OLR Bill Analysis

sHB 5145

AN ACT CONCERNING THE RECOMMENDATIONS OF THE SENTENCING COMMISSION REGARDING THE CLASSIFICATION OF UNCLASSIFIED MISDEMEANORS.

SUMMARY:

By law, misdemeanors are punishable by imprisonment of up to one year. They are classified according to severity as class A, class B, and class C. There are also unclassified misdemeanors which are punishable by imprisonment but not designated under one of these classes.

This bill:

1. creates a new misdemeanor classification (a class D misdemeanor),

2. adjusts the penalties of currently unclassified misdemeanors to fit them into classifications while deeming others to be classified,

3. reduces the penalties for some unclassified misdemeanors to fine-only violations, and

4. repeals some unclassified misdemeanors.

Specifically, it:

1. reduces 45 unclassified misdemeanors to violations which are punishable by fines only, with 39 of them payable by mail like an infraction;

2. classifies 57 unclassified misdemeanors without changing the maximum prison sentence each carries but increasing their potential fines;

3. classifies eight unclassified misdemeanors by increasing their maximum prison sentence and 22 unclassified misdemeanors by decreasing the maximum prison sentence, with some changes to their potential fines;

4. for 13 statutes, creates a new penalty structure, with different penalties based on prior convictions under the statutes (in some instances these crimes already had different penalties depending on prior convictions and in some instances the bill adds them);

5. classifies 18 unclassified misdemeanors by making slight changes to their maximum prison sentences, such as classifying a crime punishable by up to 12 months in prison as a class A misdemeanor punishable by up to one year in prison;

6. eliminates 11 unclassified misdemeanors by repealing statutes and two unclassified misdemeanors by removing the criminal penalty for violating the statute;

7. requires that any unclassified misdemeanor with a maximum prison penalty equal to the penalty in one of the classes of misdemeanors be deemed included in that class of misdemeanor; and

8. sets the possible probation term for the class D misdemeanor classification it creates and changes the probation terms for some unclassified misdemeanors.

EFFECTIVE DATE: October 1, 2012, except (1) the changes to probation terms are effective October 1, 2012 and applicable to sentences imposed for crimes committed on or after that date and (2) two conforming changes are effective January 1, 2013.

CLASSES OF MISDEMEANORS AND UNCLASSIFIED MISDEMEANORS DEEMED CLASSIFIED ( 1-3)

By law, misdemeanors are crimes that are punishable by up to one year in prison. Current law classifies misdemeanors as:

1. class A, punishable by up to one year in prison, a fine of up to $ 2,000, or both;

2. class B, punishable by up to six months in prison, a fine of up to $ 1,000, or both;

3. class C, punishable by up to three months in prison, a fine of up to $ 500, or both; and

4. unclassified, punishable by a prison term and fine specified in the individual statute.

The bill creates a new class D misdemeanor punishable by up to 30 days in prison, a fine of up to $ 250, or both.

Under the bill, an unclassified misdemeanor that specifies a maximum prison penalty that matches the maximum penalty for one of the classifications is deemed to be a misdemeanor of that classification. The bill also retains the fine specified in the statute creating that misdemeanor, even if it does not match the usual fine for that classification. An unclassified misdemeanor with a penalty of imprisonment that differs from any of the classifications remains unclassified.

PROBATION FOR MISDEMEANORS ( 4)

The bill makes a number of changes regarding probation terms for misdemeanors.

It sets the possible probation term for a class D misdemeanor at up to one year, the same as the law currently provides for a class B or C misdemeanor. By law, unchanged by the bill, the maximum probation term for a class A misdemeanor is two years.

Currently, people convicted of unclassified misdemeanors can be sentenced to a probation term of up to (1) one year if the crime is punishable by up to three months in prison or (2) two years if the crime is punishable by more than three months in prison. The bill instead makes the maximum probation terms (1) one year if the crime is punishable by up to six months in prison and (2) two years if it punishable by more than six months. Thus, the bill reduces, from two years to one, the maximum probation term for someone sentenced for an unclassified misdemeanor punishable by three to six months in prison.

The bill also changes the maximum probation terms for unclassified misdemeanors punishable by up to six months in prison that are deemed classified as B misdemeanors under the bill. The bill reduces their maximum probation term from two years to one.

UNCLASSIFIED MISDEMEANORS REDUCED TO VIOLATIONS

The bill reduces the penalty for 45 unclassified misdemeanors to violations, which are punishable by fines only and not a prison term.

Under the bill, 39 of these violations are payable by mail, like infractions, and do not require a court appearance (see 50). The bill sets the maximum fine for each of these violations and authorizes the Superior Court judges to set the actual fine that violators will pay in their schedule of fines for infractions and violations. Table 1 lists the 34 crimes reduced to mail-in violations with fines of up to $ 250. Table 2 displays the five crimes reduced to mail-in violations with maximum fines higher than $ 250.

