HB511 (2021) Detail

Relative to the penalties for possession of certain controlled drugs.


HB 511-FN - AS INTRODUCED

 

 

2021 SESSION

21-0743

04/11

 

HOUSE BILL 511-FN

 

AN ACT relative to the penalties for possession of certain controlled drugs.

 

SPONSORS: Rep. Kenney, Straf. 6; Rep. Frost, Straf. 16; Rep. Hyland, Hills. 38; Rep. Read, Rock. 17; Rep. Schultz, Merr. 18; Rep. Spillane, Rock. 2; Rep. Horrigan, Straf. 6; Rep. Abramson, Rock. 37; Rep. Labranche, Hills. 22; Rep. Espitia, Hills. 31; Sen. Reagan, Dist 17

 

COMMITTEE: Criminal Justice and Public Safety

 

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ANALYSIS

 

This bill makes the first 4 convictions for possession of a certain amount of schedule I-IV controlled drugs a misdemeanor offense.  The bill also makes possession of any amount of flunitrazepam (rohypnol) a felony offense.

 

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Matter which is either (a) all new or (b) repealed and reenacted appears in regular type.

21-0743

04/11

 

STATE OF NEW HAMPSHIRE

 

In the Year of Our Lord Two Thousand Twenty One

 

AN ACT relative to the penalties for possession of certain controlled drugs.

 

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

 

1  Controlled Drug Act; Penalties for Possession Offenses.  Amend RSA 318-B:26, II to read as follows:

II.  Any person who knowingly or purposely obtains, purchases, transports, or possesses actually or constructively, or has under his or her control, any controlled drug or controlled drug analog, or any preparation containing a controlled drug or controlled drug analog, except as authorized in this chapter, shall be sentenced as follows, except as otherwise provided in this section:

(a)  In the case of a controlled drug or its analog, classified in schedules I, II, III, or IV, other than those specifically covered in this section, except in the case of a person who possesses 4 grams or less, the person shall be guilty of a class B felony, except that notwithstanding the provisions of RSA 651:2, IV(a), a fine of not more than $25,000 may be imposed.  If any person commits such a violation after one or more prior offenses as defined in RSA 318-B:27, such person shall be guilty of a class A felony, except that notwithstanding the provisions of RSA 651:2, IV(a), a fine of up to $50,000 may be imposed.  In the case of possession of 4 grams or less, the person shall be guilty of a class B misdemeanor.  If any such person commits an offense after 4 prior offenses as defined in RSA 318-B:27, such person shall be guilty of a class A felony, excluding the case of a controlled drug or its analog classified in schedule V, except that notwithstanding the provisions of RSA 651:2, IV(a), a fine of up to $50,000 may be imposed.

(b)  In the case of a controlled drug or its analog classified in schedule V, the person shall be [sentenced to a maximum term of imprisonment of not more than 3 years, a fine of not more than $15,000, or both.  If a person commits any such violation after one or more prior offenses as defined in RSA 318-B:27]shall be guilty of a class B misdemeanor.  If any such person commits an offense after 4 prior offenses as defined in RSA 318-B:27, such person shall be guilty of a class B felony, except that notwithstanding the provisions of RSA 651:2, IV(a), a fine of not more than $25,000 may be imposed.

(c)  In the case of more than 3/4 ounce of marijuana or more than 5 grams of hashish, including any adulterants or dilutants, the person shall be guilty of a misdemeanor.  In the case of marijuana-infused products possessed by persons under the age of 21 or marijuana-infused products as defined in RSA 318-B:2-e, other than a personal-use amount of a regulated marijuana-infused product as defined in RSA 318-B:2-c, I(b), that are possessed by a person 21 years of age or older, the person shall be guilty of a misdemeanor.

(d)  In the case of 3/4 ounce or less of marijuana or 5 grams or less of hashish, including any adulterants or dilutants, the person shall be guilty of a violation pursuant to RSA 318-B:2-c.  In the case of a person 21 years of age or older who possesses a personal-use amount of a regulated marijuana-infused product as defined in RSA 318-B:2-c, I(b), the person shall be guilty of a violation pursuant to RSA 318-B:2-c.

(e)  In the case of a residual amount of a controlled substance, as defined in RSA 318-B:1, XXIX-a, a person shall be guilty of a misdemeanor if the person is not part of a service syringe program under RSA 318-B:43.

(f)  In the case of possession of any amount of flunitrazepam (known as rohypnol or gamma hydroxybutyrate), such person shall be guilty of a class B felony, except that notwithstanding the provisions of RSA 651:2, IV(a), a fine of not more than $25,000 may be imposed.

2  Effective Date.  This act shall take effect January 1, 2022.

 

LBA

21-0743

1/6/21

 

HB 511-FN- FISCAL NOTE

AS INTRODUCED

 

AN ACT relative to the penalties for possession of certain controlled drugs.

 

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

 

 

 

Estimated Increase / (Decrease)

STATE:

FY 2021

FY 2022

FY 2023

FY 2024

   Appropriation

$0

$0

$0

$0

   Revenue

$0

Indeterminable

Indeterminable

Indeterminable

   Expenditures

$0

Indeterminable Decrease

Indeterminable Decrease

Indeterminable Decrease

Funding Source:

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

 

 

 

 

 

COUNTY:

 

 

 

 

   Revenue

$0

$0

$0

$0

   Expenditures

$0

Indeterminable Decrease

Indeterminable Decrease

Indeterminable Decrease

 

 

 

 

 

METHODOLOGY:

This bill makes the first 4 convictions for possession of a certain amount of schedule I-IV controlled drugs a misdemeanor offense.  The bill also makes possession of any amount of flunitrazepam (rohypnol) a felony offense.  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 2021

FY 2022

Class B Misdemeanor

$55

$55

Simple Criminal Case

$309

$309

Routine Criminal Felony Case

$494

$494

Appeals

Varies

Varies

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.  

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

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

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 2020 Average Cost of Incarcerating an Individual

$47,691

$47,691

FY 2020 Annual Marginal Cost of a General Population Inmate

$6,407

$6,407

FY 2020 Average Cost of Supervising an Individual on Parole/Probation

$584

$584

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:

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

 

Links

HB511 at GenCourtMobile
HB511 Discussion

Action Dates

Date Body Type
March 1, 2021 House Hearing

Bill Text Revisions

HB511 Revision: 31833 Date: Jan. 11, 2021, 3:03 p.m.

Docket


March 1, 2021: Public Hearing: 03/01/2021 01:30 pm Members of the public may attend using the following link: To join the webinar: https://www.zoom.us/j/93127871930 / Executive session on pending legislation may be held throughout the day (time permitting) from the time the committee is initially convened.


Jan. 6, 2021: Introduced (in recess of) 01/06/2021 and referred to Criminal Justice and Public Safety HJ 2 P. 51