HB1678 (2018) Detail

Reducing the penalty for certain first offense drug possession charges.


HB 1678-FN - AS INTRODUCED

 

 

2018 SESSION

18-2678

08/04

 

HOUSE BILL 1678-FN

 

AN ACT reducing the penalty for certain first offense drug possession charges.

 

SPONSORS: Rep. Hynes, Hills. 21; Rep. Zaricki, Hills. 6

 

COMMITTEE: Criminal Justice and Public Safety

 

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ANALYSIS

 

This bill reduces the penalty for certain first offense drug possession charges.

 

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Matter which is either (a) all new or (b) repealed and reenacted appears in regular type.

18-2678

08/04

 

STATE OF NEW HAMPSHIRE

 

In the Year of Our Lord Two Thousand Eighteen

 

AN ACT reducing the penalty for certain first offense drug possession charges.

 

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

 

1  First Offense Drug Charges; Penalties  RSA 318-B:26, II(a) is repealed and reenacted to read as follows:

(a)  In the case of a controlled drug or its analog, the person shall be guilty of a misdemeanor, except that any person who commits any such violation after one or more prior offenses as defined in RSA 318-B:27 may be sentenced to a felony or misdemeanor at the discretion of the sentencing court.  

2  Effective Date.  This act shall take effect January 1, 2019.

 

LBAO

18-2678

11/6/17

 

HB 1678-FN- FISCAL NOTE

AS INTRODUCED

 

AN ACT reducing the penalty for certain first offense drug possession charges.

 

FISCAL IMPACT:      [ X ] State              [ X ] County               [    ] Local              [    ] None

 

 

 

Estimated Increase / (Decrease)

STATE:

FY 2019

FY 2020

FY 2021

FY 2022

   Appropriation

$0

$0

$0

$0

   Revenue

$0

$0

$0

$0

   Expenditures

Indeterminable Decrease

Indeterminable Decrease

Indeterminable Decrease

Indeterminable Decrease

Funding Source:

  [ X ] General            [    ] Education            [    ] Highway           [    ] Other

 

 

 

 

 

COUNTY:

 

 

 

 

   Revenue

$0

$0

$0

$0

   Expenditures

Indeterminable Decrease

Indeterminable Decrease

Indeterminable Decrease

Indeterminable Decrease

 

 

 

 

 

METHODOLOGY:

This bill contains penalties that may have an impact on the New Hampshire judicial and correctional systems.  There is no method to determine how many charges would be brought as a result of the changes contained in this bill to determine the fiscal impact on expenditures.  However, the entities impacted have provided the potential costs associated with these penalties below.

 

Judicial Branch

FY 2019

FY 2020

Class B Misdemeanor

$50

$51

Class A Misdemeanor

$72

$73

Routine Criminal Felony Case

$457

$462

Appeals

Varies

Varies

It should be noted that average case cost estimates for FY 2019 and FY 2020 are based on data that is more than ten years old and does not reflect changes to the courts over that same period of time or the impact these changes may have on processing the various case types.  An unspecified misdemeanor can be either class A or class B, with the presumption being a class B misdemeanor.

Department of Corrections

 

 

FY 2017 Average Cost of Incarcerating an Individual

$36,960

$36,960

FY 2017 Annual Marginal Cost of a General Population Inmate

$4,555

$4,555

FY 2017 Average Cost of Supervising an Individual on Parole/Probation

$557

$557

NH Association of Counties

 

 

County Prosecution Costs

Indeterminable

Indeterminable

Estimated Average Daily Cost of Incarcerating an Individual

$85 to $110

$85 to $110

 

Many offenses are prosecuted by local and county prosecutors.  When the Department of Justice has investigative and prosecutorial responsibility or is involved in an appeal, the Department would likely absorb the cost within its existing budget.  If the Department needs to prosecute significantly more cases or handle more appeals, then costs may increase by an indeterminable amount.  

 

The Judicial Council indicates the average felony takes significantly longer to resolve than an average misdemeanor.  However, because of the higher stakes involved, drug cases charged as misdemeanors would still require the Public Defender attorneys to invest substantial time.  The Council assumes the misdemeanor drug cases would be litigated just as if they were felonies and the bill would not result in significant savings.

 

AGENCIES CONTACTED:

Judicial Branch, Departments of Corrections and Justice, Judicial Council and New Hampshire Association of Counties

 

Links

HB1678 at GenCourtMobile

Action Dates

Date Body Type
Jan. 18, 2018 House Hearing
Feb. 6, 2018 House Exec Session
House Floor Vote
March 6, 2018 House Floor Vote
March 15, 2018 House Floor Vote

Bill Text Revisions

HB1678 Revision: 2276 Date: Nov. 13, 2017, 1:34 p.m.

Docket

Date Status
Jan. 3, 2018 Introduced 01/03/2018 and referred to Criminal Justice and Public Safety HJ 1 P. 19
Jan. 18, 2018 Public Hearing: 01/18/2018 11:20 AM LOB 204
Feb. 6, 2018 Executive Session: 02/06/2018 LOB 204
March 6, 2018 Committee Report: Inexpedient to Legislate for 03/06/2018 (Vote 18-1; CC) HC 9 P. 12
Committee Report: Inexpedient to Legislate (Vote 18-1; CC)
March 6, 2018 Removed from Consent (Rep. Hynes) 03/06/2018 HJ 6 P. 4
March 6, 2018 Suspend House Rule 65 (Reps. Hinch, Shurtleff): MA VV by necessary two-thirds vote 03/06/2018 HJ 6 P. 125
Special Order to 3/15/2018 Without Objection HJ 7 P. 49
March 15, 2018 Suspend House Rule 65; extending deadline for action to 3/22/2018 (Reps. Hinch, Shurtleff): MA VV by necessary two-thirds vote 03/15/2018 HJ 8 P. 69
March 22, 2018 Inexpedient to Legislate: MA RC 227-108 03/22/2018 HJ 10 P. 10