Second Bill Introduced That Would Strengthen NJ’s Crime Laws
Senator Robert Singer (R-Ocean) introduced legislation today that would increase the penalty for individuals interfering with the apprehension, prosecution, or conviction of a person following the commission of a crime. This legislation comes on the heels of a bill introduced last week by Senator Singer that would reinstitute the death penalty for individuals who murder a child, kill a police officer in the line of duty or commit a terrorist attack that results in fatalities.
“Anyone who assists an individual after the commission of a crime is just as guilty as the original perpetrator and the punishment received should reflect that fact, ” Singer stated. “Tough enforcement today is crime prevention tomorrow.”
Under current law, hindering the detention, apprehension, investigation, prosecution, conviction or punishment of an individual 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.
Senator Singer’s 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.
“If passed, this law will make people think twice before assisting someone who has committed a crime making it easier for law enforcement to make an arrest and keeping our communities safe, ” Singer concluded.