SENATE, No. 2738

STATE OF NEW JERSEY

214th LEGISLATURE

INTRODUCED FEBRUARY 22, 2011

 


 

Sponsored by:

Senator† JEFF VAN DREW

District 1 (Cape May, Atlantic and Cumberland)

 

 

 

 

SYNOPSIS

†††† Enhances penalty for tampering with evidence after fleeing the scene of an accident resulting in death.

 

CURRENT VERSION OF TEXT

†††† As introduced.

††


An Act concerning tampering with the scene of an accident and amending 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.

†††† 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.† An offense under paragraphs (1) and (4) of subsection b. of this section is a crime of the third degree if the actor has been or is liable to be charged with leaving the scene of a motor vehicle accident that results in the death of another person in violation of section 1 of P.L.1997, c.111 (C.2C:11-5.1), for which the actor shall serve a fixed minimum term of imprisonment of 85% of the sentence imposed, during which the actor shall not be eligible for parole.

†††† Otherwise, the offense under subsection b. of this section 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 enhances the penalty for leaving the scene of a motor vehicle accident resulting in the death of another person, and then attempting to destroy or conceal evidence relating to the accident.

†††† Under the provisions of the bill, it is a third degree crime to destroy evidence or give false information to a law enforcement officer after knowingly leaving the scene of an accident that results in another personís death.† This punishment would be imposed in addition to the penalty for the act of knowingly leaving the scene of the accident, which is a second degree crime.

†††† A crime of the third degree is punishable by three to five years imprisonment, a fine of up to $10,000, or both.† A person convicted under this bill is required to serve a prison term of 85% of his or her sentence before being eligible for parole.