Bill Text - HB425 (2019)

Revision: Jan. 8, 2019, 8:37 a.m.

HB 425-FN - AS INTRODUCED

 

 

2019 SESSION

19-0637

11/04

 

HOUSE BILL 425-FN

 

AN ACT relative to vulnerable users of highways.

 

SPONSORS: Rep. Karrick, Merr. 25

 

COMMITTEE: Criminal Justice and Public Safety

 

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ANALYSIS

 

This bill increases the penalty for vehicular assault when the victim is a vulnerable user.

 

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Matter which is either (a) all new or (b) repealed and reenacted appears in regular type.

19-0637

11/

 

STATE OF NEW HAMPSHIRE

 

In the Year of Our Lord Two Thousand Nineteen

 

AN ACT relative to vulnerable users of highways.

 

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

 

1  Vehicular Assault.  Amend RSA 265:79-a to read as follows:

265:79-a  Vehicular Assault.

I.  Any person who causes death or serious bodily injury as defined in RSA 625:11, VI to another while using a vessel or propelled vehicle as defined in RSA 637:9, III shall be guilty of a class A misdemeanor, where such person's negligent operation of the propelled vehicle or vessel causes or materially contributes to the collision[.], or guilty of a class B felony where such person's unlawful operation of the propelled vehicle or vessel causes or materially contributes to the collision and the victim is a vulnerable user as defined in paragraph II.

II.  In this section "vulnerable user" means:

(a)  A pedestrian, including a person engaged in work in or along a highway or engaged in the provision of emergency services within a right-of-way.

(b)  A person riding an animal.

(c)  A person lawfully operating any of the following on a way or the shoulder of a way:  bicycle, implement of husbandry, skateboard, roller skates, in-line skates, scooter, moped, motorcycle, horse-drawn carriage, electric personal assistive mobility device, or wheelchair.

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

 

LBAO

19-0637

12/28/18

 

HB 425-FN- FISCAL NOTE

AS INTRODUCED

 

AN ACT relative to vulnerable users of highways.

 

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

 

 

 

Estimated Increase / (Decrease)

STATE:

FY 2020

FY 2021

FY 2022

FY 2023

   Appropriation

$0

$0

$0

$0

   Revenue

$0

$0

$0

$0

   Expenditures

Indeterminable Increase

Indeterminable Increase

Indeterminable Increase

Indeterminable Increase

Funding Source:

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

 

 

 

 

 

COUNTY:

 

 

 

 

   Revenue

$0

$0

$0

$0

   Expenditures

Indeterminable Increase

Indeterminable Increase

Indeterminable Increase

Indeterminable Increase

 

 

 

 

 

METHODOLOGY:

This bill increases the penalty for vehicle assault from a misdemeanor to a class B felony under two conditions: 1) the victim is a vulnerable user as defined in this bill; and 2) the operation of the propelled vehicle or vessel was unlawful. The Department of Safety reports this bill will have no fiscal impact on their operations.  However, this bill contains penalties that may have an impact of the New Hampshire judicial and correctional system.  There is no method to determine how many charges may be brought as a result of changes contained in this bill to determine the fiscal impact on expenditures.  However, entities impacted have provided the potential costs associated with these penalties below:

Judicial Branch

FY 2020

FY 2021

Class A Misdemeanor

$76

$77

Routine Criminal Felony Case

$481

$486

Net Increase Due To Change In Penalty Type

$405

$409

Appeals

Varies

Varies

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.

Judicial Council

 

 

Public Defender Program

Has contract with State to provide services.

Has contract with State to provide services.

Contract Attorney – Felony

$825/Case

$825/Case

Contract Attorney – Misdemeanor

$300/Case

$300/Case

Net Increase Due To Change In Penalty Type

$525/Case

$525/Case

Assigned Counsel – Felony

$60/Hour up to $4,100

$60/Hour up to $4,100

Assigned Counsel – Misdemeanor

$60/Hour up to $1,400

$60/Hour up to $1,400

Net Increase Due To Change In Penalty Type

Up to $2,700

Up to $2,700

It should be noted that a person needs to be found indigent and have the potential of being incarcerated to be eligible for indigent defense services. The majority of indigent cases (approximately 85%) are handled by the public defender program, with the remaining cases going to contract attorneys (14%) or assigned counsel (1%).

Department of Corrections

 

 

FY 2018 Average Cost of Incarcerating an Individual

$40,615

$40,615

FY 2018 Annual Marginal Cost of a General Population Inmate

$4,620

$4,620

FY 2018 Average Cost of Supervising an Individual on Parole/Probation

$571

$571

NH Association of Counties

 

 

County Prosecution Costs

Indeterminable

Indeterminable

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.  

 

AGENCIES CONTACTED:

Department of Safety and Judicial Branch