Enhanced bail requirements bill put on hold by Senate committee

TRENTON – The Senate Law and Public Safety Committee put on hold bill S1133, which would add certain weapons offenses to the list of crimes with bail restrictions under current law.

The bill was put on hold to make amendments.

Currently, a state law designates certain crimes as “crimes with bail restrictions.” Those restrictions include only making payment with full cash, a surety bond executed by a corporation, or  a bail bond secured by real property with an unencumbered equity equal to the amount of bail undertaken plus $20,000.

The following are crimes with such bail restrictions: murder; manslaughter; kidnapping; sexual assault; robbery; carjacking; arson; causing or risking widespread injury or damage; burglary; theft by extortion; endangering the welfare of a child; resisting arrest; eluding; escape; corrupting or influencing a jury; possession of weapons for unlawful purposes; and weapons training for illegal activities.

Under bill S1133, four additional crimes would be added to the list.

  • · the 2nd degree crime of unlawful possession of a weapon by certain persons;
  • · the 1st degree crime of being the leader of a firearms trafficking network;
  • · the 3rd degree crime of unlawful possession of weapons; and
  • · the 3rd degree crime of unlawful possession of a weapon by certain persons.

The bill would add that the presumption of full cash bail also applies if the defendant has two prior convictions for any crime of the third degree under unlawful possession of weapons or unlawful possession of a weapon by certain persons.

Scott Bach, president of the New Jersey Association of Rifle and Pistol Clubs, supports the legislation in principle, saying it goes after the “bad actors” instead of the “hardware.” However, he called for some clearer language and technical changes to the bill to avoid some unintended consequences.

Enhanced bail requirements bill put on hold by Senate committee