief.

SPONSORS: Sen. Stiles, Dist 24; Sen. De Blois, Dist 18; Sen. Barnes, Jr., Dist 17; Sen. Boutin, Dist 16; Sen. Bradley, Dist 3; Sen. Carson, Dist 14; Sen. D'Allesandro, Dist 20; Sen. Forrester, Dist 2; Sen. Gallus, Dist 1; Sen. Lambert, Dist 13; Sen. Luther, Dist 12; Sen. Odell, Dist 8; Sen. Prescott, Dist 23; Sen. Rausch, Dist 19; Sen. Sanborn, Dist 7; Sen. White, Dist 9; Rep. Infantine, Hills 13; Rep. Waddell, Rock 15; Rep. Nevins, Rock 15; Rep. Pantelakos, Rock 16; Rep. Bettencourt, Rock 4

COMMITTEE: Judiciary

AMENDED ANALYSIS

This bill establishes the vandalizing or defacing of state or municipal property as criminal mischief.

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Matter which is either (a) all new or (b) repealed and reenacted appears in regular type.

03/28/12 1370s

9May2012… 1879h

12-2873

04/09

STATE OF NEW HAMPSHIRE

In the Year of Our Lord Two Thousand Twelve

AN ACT establishing the vandalizing or defacing of state or municipal property as criminal mischief.

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

1 Destruction of Property; Criminal Mischief. Amend RSA 634:2, VI to read as follows:

VI. Any person who is found guilty of criminal mischief under paragraph III of this section because he or she has vandalized, defaced, or destroyed any part of state or municipal property, [the “Old Man of the Mountain”] or any natural geological formation, site, or rock surface located on public property that has been designated by the state or any of its political subdivisions or the federal government as a natural area or landmark shall be guilty of a class A misdemeanor and shall also make restitution [to the state] for any damage he or she has caused.

2 Effective Date. This act shall take effect January 1, 2013.

LBAO

12-2873

Revised 01/09/12

SB 276 FISCAL NOTE

AN ACT establishing the vandalizing or defacing of state or municipal property as criminal mischief.

FISCAL IMPACT:

      The Judicial Branch, Judicial Council, and New Hampshire Association of Counties state this bill may decrease state and county expenditures by an indeterminable amount in FY 2013 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 makes purposely vandalizing or defacing state, municipal or commercial property a class B misdemeanor with a mandatory $1,000 fine. The Branch states the actions proposed by this bill already constitute criminal mischief as defined in RSA 634;2,II-b, therefore it does not add any new cases to the caseload of the Branch. This bill may decrease state general fund expenditures for the Branch as this bill may lower the level of some offenses since criminal mischief is now a class B felony if damages are in excess of $1,500, and a class A misdemeanor if damages are in excess of $100 and not more than $1,500. The Branch has no information on the number of criminal mischief offenses that could be affected by this bill to determine the exact fiscal impact.

    The Judicial Council states this bill will result in an indeterminable decrease in state general fund expenditures. The Council states to the extent this bill results in fewer misdemeanor offenses where the right to counsel would exist, costs will decrease. The Council states if an individual is found to be indigent, the flat fee of $275 per misdemeanor is charged by a public defender or contract attorney. If an assigned counsel attorney is used the fee is $60 per hour with a cap of $1,400 for a misdemeanor charge. The Council also states there may not be additional costs associated with appeals.

    The New Hampshire Association of Counties states to the extent less individuals are charged, convicted, and sentenced to incarceration in a county correctional facility, the counties may have decreased expenditures. The Association is unable to determine the number of individuals who may not 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 the criminal offense, a class B misdemeanor, created by this bill is typically prosecuted by the county attorney and will have no fiscal impact on the Department.

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