SENATE, No. 2685

STATE OF NEW JERSEY

214th LEGISLATURE

 

INTRODUCED FEBRUARY 7, 2011

 


 

Sponsored by:

Senator  ROBERT W. SINGER

District 30 (Burlington, Mercer, Monmouth and Ocean)

Senator  RAYMOND J. LESNIAK

District 20 (Union)

 

Co-Sponsored by:

Senators Kyrillos and Oroho

 

 

 

 

SYNOPSIS

     Increases the penalty for hindering the apprehension or prosecution of an offender.

 

CURRENT VERSION OF TEXT

     As introduced.

  


An Act concerning hindering the apprehension or prosecution of an offender and amending N.J.S.2C:29-3.

 

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

 

     1.    N.J.S.2C:29-3 is amended to read as follows: 

     2C:29-3.  Hindering Apprehension or Prosecution. a.  A person commits an offense if, with purpose to hinder the detention, apprehension, investigation, prosecution, conviction or punishment of another for an offense or violation of Title 39 of the Revised Statutes or a violation of chapter 33A of Title 17 of the Revised Statutes he:

     (1)   Harbors or conceals the other;

     (2)   Provides or aids in providing a weapon, money, transportation, disguise or other means of avoiding discovery or apprehension or effecting escape;

     (3)   Suppresses, by way of concealment or destruction, any evidence of the crime, or tampers with a witness, informant, document or other source of information, regardless of its admissibility in evidence, which might aid in the discovery or apprehension of such person or in the lodging of a charge against him;

     (4)   Warns the other of impending discovery or apprehension, except that this paragraph does not apply to a warning given in connection with an effort to bring another into compliance with law;

     (5)   Prevents or obstructs, by means of force, intimidation or deception, anyone from performing an act which might aid in the discovery or apprehension of such person or in the lodging of a charge against him;

     (6)   Aids such person to protect or expeditiously profit from an advantage derived from such crime; or

     (7)   Gives false information to a law enforcement officer or a civil State investigator assigned to the Office of the Insurance Fraud Prosecutor established by section 32 of P.L.1998, c.21 (C.17:33A-16).

     [An offense under paragraph (5) of subsection a. of this section is a crime of the second degree, unless the actor is a spouse, domestic partner, partner in a civil union, parent or child to the person aided who is the victim of the offense, in which case the offense is a crime of the fourth degree. Otherwise, the offense is a crime of the third degree if the conduct which the actor knows has been charged or is liable to be charged against the person aided would constitute a crime of the second degree or greater, unless the actor is a spouse, domestic partner, partner in a civil union, parent or child of the person aided, in which case the offense is a crime of the fourth degree.  The offense is a crime of the fourth degree if such conduct would constitute a crime of the third degree. Otherwise it is a disorderly persons offense.]

   Any person who violates the provisions of subsection a. of this section is guilty of a crime or offense of the same degree as the most serious crime or offense that the person knows has been charged or is liable to be charged against the principal offender who committed the offense or violation of Title 39 of the Revised Statutes or a violation of chapter 33A of Title 17 of the Revised Statutes.

     b.    A person commits an offense if, with purpose to hinder his own detention, apprehension, investigation, prosecution, conviction or punishment for an offense or violation of Title 39 of the Revised Statutes or a violation of chapter 33A of Title 17 of the Revised Statutes, he:

     (1)   Suppresses, by way of concealment or destruction, any evidence of the crime or tampers with a document or other source of information, regardless of its admissibility in evidence, which might aid in his discovery or apprehension or in the lodging of a charge against him; or

     (2)   Prevents or obstructs by means of force or intimidation anyone from performing an act which might aid in his discovery or apprehension or in the lodging of a charge against him; or

     (3)   Prevents or obstructs by means of force, intimidation or deception any witness or informant from providing testimony or information, regardless of its admissibility, which might aid in his discovery or apprehension or in the lodging of a charge against him; or

     (4)   Gives false information to a law enforcement officer or a civil State investigator assigned to the Office of the Insurance Fraud Prosecutor established by section 32 of P.L.1998, c.21 (C.17:33A-16).

     An offense under paragraph (3) of subsection b. of this section is a crime of the second degree.  Otherwise, the offense is a crime of the third degree if the conduct which the actor knows has been charged or is liable to be charged against him would constitute a crime of the second degree or greater.  The offense is a crime of the fourth degree if such conduct would constitute a crime of the third degree.  Otherwise it is a disorderly persons offense.

(cf:  P.L.2008, c.81, s.2) 

 

     2.    This act shall take effect immediately. 


STATEMENT

 

     This bill increases the current penalty for imposed for interfering with the apprehension, prosecution, or conviction of a person following the commission of an offense. Specifically, this bill provides that a person who knowingly assists or conceals an offender following the commission of a crime or offense is to receive the same punishment imposed for the most serious offense committed by that principal offender.

     Currently, hindering the detention, apprehension, investigation, prosecution, conviction or punishment of another under subsection a. of N.J.S.A.2C:29-3 is a crime of the third degree if the underlying crime committed by the offender would constitute a crime of the second degree or greater.  The penalty is downgraded to a fourth degree crime if the offender who receives assistance is a spouse, parent or child. Hindering is a crime of the fourth degree if the underlying conduct would constitute a crime of the third degree.  Otherwise it is a disorderly persons offense. 

     This bill eliminates this gradation of penalties, and establishes that a person who assists or conceals an offender is subject to the same penalty as that offender who carried out the criminal act or offense.