SB 306-FN - AS INTRODUCED

 

 

2022 SESSION

22-2904

12/10

 

SENATE BILL 306-FN

 

AN ACT relative to the penalties for various motor vehicle violations.

 

SPONSORS: Sen. Reagan, Dist 17; Sen. Avard, Dist 12; Sen. French, Dist 7; Sen. Watters, Dist 4; Sen. Gannon, Dist 23

 

COMMITTEE: Transportation

 

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ANALYSIS

 

This bill provides for enhanced penalties for certain driving offenses where the offense was also based on facts involving the prohibited use of a mobile electronic device.

 

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Matter which is either (a) all new or (b) repealed and reenacted appears in regular type.

22-2904

12/10

 

STATE OF NEW HAMPSHIRE

 

In the Year of Our Lord Two Thousand Twenty Two

 

AN ACT relative to the penalties for various motor vehicle violations.

 

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

 

1  New Paragraph; Criminal Code; Sentences and Limitations.  Amend RSA 651:2 by inserting after paragraph II-g the following new paragraph:

II-h.  A person charged with any offense under RSA 265, RSA 265-A, or RSA 630:3 whose offense was also based on facts involving the prohibited use of a mobile electronic device while driving, as defined in RSA 265:79-c, may be subject to enhanced penalties for such offenses, as follows:

(a)  If the offense would otherwise constitute a violation, it may be charged as a class B misdemeanor.

(b)  If the offense would otherwise constitute a class B misdemeanor, it may be charged as a class A misdemeanor.

(c)  If the offense would otherwise constitute a class A misdemeanor, it may be charged as a class B felony.

(d)  If the offense would otherwise constitute a class B felony, it may be charged as a class A felony.

(e)  If the offense is a class A felony or an unclassified felony, there shall be no enhanced charge.

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

 

LBA

22-2904

11/19/21

 

SB 306-FN- FISCAL NOTE

AS INTRODUCED

 

AN ACT relative to the penalties for various motor vehicle violations.

 

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

 

 

 

Estimated Increase / (Decrease)

STATE:

FY 2022

FY 2023

FY 2024

FY 2025

   Appropriation

$0

$0

$0

$0

   Revenue

$0

$0

$0

$0

   Expenditures

$0

Indeterminable Increase

Indeterminable Increase

Indeterminable Increase

Funding Source:

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

 

 

 

 

 

COUNTY:

 

 

 

 

   Revenue

$0

$0

$0

$0

   Expenditures

$0

Indeterminable Increase

Indeterminable Increase

Indeterminable Increase

 

 

 

 

 

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 Council

FY 2022

FY 2023

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. Historically, approximately 85% of the indigent defense caseload has been handled by the public defender program, with the remaining cases going to contract attorneys (14%) or assigned counsel (1%).  Beginning in March of 2021, the public defender program has had to close intake to new cases due to excessive caseloads.  Due to these closures, the contract and assigned counsel program have had to absorb significantly more cases. The system is experiencing significant delays in appointing counsel and the costs of representation have increased due to travel time and multiple appointments.

Department of Corrections

FY 2022

FY 2023

FY 2021 Average Cost of Incarcerating an Individual

$54,386

$54,386

FY 2021 Annual Marginal Cost of a General Population Inmate

$5,715

$5,715

FY 2021 Average Cost of Supervising an Individual on Parole/Probation

$603

$603

NH Association of Counties

FY 2022

FY 2023

County Prosecution Costs

Indeterminable

Indeterminable

Estimated Average Daily Cost of Incarcerating an Individual

$105 to $125

$105 to $125

 

This bill contains penalties that will have an indeterminable impact on the Judicial Branch system.  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.  In the past the Judicial Branch has used averaged caseload data based on time studies to estimate the fiscal impact of proposed legislation.  The per case data on costs for routine criminal cases currently available to the Judicial Branch are based on studies of judicial and clerical weighted caseload times for processing average routine criminal cases that are more than fifteen years old so the data does not have current validity.  A new case study is being conducted  and updated estimates will be available in the future.

 

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 may be able to absorb the cost within its existing budget.  However, if the Department needs to prosecute significantly more cases or handle more appeals, then costs will increase by an indeterminable amount.  

 

AGENCIES CONTACTED:

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