SENATE, No. 425

STATE OF NEW JERSEY

214th LEGISLATURE

 

PRE-FILED FOR INTRODUCTION IN THE 2010 SESSION

 


 

Sponsored by:

Senator  SHIRLEY K. TURNER

District 15 (Mercer)

 

 

 

 

SYNOPSIS

     Requires presumption that any bail paid by defendant charged with certain weapons offenses will be in the form of full cash.

 

CURRENT VERSION OF TEXT

     Introduced Pending Technical Review by Legislative Counsel

  


An Act concerning bail and amending P.L.1994, c.144.

 

     Be It Enacted by the Senate and General Assembly of the State of New Jersey:

 

     1.    Section 1 of P.L.1994, c.144 (C.2A:162-12) is amended to read as follows:

     1.    a.  As used in this section:

     "Crime with bail restrictions" means a crime of the first or second degree charged under any of the following sections: 

     (1) Murder              2C:11-3.

     (2) Manslaughter      2C:11-4.

     (3) Kidnaping          2C:13-1.

     (4) Sexual Assault    2C:14-2.

     (5) Robbery 2C:15-1.

     (6) Carjacking         P.L.1993, c.221,s.1 (C.2C:15-2).

     (7) Arson and Related Offenses       2C:17-1.

     (8) Causing or Risking Widespread Injury or Damage           2C:17-2.

     (9) Burglary 2C:18-2.

     (10) Theft by Extortion         2C:20-5.

     (11) Endangering the Welfare of Children     2C:24-4.

     (12) Resisting Arrest; Eluding Officer            2C:29-2.

     (13) Escape 2C:29-5.

     (14) Corrupting or Influencing a Jury            2C:29-8.

     (15) Possession of Weapons for Unlawful Purposes 2C:39-4.

     (16) Weapons Training for Illegal Activities   P.L.1983, c.229,s.1 (C.2C:39-14).

     (17) Certain Persons Not to Have Weapons        paragraph (1) of

     subsection b. of P.L.1979,c.179,s.6 (C.2C:39-7).

     (18) Leader of a Firearms Trafficking Network P.L.1995,c.405,s.1 (C.2C:39-16).

     "Crime with bail restrictions" also includes any first or second degree drug-related crimes under chapter 35 of Title 2C of the New Jersey Statutes [and], any first or second degree racketeering crimes under chapter 41 of Title 2C of the New Jersey Statutes , any crime of the third degree under 2C:39-5, Unlawful Possession of Weapons and any crime of the third degree under section 6 of P.L.1979, c.179 (C.2C:39-7), Certain Persons Not to Have Weapons.

     b.    Subject to the provisions of subsection c. of this section, a person charged with a crime with bail restrictions may post the required amount of bail only in the form of:

     (1)   Full cash;

     (2)   A surety bond executed by a corporation authorized under chapter 31 of Title 17 of the Revised Statutes; or

     (3)   A bail bond secured by real property situated in this State with an unencumbered equity equal to the amount of bail undertaken plus $20,000.

     c.     There shall be a presumption in favor of the court designating the posting of full United States currency cash bail to the exclusion of other forms of bail when a defendant is charged with an offense as set forth in subsection a. of this section and:

     (1)   has two other indictable cases pending at the time of the arrest; or

     (2)   has two prior convictions for a first or second degree crime or for a violation of section 1 of P.L.1987, c.101 (C.2C:35-7) or any combination thereof; or

     (3)   has one prior conviction for murder, aggravated manslaughter, aggravated sexual assault, kidnapping or bail jumping; or

     (4)   has two prior convictions for any crime of the third degree under 2C:39-5, Unlawful Possession of Weapons or any crime of the third degree under paragraph (2) or paragraph (3) of subsection b. of section 6 of P.L.1979, c.179 (C.2C:39-7), Certain Persons Not to Have Weapons; or

     (5)   was on parole at the time of the arrest,

     unless the court finds on the record that another form of bail authorized in subsection b. of this section will ensure the defendant's presence in court when required.

     d.    When bail is posted in the form of a bail bond secured by real property, the owner of the real property, whether the person is admitted to bail or a surety, shall also file an affidavit containing:

     (1)   A legal description of the real property;

     (2)   A description of each encumbrance on the real property;

     (3)   The market value of the unencumbered equity owned by the affiant as determined in a full appraisal conducted by an appraiser licensed by the State of New Jersey; and

     (4)   A statement that the affiant is the sole owner of the unencumbered equity.

     e.     Nothing herein is intended to preclude a court from releasing a person on the person's own recognizance when the court determines that such person is deserving.

(cf: P.L. 2003, c.177)

 

     2.    This act shall take effect immediately.

 

 

STATEMENT

 

     This bill would add certain weapons offenses to the list of crimes with bail restrictions under current law.

     Currently, N.J.S.A.2A:162-12 designates certain crimes as “crimes with bail restrictions.”  The statute provides that if a defendant is charged with such a crime he may post the required amount of bail only in the form of (1) full cash; (2) a surety bond executed by a corporation; or (3) a bail bond secured by real property with an unencumbered equity equal to the amount of bail undertaken plus $20,000.

     Bail restrictions attach to charges of the following crimes of the first or second degree: murder; manslaughter; kidnaping; sexual assault; robbery; carjacking; arson; causing or risking widespread injury or damage; burglary; theft by extortion; endangering the welfare of a child; resisting arrest; eluding; escape; corrupting or influencing a jury; possession of weapons for unlawful purposes; and weapons training for illegal activities. 

     This bill would add four additional crimes to the list of crimes with bail restrictions:

·        N.J.S.A.2C:39-7b.(1), the second degree crime of unlawful possession of a weapon by certain persons;

·        N.J.S.A.2C:39-16, the first degree crime of leader of a firearms trafficking network;

·        N.J.S.A.2C:39-5, the third degree crime of unlawful possession of weapons; and

·        N.J.S.A.2C:39-7b.(2) or (3), the third degree crime of unlawful possession of a weapon by certain persons.

     In addition, the current statute provides for a presumption in favor of the court designating the posting of full United States currency cash bail to the exclusion of other forms of bail when a defendant is charged with such a crime and:

     (1) has two other indictable cases pending at the time of the arrest; or

     (2) has two prior convictions for a first or second degree crime or for a violation of N.J.S.A.2C:35-7, distributing controlled dangerous substances near or on school property; or

     (3)   has one prior conviction for murder, aggravated manslaughter, aggravated sexual assault, kidnapping or bail jumping; or

     (4)   was on parole at the time of the arrest.

     This bill would add that the presumption of full cash bail also applies if the defendant has two prior convictions for any crime of the third degree under N.J.S.A.2C:39-5, unlawful possession of weapons or any crime of the third degree under N.J.S.A.2C:39-7, unlawful possession of a weapon by certain persons.