Table 1: Unclassified Misdemeanors Reduced to Mail-in Violations with Fines up to $ 250

Bill

Statute

Description

Current Penalty (Prison term, fine, or both)

6

14-283(h)

Obstruct emergency vehicle*

Up to 7 days

Up to $ 200

8

15-144(h)(2)

Illegal use of vessel registration or decal

Up to 30 days

Up to $ 100

9

15-154(d)

Operate vessel to obstruct law enforcement or fire vessel

Up to 7 days

Up to $ 200

10

16-44

Fail to report change of name-public utility

Up to 60 days

Up to $ 200

12

20-249

Act as master barber without license

Up to 30 days

Up to $ 100

14

21-1

Selling at auction without license

Up to 60 days

Up to $ 50

15

22-12b

Violate fur breeding requirements

Up to 30 days

Up to $ 100

16

22-167

Violate local order regarding milk sales

Up to 30 days

Up to $ 100

17

22a-363

Violate coastal water dredging requirements

10 to 30 days

$ 15 to $ 50

19

25-45

Violate local reservoir ordinances

Up to 6 months

Up to $ 50

20

25-135

Violate well drilling requirements

Up to 3 months

Up to $ 100

21

26-18

False statement-application for fish/game

Up to 30 days

Up to $ 100

22

26-42

Deal in raw furs without license

Up to 10 days

$ 100 to $ 250

24

26-56

Import rabbit without permit

Up to 30 days

Up to $ 100

25

26-58

Taxidermy without license

Up to 30 days

$ 1 to $ 100

26

26-87

Unauthorized rabbit hunting with ferret

Up to 30 days

$ 10 to $ 50

27

26-91(a)

Migratory bird hunting

Up to 30 days

Up to $ 50

28

26-94

Swan hunting

Up to 30 days

Up to $ 100

29

26-98

Hunting non-game birds, illegal bird trapping and trap shooting, false statement in bird hunting permit

Up to 30 days

$ 10 to $ 200

30

26-104

Illegal hunting in Bantam Lake sanctuary

Up to 30 days

Up to $ 100

31

26-105

Illegal hunting in Lake Wononscopomuc

Up to 30 days

Up to $ 100

32

26-217

Using chain bags on oyster beds

Up to 30 days

Up to $ 50

33

26-232

Violate shellfishing restrictions on Housatonic and Saugatuck rivers

Up to 30 days

Up to $ 100

35

26-257a

Violate local shellfish commission regulations

Up to 30 days

Up to $ 50

36

26-260

Illegal clamming in Milford and West Haven

Up to 30 days

Up to $ 7

37

26-276

Illegal oystering in Hammonasset River

Up to 60 days

Up to $ 20

38

26-284

Illegal oystering in Thames River

Up to 30 days

Up to $ 7

39

26-285

Illegal oystering in Old Lyme

Up to 30 days

Up to $ 50

40

26-286

Illegal oystering in East Lyme and Waterford

Up to 30 days

$ 7 to $ 20

42

26-288

Violate escallop regulations

Up to 60 days

Up to $ 50

46

29-25

Fail to report laundry identification marks

Up to 3 months

Up to $ 100

47

45a-283

Executor failing to apply for probate

Up to 30 days

Up to $ 100

48

53-199

Theater seating capacity violations

Up to 30 days

Up to $ 50

49

53-280

Operating pool room without municipal permit

Up to 6 months

Up to $ 50

* Fines doubled if in a construction or utility work zone (see CGS 14-212a).

Table 2: Unclassified Misdemeanors Reduced to Mail-in Violations with Other Fines

Bill

Statute

Description

Current Penalty (Prison term, fine, or both)

Mail-in Violation Fine Under the Bill

7

15-25

Injury to navigational aid

Up to 60 days

$ 250 to $ 500

Up to $ 1,000

11

19a-113

Violate scuba compressed air requirements

Up to 5 months

Up to $ 500

Up to $ 500

13

20-366

Violate sanitarian requirements

Up to 3 months

Up to $ 300

Up to $ 500

18

25-43(a)

Bathing in reservoir

Up to 30 days

Up to $ 500

Up to $ 500

34

26-244

Improper redesignation of oyster grounds

Up to 6 months

Up to $ 300

Up to $ 300

The bill reduces six unclassified misdemeanors to violations with fines of up to $ 250 but they are not subject to the mail-in procedure and the offender must appear in court. For these six offenses, the law also authorizes the court to impose additional penalties. Table 3 displays these crimes reduced to violations. As under current law, the penalty for illegal sale of raw furs ( 23, CGS 26-43) includes suspending the fur dealer's license for one year, the penalty for towing a dredge near shellfish ( 154, CGS 26-231) includes forfeiting the right to fish for one year, and the penalties for violating the other four statutes include allowing the court to order that a shellfishing permit or license not be issued to the offender.

