HB 1656-FN - AS AMENDED BY THE HOUSE
HOUSE BILL 1656-FN
SPONSORS: Rep. Klein-Knight, Hills. 11; Rep. Herbert, Hills. 43; Rep. Bouchard, Hills. 11; Rep. R. Newman, Hills. 29; Rep. McNally, Straf. 10; Rep. Welch, Rock. 13; Sen. Birdsell, Dist 19; Sen. French, Dist 7
COMMITTEE: Criminal Justice and Public Safety
This bill provides immunity from prosecution for prostitution for a person reporting to law enforcement that such person or another person is the victim of a sexual assault.
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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Matter which is either (a) all new or (b) repealed and reenacted appears in regular type.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 Twenty
Be it Enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Court convened:
1 Legislative Intent. It is the intent of the general court to encourage a victim of sexual assault as defined in RSA 632-A:2, 632-A:3, or 632-A:4 to report such crimes to law enforcement by establishing a state policy of protecting the victim from arrest, prosecution, and conviction for prostitution if they report such a crime. The immunity from arrest, prosecution, or conviction shall extend to cases in which a victim has come forward to law enforcement and cooperated in an investigation.
VII. As used in this section, "reports being the victim of a sexual assault or other crime” means reporting the initial crime to law enforcement and assisting law enforcement to identify the alleged perpetrator. It does not include further cooperation in prosecution.
VIII. It shall be a defense to a violation of this section that a person reports being the victim of a sexual assault as defined in RSA 632-A:2, 632-A:3, or 632-A:4. A person who reports being the victim of such an offense shall not be arrested, prosecuted, or convicted for a violation of this section if the evidence for the charge was gained as a proximate result of the person’s reporting. Any victim seeking medical treatment following a sexual assault will be afforded all options of care outlined in the New Hampshire attorney general’s sexual assault medical forensic exam protocol without making a report to or cooperating with law enforcement.
IX. Nothing in this section shall be construed to limit the admissibility of evidence in connection with the investigation or prosecution of a crime involving a person who is not protected as provided in paragraph VIII. Nothing in this section shall be construed to limit the lawful seizure of any evidence or contraband. Nothing in this section shall be construed to limit or abridge the authority of a law enforcement officer to detain or place into custody a person as part of a criminal investigation who is not protected by the provisions of paragraph VIII.
HB 1656-FN- FISCAL NOTE
FISCAL IMPACT: [ X ] State [ ] County [ ] Local [ ] None
Estimated Increase / (Decrease)
[ X ] General [ ] Education [ ] Highway [ ] Other
This bill provides immunity from prosecution for prostitution for a person reporting to law enforcement that such person or another person is the victim of a sexual assault. 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 fewer 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.
Violation Level Offense
Class B Misdemeanor
Class A Misdemeanor
Simple Criminal Case
It should be noted that average case cost estimates for FY 2021 and FY 2022 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.
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, under current law, prostitution is charged as a misdemeanor unless there are aggravating factors, in which case it is charged as a class B felony. The Council indicates it is unclear how many future prostitution cases would not be brought as a result of this bill. The Council reports, that in the past 12 months, the Public Defender program has been assigned 29 prostitution cases. Due to the small number of cases the Council does not expect that any reduction due to this bill would have a meaningful impact on indigent defense expenditures.
The New Hampshire Association of Counties indicates this bill would result in no discernable costs to the counties.
Judicial Branch, Department of Justice, Judicial Council, and New Hampshire Association of Counties
|Jan. 16, 2020||House||Hearing|
|Jan. 28, 2020||House||Exec Session|
|Feb. 5, 2020||House||Exec Session|
|Feb. 5, 2020||House||Exec Session|
|Feb. 19, 2020||House||Floor Vote|
|Jan. 8, 2020||Introduced 01/08/2020 and referred to Criminal Justice and Public Safety|
|Jan. 16, 2020||Public Hearing: 01/16/2020 02:00 pm LOB 204|
|Jan. 28, 2020||==RECESSED== Executive Session: 01/28/2020 10:00 am LOB 204|
|Feb. 5, 2020||Full Committee Work Session: 02/05/2020 10:00 am LOB 204|
|Feb. 5, 2020||==CONTINUED== Executive Session: 02/05/2020 01:00 pm LOB 204|
|Feb. 19, 2020||Committee Report: Ought to Pass with Amendment # 2020-0333h for 02/19/2020 (Vote 19-0; CC) HC 7 P. 5|
|Committee Report: Ought to Pass with Amendment # 2020-0333h (Vote 19-0; CC)|
|Feb. 19, 2020||Amendment # 2020-0333h: AA VV 02/19/2020|
|Feb. 19, 2020||Ought to Pass with Amendment 2020-0333h: MA VV 02/19/2020|