HB 201-FN - AS INTRODUCED
HOUSE BILL 201-FN
SPONSORS: Rep. Massimilla, Graf. 1; Rep. Mangipudi, Hills. 35; Rep. T. Smith, Hills. 17; Rep. Ebel, Merr. 5; Rep. Katsakiores, Rock. 6; Rep. Klee, Hills. 30; Rep. Hennessey, Graf. 1
COMMITTEE: Criminal Justice and Public Safety
This bill changes the penalty for a person who pays to engage in sexual contact with another person under the age of 18 who is a victim of human trafficking.
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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Matter which is either (a) all new or (b) repealed and reenacted appears in regular type.
STATE OF NEW HAMPSHIRE
In the Year of Our Lord Two Thousand Nineteen
Be it Enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Court convened:
III-a. A person is guilty of a [class B] class A felony if the person pays, agrees to pay, or offers to pay to engage in sexual contact, as defined in RSA 632-A:1 or sexual penetration, as defined in RSA 632-A:1, V with a person under the age of 18, or to observe a sexually explicit performance involving a person under the age of 18. The payment or offer or agreement to pay may be made to the person under the age of 18 or a third party. Neither the actor's lack of knowledge of the other person's age nor consent of the other person shall constitute a defense to a charge under this paragraph.
HB 201-FN- FISCAL NOTE
FISCAL IMPACT: [ X ] State [ X ] County [ ] Local [ ] None
Estimated Increase / (Decrease)
[ X ] General [ ] Education [ ] Highway [ ] Other
This bill would change the classification of an offense for trafficking in persons under RSA 633:7, III-a from a class B to a class A felony. The Judicial Branch indicates felonies in the superior court are classified as either complex criminal cases or routine criminal cases. The last New Hampshire Judicial Needs Assessment completed in 2005 did not account for the offense of trafficking in persons because the offense of trafficking in persons was enacted in 2009 and the specific offense in RSA 633:7, III-a was enacted in 2016. The Branch states it is the offense itself, and not the felony (A vs. B) which determines fiscal impact. The Branch has provided estimated average cost information for both classifications:
Routine Criminal Felony Case
Complex Criminal Case
It should be noted that average case cost estimates for FY 2020 and FY 2021 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.
The Judicial Council states there may be additional costs to the indigent defense delivery system for any higher level felony cases that need to be handled by either contract attorneys or assigned counsel, the potential costs are too speculative and small to reliably estimate.
The Department of Corrections states it currently has 8 individuals incarcerated under RSA 633:7, III-a. It is unclear if additional people would be incarcerated with the proposed enhanced penalty. The cost information provided by the Department is as follows:
Department of Corrections
FY 2018 Average Cost of Incarcerating an Individual
FY 2018 Annual Marginal Cost of a General Population Inmate
FY 2018 Average Cost of Supervising an Individual on Parole/Probation
The potential impact on county expenditures is unknown, however the New Hampshire Association of Counties has provided the following cost information:
NH Association of Counties
County Prosecution Costs
Estimated Average Daily Cost of Incarcerating an Individual
$105 to $120
$105 to $120
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.
Judicial Branch, Judicial Council, Departments of Corrections and Justice
|Jan. 2, 2019||Introduced 01/02/2019 and referred to Criminal Justice and Public Safety HJ 2 P. 41|
|Jan. 9, 2019||==RECESSED== Public Hearing: 01/09/2019 11:00 am LOB 204|
|Jan. 15, 2019||==CONTINUED== Public Hearing: 01/15/2019 11:30 am LOB 204|
|Jan. 17, 2019||==CANCELLED== Executive Session: 01/17/2019 11:00 am LOB 204|
|Jan. 22, 2019||Subcommittee Work Session: 01/22/2019 09:00 am LOB 104|
|Jan. 30, 2019||==CANCELLED== Executive Session: 01/30/2019 10:00 am LOB 204|
|Feb. 7, 2019||==RESCHEDULED== Executive Session: 02/07/2019 10:00 am LOB 204|
|Retained in Committee|
|Jan. 9, 2019||House||Hearing|
|Jan. 15, 2019||House||Hearing|
|Jan. 17, 2019||House||Exec Session|
|Jan. 30, 2019||House||Exec Session|
|Feb. 7, 2019||House||Exec Session|