Table 3: Unclassified Misdemeanors Reduced to Violations with Fines of up to $ 250 not Subject to Mail-in Procedures

Bill

Statute

Description

Current Penalty (Prison term, fine, or both)

23

26-43

Illegal sale raw furs to dealer

Up to 10 days

$ 100 to $ 250

41

26-287

Illegal shellfishing in the Niantic River

Up to 10 days

Up to $ 200

43

26-290

Illegal escallop taking in Groton

Up to 60 days

Up to $ 50

44

26-291a

Illegal shellfishing in Stonington

Up to 30 days

Up to $ 25

45

26-292

Illegal escallop taking in Stonington

Up to 60 days

Up to $ 50

154

26-231

Towing dredge near shellfish

1st offense

Up to 30 days

Up to $ 50

2nd and subsequent (SBS) offense

Up to 60

Up to $ 100

UNCLASSIFIED MISDEMEANORS CLASSIFIED WITHOUT A CHANGE IN MAXIMUM SENTENCE BUT CHANGES IN FINES

The bill classifies 57 unclassified misdemeanors without changing their maximum prison terms. By classifying these crimes, the bill increases their maximum fines but, in some instances, also eliminates a minimum fine. Table 4 displays these crimes.

Table 4: Unclassified Misdemeanors the Bill Classifies Without Changing Maximum Prison Sentences but Changing Fines

Bill

Statute

Description

Current Penalty (Prison term, fine, or both)

Penalty Under the Bill

51

1-1h

Illegal use of identity card

Up to 30 days

Up to $ 50

D misdemeanor

52

9-56

Illegal act by registrar regarding party enrollment list

Up to 30 days

Up to $ 200

D misdemeanor

53

9-64

Registrar's failure to erase name

Up to 30 days

Up to $ 200

D misdemeanor

54

9-236

Prohibited acts near polling place

Up to 3 months

Up to $ 50

C misdemeanor

55

9-396

Illegal act-ballot vote at caucus

Up to 30 days

Up to $ 200

D misdemeanor

56

9-625

Fail to appear as witness-campaign finance inquiry

Up to 30 days

Up to $ 25

D misdemeanor

57

12-53 (c)(4)

Fail to answer tax assessor's question

Up to 30 days

Up to $ 100

D misdemeanor

58

14-36a(f)

Motor vehicle license class violations--2nd and SBS

(1st offense is an infraction)

This penalty also applies to operating a commercial vehicle without a commercial drivers' license (CGS 14-44a)

Up to 30 days

Up to $ 100

D misdemeanor

59

14-37a(d)

Special operator permit violations

Up to 30 days

Up to $ 100

D misdemeanor

60

14-40a(e)

Motorcycle endorsement requirement violations—2nd and SBS

(1st offense is an infraction)

Up to 30 days

Up to $ 100

D misdemeanor

61

14-66c

Mini-motorcycle sale or disposal violations—2nd and SBS

(1st offense is an infraction)

Up to 30 days

$ 50 to $ 100

D misdemeanor

62

14-67

Operate an automobile club without a license

Up to 30 days

Up to $ 100

D misdemeanor

63

14-103

Obstruct a motor vehicle inspection

Up to 30 days

Up to $ 50

D misdemeanor

64

14-112(h)

Forgery-motor vehicle financial responsibility requirements

Up to 30 days

At least $ 100

D misdemeanor

65

14-314b

Damage a traffic control device

Up to 30 days

Up to $ 100

D misdemeanor

66

19a-36(a)(7)

Public health code violations

Up to 3 months

Up to $ 100

C misdemeanor

67

19a-180(d)

Prohibited act by emergency medical services

Up to 3 months

Up to $ 250

C misdemeanor

68

19a-228

Illegal anchoring of houseboat

Up to 30 days

Up to $ 50

D misdemeanor

69

19a-230

Municipal health violations

Up to 3 months

Up to $ 100

C misdemeanor

70

20-278

Electrologist violations

Up to 30 days

Up to $ 100

D misdemeanor

71

20-609

Illegal use of pharmacy title

Up to 30 days

Up to $ 200

D misdemeanor

72

21-13

Junk dealer violations

Up to 3 months

Up to $ 50

C misdemeanor

73

21a-11

Refusing to give consumer protection officials access to records or samples

Up to 30 days

Up to $ 25

D misdemeanor

74

21a-25

Violate impure vinegar requirements—

2nd and SBS (1st is fine only)

Up to 30 days

Up to $ 100

D misdemeanor

75

21a-155

Bread or pastry sales violations

Up to 30 days

Up to $ 25

D misdemeanor

76

22-277

Livestock violations or interfering with inspections by agriculture officials

Up to 30 days

Up to $ 200

D misdemeanor

77

22-321

Animal disease control violations or obstructing agriculture officials

Up to 30 days

Up to $ 100

D misdemeanor

78

22-329

Obstructing a canine control officer preventing cruelty to animals

Up to 30 days

Up to $ 50

D misdemeanor

79

22-332c

Impoundment of dogs and medical research violations

Up to 30 days

Up to $ 100

D misdemeanor

80

22-363

Possessing a vicious or barking dog—2nd and SBS

(1st is infraction)

Up to 30 days

Up to $ 100

D misdemeanor

81

22-365

Obstructing an animal control officer

Up to 3 months

Up to $ 100

C misdemeanor

82

22-366

Cropping a dog's ears—2nd and SBS

(1st is fine only)

