§1 - C. 2C:35-4.1
P.L. 1997, CHAPTER 185, approved August 4, 1997
Assembly, No. 2956
An Act concerning the use of certain devices and supplementing Title 2C of the New Jersey Statutes.
Be It Enacted by the Senate and General Assembly of the State of New Jersey:
1. Booby traps in Manufacturing or Distribution Facilities; Fortified Premises.
a. As used in this section:
(1) "Booby trap" means any concealed or camouflaged device designed or reasonably likely to cause bodily injury when triggered by the action of a person entering a property or building or any portion thereof, or moving on the property or in the building, or by the action of another person. The term includes, but is not limited to, firearms, ammunition or destructive devices activated by a trip wire or other triggering mechanism, sharpened stakes, traps, and lines or wires with hooks, weights or other objects attached.
(2) "Structure" means any building, room, ship, vessel or airplane and also means any place adapted for overnight accommodation of persons, or for carrying on business therein, whether or not the person is actually present.
b. Any person who knowingly assembles, maintains, places or causes to be placed a booby trap on property used for the manufacture, distribution, dispensing, or possession or control with intent to manufacture, distribute or dispense, controlled dangerous substances in violation of this chapter shall be guilty of a crime of the second degree. If the booby trap causes bodily injury to any person, the defendant shall be guilty of a crime of the first degree.
It shall not be a defense that the device was inoperable or was not actually triggered, or that its existence or location was known to a law enforcement officer or another person.
c. Any person who fortifies or maintains in a fortified condition a structure for the manufacture, distribution, dispensing or possession or control with intent to manufacture, distribute or dispense, controlled dangerous substances, or who violates sections 3, 4, 5, 6 or 7 of chapter 35 in a structure which he owns, leases, occupies or controls, and which has been fortified, is guilty of a crime of the third degree. A structure has been fortified if steel doors, wooden planking, cross bars, alarm systems, dogs, lookouts or any other means are employed to prevent, impede, delay or provide warning of the entry into a structure or any part of a structure by law enforcement officers.
d. A booby trap or fortification is maintained if it remains on property or in a structure while the property or structure is owned, occupied, controlled or used by the defendant.
e. Nothing herein shall be deemed to preclude, if the evidence so warrants, an indictment and conviction for a violation of chapters 11, 12. 17, and 39 of this title, or any other law. Notwithstanding the provisions of N.J.S.2C:1-8, N.J.S.2C:44-5 or any other provisions of law, a conviction arising under this section shall not merge with a conviction for a violation of any section of chapter 35 of Title 2C of the New Jersey Statutes, or for conspiring or attempting to violate any section of chapter 35 of Title 2C of the New Jersey Statutes, and the sentence imposed upon a violation of this section shall be ordered to be served consecutively to that imposed for any other conviction arising under any section of chapter 35 of Title 2C of the New Jersey Statutes or for conspiracy or attempt to violate any section of chapter 35 of Title 2C of the New Jersey Statutes, unless the court, in consideration of the character and circumstances of the defendant, finds that imposition of consecutive sentences would be a serious injustice which overrides the need to deter such conduct by others. If the court does not impose a consecutive sentence, the sentence shall not become final for 10 days in order to permit the appeal of such sentence by the prosecution.
2. This act shall take effect immediately.
Police officers in New Jersey are confronted by devices that are intended to impede and harm the officers as they attempt to execute search warrants and arrest drug dealers.
This bill would make it a crime of the second degree for any person to knowingly assemble, maintain, place or cause to be placed a booby trap on property which is used for the manufacturing, dispensing, or distributing of drugs. The crime of placing a booby trap would be upgraded to a crime of the first degree if the booby trap causes bodily injury.
In addition, the bill would make it a crime of the third degree for any person to fortify or maintain in a fortified condition a structure in which drugs are manufactured or distributed.
The bill also provides that the sentence imposed for violating the provisions of the bill concerning booby trapping or fortifying be served consecutively to any sentence for violating any other provision of chapter 35 of Title 2C, unless imposing a consecutive sentence would be a serious injustice outweighing the need to deter such conduct.
This bill embodies Recommendation No. 3 of the "Report to the Governor by the Attorney General on the Need to Update The Comprehensive Drug Reform Act of 1987", issued December 9, 1996.
Prohibits the use of booby traps and fortification of structures under certain circumstances.