OLR Bill Analysis

sHB 5495

AN ACT CONCERNING ENHANCED PENALTIES FOR THREATENING A JUDGE.

SUMMARY:

This bill raises the penalty for 2nd degree threatening, and certain cases of 1st degree threatening, when the victim is a judge (elected or appointed), family support magistrate, or family support magistrate referee and the threat is related to the victim's official duties.

For 1st degree threatening, the bill raises the penalty from a class D to a class C felony. Thus, the bill increases the (1) maximum imprisonment from five to 10 years and (2) maximum fine from $5,000 to $10,000.

For 2nd degree threatening, the bill raises the penalty from a class A misdemeanor to a class D felony. Thus, the bill increases the (1) maximum imprisonment from one year to five years and (2) maximum fine from $2,000 to $5,000.

EFFECTIVE DATE: October 1, 2016

ENHANCED PENALTY FOR THREATENING CERTAIN JUDICIAL OFFICIALS

First-Degree Threatening

The bill's enhanced penalty for 1st degree threatening applies if the defendant commits the crime against a judicial official listed above by:

1. threatening to commit a crime involving the use of a hazardous substance (a) intending to terrorize another person, cause evacuation of a building, place of assembly, or public transportation facility, or otherwise cause serious public inconvenience, or (b) in reckless disregard of the risk of causing such terror, evacuation, or inconvenience or

2. committing 2nd degree threatening (see below) and, during the crime, uses, is armed with and threatens to use, or displays or represents that he or she possesses a firearm.

Second-Degree Threatening

The bill's enhanced penalty for 2nd degree threatening applies if the defendant commits this crime against a judicial official listed above.

Under existing law, a person commits 2nd degree threatening when he or she:

1. by physical threat, intentionally places, or attempts to place, another person in fear of imminent serious physical injury;

2. threatens to commit a violent crime intending to terrorize another person; or

3. threatens to commit a violent crime in disregard of the risk of terrorizing someone.

COMMITTEE ACTION

Judiciary Committee

Joint Favorable Substitute

Yea

40

Nay

1

(03/21/2016)