Up to 30 days

Up to $ 50

D misdemeanor

83

26-45

Sale of bait without a license

Up to 30 days

$ 10 to $ 100

D misdemeanor

84

26-74

Hunting with a motor vehicle, all terrain vehicle, or snowmobile

Up to 30 days

Up to $ 200

D misdemeanor

85

26-127

Illegal transport of bait species

Up to 30 days

$ 50 to $ 200

D misdemeanor

86

26-149

Unlicensed commercial hatchery

Up to 30 days

Up to $ 200

D misdemeanor

87

26-157a

Violating lobster taking requirements

Up to 30 days

$ 25 to $ 200

D misdemeanor

88

26-213

Taking shellfish without a license for commercial purposes

Up to 30 days

Up to $ 100

D misdemeanor

89

26-216

Illegal use of a power dredge—2nd and SBS

(1st is fine only)

Up to 30 days

$ 50 to $ 200

D misdemeanor

90

26-219

Taking conch without a license

Up to 30 days

Up to $ 200

D misdemeanor

91

31-4

Defrauding immigrant workers of wages

Up to 1 year

Up to $ 100

A misdemeanor

93

43-9(a)(3)

Impersonating weights and measures inspector

Up to 1 year

$ 100 to $ 500

A misdemeanor

94

46a-64

Discrimination-public accommodations

Up to 30 days

$ 25 to $ 100

D misdemeanor

95

46a-64c

Discrimination-housing

Up to 30 days

$ 25 to $ 100

D misdemeanor

96

46a-81d

Sexual orientation discrimination-public accommodations

Up to 30 days

$ 25 to $ 100

D misdemeanor

97

46a-81e

Sexual orientation discrimination-housing

Up to 30 days

$ 25 to $ 100

D misdemeanor

98

50-10

Violate finder's duty-lost property

Up to 30 days

Up to $ 100

D misdemeanor

99

52-571bb

Discriminate against armed forces member

Up to 30 days

$ 25 to $ 100

D misdemeanor

100

53-37

Ridicule based on race, color, or creed

Up to 30 days

Up to $ 50

D misdemeanor

101

53-132

Sale of equipment without a serial number or identification

Up to 3 months

Up to $ 100

C misdemeanor

102

53-142a

Illegal possession of a master car key

1st offense

Up to 30 days

Up to $ 100

D misdemeanor

2nd and SBS

Up to 6 months

Up to $ 500

B misdemeanor

103

53-203

Illegal discharge of firearm

Up to 3 months

Up to $ 250

C misdemeanor

104

53-205

Loaded gun in motor vehicle or snowmobile

Up to 30 days

$ 10 to $ 100

D misdemeanor

105

53-215

Illegal discard of refrigerator

Up to 30 days

Up to $ 100

D misdemeanor

106

53-249

Cruelty to poultry

Up to 30 days

Up to $ 100

D misdemeanor

107

53-250

Illegal use of animals

Up to 30 days

Up to $ 100

D misdemeanor

108

53-370

Fraudulent sale liquid fuel/oil

Up to 30 days

Up to $ 200

D misdemeanor

UNCLASSIFIED MISDEMEANORS CLASSIFIED WITH INCREASED SENTENCES AND CHANGES IN FINES

The bill classifies eight unclassified misdemeanors by increasing their maximum prison sentences from the 60 days' or two months' sentence in current law. In all but one instance ( 112, CGS 19a-347), classification also increases each offense's maximum fine. Table 5 displays these crimes.

Table 5: Unclassified Misdemeanors the Bill Classifies with Increased Sentences and Changes in Fines

Bill

Statute

Description

Current Penalty (Prison term, fine, or both)

Penalty Under the Bill

109

13b-85

Violating motor bus regulations

Up to 60 days

Up to $ 100

B misdemeanor

110

15-52

Operating an aircraft with a suspended or revoked license

Up to 60 days

Up to $ 100

C misdemeanor

111

15-100

Reckless flying and other aeronautics violations

Up to 60 days

Up to $ 100

C misdemeanor

112

19a-347

Criminal contempt for violating an injunction relating to a house of assignation

Up to 2 months

Up to $ 500

C misdemeanor

113

26-78

Possession or sale of bird or reptile violations

Up to 60 days

Up to $ 200

C misdemeanor

114

26-88

Killing an animal with an explosive

Up to 60 days

$ 25 to $ 200

C misdemeanor

115

47a-52

Unfit sanitation in rented dwellings

Up to 60 days

Up to $ 200

C misdemeanor

116

51-88

Illegal practice of law

Up to 2 months

Up to $ 250

C misdemeanor

UNCLASSIFIED MISDEMEANORS CLASSIFIED WITH DECREASED SENTENCES AND CHANGES IN FINES

The bill classifies 22 unclassified misdemeanors by decreasing their maximum prison sentences. In all but four instances where the bill decreases the maximum fine, the bill's classifications increase maximum fines. In seven instances, the bill also eliminates minimum fines. Table 6 displays these crimes.

Table 6: Unclassified Misdemeanors the Bill Classifies with Decreased Sentences and Changes in Fines

Bill

Statute

Description

Current Penalty (Prison term, fine, or both)

Penalty Under the Bill

117

7-169(k)(5)

Bingo game without permit or false statement in application or report

Up to 60 days

Up to $ 500

D misdemeanor

118

9-361(3) to (6)

Certain primary or enrollment violations

Up to 60 days

Up to $ 100

D misdemeanor

119

12-6

Hinder state's attorney audit of municipal accounts

Up to 60 days

Up to $ 200

D misdemeanor

120

14-146

Throwing object at vehicle—

2nd and SBS

(1st is fine only)

Up to 60 days

$ 0

D misdemeanor

122

19a-109

Home or office heating and utility violations

Up to 60 days

Up to $ 100

D misdemeanor

123

19a-553

Fail to report nursing home crimes

Up to 60 days

Up to $ 200

D misdemeanor

124

20-265

Violate hairdresser requirements—2nd and SBS

(1st is fine only)

Up to 60 days

Up to $ 100

D misdemeanor

125

21-33

Itinerant vendor violations and false statements in license applications

Up to 60 days

Up to $ 50

D misdemeanor

126

21-35

Itinerant vending without license

Up to 60 days

Up to $ 50

D misdemeanor

128

22-342(d) and (e)

Operating kennel after license revoked or suspended and license or inspection violations

Up to 1 year

Up to $ 1,000

B misdemeanor

129

22-344e

Procure dog or cat for resale without pet shop license

Up to 1 year

Up to $ 1,000

B misdemeanor

130

22-358(d)

Permitting dog to pursue deer

Up to 60 days

$ 25 to $ 200

D misdemeanor

131

26-47

Control nuisance wildlife without license

Up to 60 days

$ 25 to $ 200

D misdemeanor

132

26-57

Transporting animals without permit

Up to 60 days

$ 10 to $ 200

D misdemeanor

134

26-71

Violate wild game hunting and wildlife management requirements and taking certain wildlife

Up to 60 days

Up to $ 200

D misdemeanor

135

26-72

Wild game trapping violations

Up to 60 days

Up to $ 200

D misdemeanor

136

26-81

Certain hunting, fishing, and trapping violations including Sunday hunting and using a silencer

Up to 60 days

$ 10 to $ 200

D misdemeanor

137

26-90(b)

Quadruped hunting, deer hunting, and false statement in permit violations when no other penalty

Up to 60 days

$ 25 to $ 200

D misdemeanor

138

26-101

Wildlife refuge violations

Up to 60 days

Up to $ 200

D misdemeanor

141

26-229

Damage shellfish grounds markers

Up to 90 days

Up to $ 150

D misdemeanor

142

29-243

Violate steam boiler requirements—2nd and SBS

(1st is fine only)

Up to 4 months

Up to $ 500

C misdemeanor

143

43-9(a)

Obstructing weights and measure inspector

Up to 90 days

$ 2 to $ 200

D misdemeanor

The bill also reduces the possible prison term for four crimes to match those for misdemeanor classifications but the bill imposes higher fines for them than for the appropriate classifications. Because the prison terms match those for class B and D misdemeanors, these crimes would be deemed to be class B and D misdemeanors, as appropriate, with higher fines than those associated with these classifications. Table 7 displays these crimes.

Table 7: Unclassified Misdemeanors with Decreased Penalties that are Deemed Classified

Bill

Statute

Description

Current Penalty (Prison term, fine, or both)

Penalty Under the Bill

(Prison term, fine, or both)

121

15-15

Operating a boat without a pilot

Up to 60 days

$ 500 to $ 1,000

Up to 30 days in prison, $ 500 to $ 2,000—deemed a D misdemeanor

127

22-319a

Illegal sale of hog cholera serum

Up to 1 year

$ 5,000 to $ 10,000

Up to 6 months, $ 5,000 to $ 10,000—

deemed a B misdemeanor

139

26-159a

Violate striped bass regulations—3rd and SBS

(1st and 2nd are fine only)

Up to 60 days

Up to $ 500 per fish

Up to 30 days,

up to $ 500 per fish—deemed a D misdemeanor

140

26-228

Taking shells or shellfish at night

Up to 60 days

$ 100 to $ 500

Up to 30 days,

$ 100 to $ 500—

deemed a D misdemeanor

CHANGES TO THE PENALTY STRUCTURE FOR CERTAIN UNCLASSIFIED MISDEMEANORS

Some unclassified misdemeanors have different penalties for subsequent convictions of the offense. The bill (1) makes changes to the penalties in these statutes in a number of different ways and (2) adds penalties for subsequent convictions of some offenses that do not already have these penalties. Table 8 displays these statutes with changes in penalties based on the number of convictions for the offense.

Table 8: Unclassified Misdemeanors the Bill Classifies with a New Penalty Structure

Bill

Statute

Description

Current Penalty (Prison term, fine, or both)

Penalty Under the Bill

133

26-61(d)

Procuring hunting or fishing license while under suspension

1st offense

Up to 60 days

At least $ 200

D misdemeanor

2nd and SBS

Up to 1 year

$ 200 to $ 500

A misdemeanor

144

15-77

Operating an aircraft under the influence

1st offense

Up to 60 days

Up to $ 100

1st: C misdemeanor

2nd and SBS

Up to 1 year

Up to $ 500

2nd and SBS: A misdemeanor

145

15-97

Violating airport zoning requirements

Up to 60 days

Up to $ 25

1st: Up to $ 250 mail-in violation

2nd and SBS: D misdemeanor

146

21a-19

Violating oleomargarine requirements

1st offense

Up to 60 days

Up to $ 100

1st: Up to $ 250 mail-in violation

2nd and SBS

Up to 4 months

Up to $ 200

2nd and SBS: C misdemeanor

147

21a-159

Violating bakery requirements

1st offense

Up to $ 50

1st: Up to $ 250 mail-in violation

2nd offense

Up to 10 days

Up to $ 100

2nd and SBS: D misdemeanor

3rd and SBS

Up to 30 days

Up to $ 200

148

22-362

Permitting dog annoyance on highway

1st offense

Up to 30 days

$ 25 to $ 50

D misdemeanor for all offenses

2nd and SBS

Up to 60 days

$ 50 to $ 100

149

23-65(c)

Certain littering violations

Up to 6 months

Up to $ 50

1st: Up to $ 250 mail-in violation

2nd and SBS: C misdemeanor

150

26-76

Possessing game over limit

Up to 60 days

Up to $ 200

1st: Up to $ 250 mail-in violation

2nd and SBS: D misdemeanor

153

26-226

Damaging an oyster enclosure

1st offense

Up to 30 days

Up to $ 50

1st: Up to $ 250 mail-in violation

2nd offense

30 to 90 days

$ 50 to $ 100

2nd and SBS: C misdemeanor with no minimum sentence

3rd and SBS

Up to 6 months

$ 150

155

29-198

Violating elevator or escalator requirements

1st offense

$ 25 to $ 100

1st: Up to $ 250 mail-in violation

2nd and SBS

30 to 180 days

$ 100 to $ 500

2nd and SBS: B misdemeanor

156

35-20

Using a filed device, name, or mark on a receptacle

1st offense

Up to 30 days

Up to $ 5 per bottle or $ 10 per box

1st: Up to $ 250 mail-in violation

2nd and SBS

Up to 1 year

Up to $ 10

2nd and SBS: C misdemeanor

157

43-9

Using a false weighing device

Manufacture, sale, and use of milk bottles (see CGS 43-23)

Liquefied petroleum gas container violations (see CGS 43-43)

Thread violations (see CGS 43-45)

Weight dealer violations (see CGS 43-52)

1st offense

Up to 3 months

$ 50 to $ 300

1st: C misdemeanor

2nd and SBS

Up to 1 year

$ 100 to $ 1,000

2nd and SBS: B misdemeanor

158

43-34

Violate petroleum product weighing, delivery ticket, and tare weight of vehicle requirements

1st offense

Up to 3 months

$ 20 to $ 200

1st: C misdemeanor

2nd and SBS

Up to 1 year

$ 50 to $ 500

2nd and SBS: B misdemeanor

Except for certain violations with other penalties, current law punishes commercial fishing violations with up to 30 days in prison, a fine of up to $ 250, or both, with each fish or crustacean taken being a separate offense. The bill retains this penalty for commercial fishing violations involving net and boat licenses, restricted waters near streams or estuaries, and fish oil or fertilizer making them a class D misdemeanor, which does not change the penalties. For other commercial fishing violations, the bill (1) reduces the penalty for a first offense to a mail-in violation of up to $ 250 and (2) makes a second or subsequent offense a class D misdemeanor, which matches the current penalty ( 152, CGS 26-186).

The law punishes illegally taking a moose or bear and the bill makes the following changes to the penalties.

1. For a first offense, the bill reduces the prison penalty from up to 90 days to up to 30 days and the possible fine from at least $ 500 to up to $ 500. The prison penalty matches the penalty for a class D misdemeanor and thus the bill deems this to be a class D misdemeanor.

2. For a second offense, the bill reduces the prison penalty from up to 120 days to up to three months and the possible fine from at least $ 750 to up to $ 750. The prison penalty matches the penalty for a class C misdemeanor and thus the bill deems this to be a class C misdemeanor.

3. For a third or subsequent offense, the bill reduces the prison penalty from up to 180 days to up to six months and the possible fine from at least $ 1,000 to up to $ 1,000. The prison penalty matches the penalty for a class B misdemeanor and thus the bill deems this to be a class B misdemeanor ( 151, CGS 26-80a).

UNCLASSIFIED MISDEMEANORS WITH SLIGHT CHANGES IN PRISON TERMS AND CHANGES IN FINES

The bill classifies 18 crimes by making only slight changes to their maximum prison sentences, such as classifying a crime punishable by up to 12 months in prison as a class A misdemeanor punishable by up to one year in prison. The bill also makes changes to fines for all but five of these crimes.

Table 9: Unclassified Misdemeanors with Minor Changes in Prison Terms and Changes in Some Fines

Bill

Statute

Description

Current Penalty (Prison term, fine, or both)

Penalty Under the Bill

159

2-46

Fail to comply with legislative investigation and fail to answer claims commissioner's subpoena (see CGS 4-151(e))

1 to 12 months

$ 100 to $ 1,000

A misdemeanor

160

9-365

Threat by employer of voter

6 to 12 months

$ 100 to $ 500

A misdemeanor

163

14-67v

Motor vehicle recycler violations

Up to 90 days

Up to $ 100

C misdemeanor

168

15-7

Violate Bridgeport harbormaster order

Up to 90 days

Up to $ 1,000

C misdemeanor

169

15-115(b)

False statement in report of aircraft accident

Up to 90 days

$ 100 to $ 1,000

C misdemeanor

171

19a-92a

Illegal tattooing of person

Up to 90 days

Up to $ 100

C misdemeanor

172

20-407

Violate hearing aid dealer requirements

Up to 90 days

Up to $ 500

C misdemeanor

173

21-35h

Violate closing-out sale requirements

Up to 90 days

Up to $ 500

C misdemeanor

174

22-272a

Using illegal slaughter methods

Up to 90 days

Up to $ 500

C misdemeanor

175

22a-45c

Obstructing mosquito control

Up to 90 days

Up to $ 100

C misdemeanor

176

26-6b

Fail to obey conservation officer

Up to 90 days

$ 50 to $ 500

C misdemeanor

179-180

29-357

Sell fireworks without a permit

Up to 90 days

Up to $ 100

C misdemeanor

181-182

29-366

Fail to comply with fireworks requirements

Up to 90 days

Up to $ 100

C misdemeanor

184

42-115u

Violate unfair sales practices requirements

Up to 90 days

Up to $ 500

C misdemeanor

185

42-141

Violate the home solicitation sales act

Up to 90 days

Up to $ 500

C misdemeanor

186

43-16q(a)

Solicit a false weight certificate—2nd and SBS

(1st is fine only)

30 to 90 days

$ 100 to $ 500

C misdemeanor

186

43-16q(b)

Illegal act by licensed public weigher

30 to 90 days

$ 50 to $ 500

C misdemeanor

187

53-329

Illegal sale of prisoner products

Up to 90 days

Up to $ 1,000

C misdemeanor

The bill also makes minor changes to prison terms in order to deem certain misdemeanors classified. In doing so, it preserves the existing fines which vary from those that usually apply to the classification. Table 10 displays these offenses.

Table 10: Unclassified Misdemeanors with Minor Changes in Prison Terms that are Deemed Classified Under the Bill with No Change in Fines

Bill

Statute

Description

Current Penalty (Prison term, fine, or both)

Penalty Under the Bill

161

10a-224(g)

Illegal financial interest by Connecticut Higher Education Supplemental Loan Authority board member

Up to 1 month

$ 50 to $ 1,000

30 days and same fine, deemed a D misdemeanor

162

14-35a

Motor carrier operating vehicle with suspended or revoked registration or operating without authority—1st offense

Up to 90 days

$ 500 to $ 1,000

Three months and same fine, deemed a C misdemeanor

165

14-215(b)

Operate motor vehicle while under license suspension or revocation—1st offense

Up to 90 days

$ 150 to $ 200*

Three months and same fine, deemed a C misdemeanor

166

14-215a

Operate motor vehicle while license suspended for certain reasons (see CGS 14-140)—1st offense

Up to 90 days

$ 150 to $ 200

Three months and same fine, deemed a C misdemeanor

167

14-299a(e)

Violate traffic signal preemption device requirements

Up to 90 days

Up to $ 5,000

Three months and same fine, deemed a C misdemeanor

170

15-156(c)

Operate boat while safe boating certificate revoked or suspended—1st offense

Up to 90 days

$ 150 to $ 200

Three months and same fine, deemed a C misdemeanor

177

26-192f

Shellfishing in closed area and misleading shipments

Up to 12 months

Up to $ 1,000 or three times the shellfishes' value

One year and same fine, deemed an A misdemeanor

178

26-235(d)

Taking clams from a closed area

Up to 12 months

$ 75 to $ 1,000 or three times the clams' value

One year and same fine, deemed an A misdemeanor

183

38a-734

Insurance consultant-receiving an illegal fee

30 to 90 days

$ 250 to $ 2,500

Three months and same fine, deemed a C misdemeanor

* Fines doubled if in a construction or utility work zone (see CGS 14-212a).

ELIMINATED CRIMINAL PENALTIES

The bill eliminates the following two criminal penalties:

1. up to three months in prison, a fine of up to $ 50, or both for a registrar who knowingly makes false entries in vital records ( 188) and

2. up to 30 days in prison, a fine of up to $ 100, or both for violating the brucellosis control regulations which include testing cattle, quarantines, vaccinations, and importing cattle ( 189).

REPEALED STATUTES

The bill repeals the following 11 statutes ( 194) and makes conforming changes ( 190-193).

1. It eliminates a provision that willfully refusing to leave the vicinity when ordered to do so by a fire department officer directing activities at a fire or emergency site, unless the person has a state police press card, is punishable by up to seven days in prison, a fine of up to $ 50, or both. By law, the fire chief or any member serving as officer-in-charge when responding to a fire or emergency can order someone to leave the vicinity (CGS 7-313e). By law, it is a class A misdemeanor to obstruct, resist, hinder, or endanger a firefighter or fail to assist a firefighter when commanded to do so (CGS 53a-167a and -167b).

2. It eliminates a provision punishing removing or damaging a traffic control sign at a railroad crossing or light illuminating a sign with up to 30 days in prison, a fine of up to $ 10, or both (CGS 13b-346). By law, damage to railroad property is a (a) class D felony if a person intentionally causes an interruption in service by damaging property or intentionally causes more than $ 1,500 in damage; (b) class A misdemeanor if a person intends to cause an interruption by damaging property and causes a risk of interruption or intentionally causes more than $ 250 in damage; or (c) class B misdemeanor if a person intentionally or recklessly damages property, intentionally or recklessly tampers with property and places the property in danger of damage, or damages property by negligence using a potentially harmful or destructive force or substance (CGS 53a-117k et seq. ).

3. It eliminates a provision punishing willfully damaging property on the fair grounds of an agricultural society, obstructing officers performing their duties there, and wrongfully gaining admission to the fairgrounds with up to 30 days in prison, a fine of up to $ 25, or both (CGS 22-125). By law, various generally applicable criminal laws apply to this conduct, regardless of where it occurs.

4. It eliminates provisions requiring anyone growing swine to be used other than on the premises to register with the agriculture commissioner; authorizing the commissioner to issue orders and regulations on examinations, quarantines, disinfection, treatment, disposition, transportation, importation, feeding, and sanitation; authorizing investigations of diseases and preventing spread of diseases, prohibiting bringing swine into the state unless they are brucellosis-free and pseudorabies-negative and requiring test after importation (with exceptions); and requiring swine brought in for immediate slaughter to be killed in an approved slaughterhouse under veterinary inspection. It eliminates the penalty of up to 30 days in prison, a fine of up to $ 100, or both for violating these provisions (CGS 22-319). A number of other statutes apply to diseases of domestic animals and provide penalties for their violation (CGS 22-278 et seq. , 22-319a, and 22-320a et seq. ).

5. It eliminates a provision punishing putting or leaving a dead animal in a pond, spring, or reservoir that supplies water to a building or willfully putting a dead animal in any water with up to 30 days in prison, a fine of up to $ 50, or both (CGS 25-38). By law, putting anything into a spring, fountain, cistern, or other place where water is taken for drinking or other purposes to pollute its quality is punishable by up to six months in prison, a fine of up to $ 500, or both (CGS 25-39). By law, anyone who puts a pollutant or harmful substance into a reservoir, lake, pond, or stream that provides public water supply is subject to up to 30 days in prison, a fine of up to $ 500, or both (CGS 25-43(b)). The law also prohibits allowing a pollutant or harmful substance to enter a public water supply reservoir or its tributaries but the bill changes the penalty for violating this provision from an unclassified misdemeanor to a mail-in violation of up to $ 500 (see 18 above, CGS 25-43(a)).

6. It eliminates a provision punishing (a) a state or local police officer or anyone with arrest powers who, directly or indirectly, receives a reward, gift, or gratuity for influencing his or her behavior and (b) anyone who gives, offers, or promises it (unless approved by the commissioner, chief, or police commissioners because of official services) with up to six months in prison, a fine of up to $ 100, or both (CGS 29-9). By law, it is a class C felony (punishable by one to 10 years in prison, a fine of up to $ 10,000, or both) for a (a) public servant to solicit, accept, or agree to accept a benefit for, because of, or as consideration for a decision, opinion, recommendation, or vote or (b) person to offer to do so (CGS 53a-147 and -148).

7. It eliminates a provision punishing anyone who operates or intends to operate a manufacturing or mechanical establishment who has not registered with the labor commissioner or not been included on the list of Connecticut factories. (The labor department no longer compiles this list. ) The registration includes the owner's and business' name, nature, and location, and other information the commissioner requires. An employer's failure to register is punishable by a fine of $ 25 to $ 100 for the 1st offense and a fine of $ 100 to $ 500 and 30 to 60 days in prison, or both for subsequent offenses (CGS 31-28)

8. It eliminates provisions prohibiting industrial home work (a business giving materials to someone at home to manufacture, finish, repair, or handle) unless the business and person performing the work receive certificates from the labor commissioner. To receive a certificate, a person must be age 16 or older and prove that illness or old age incapacitate him or her from working in the regular business place or that his or her services are essential in the home to care for a household member. The work at home must be customary in the field and suspending it must be an undue hardship. Certificates cannot be issued if someone in the home has a communicable disease. Wage rates must be the same as in places of similar work. An employer can receive a certificate for a $ 25 annual fee if work in home is customary and necessary in the industry, no harmful or dangerous apparatus or substance is used, and certified home workers are used. The employer must keep records and the commissioner can seize evidence of violations. Violations are punishable by up to $ 25 per day, up to 30 days in prison, or both, and the commissioner can revoke a certificate or permit (CGS 31-33).

9. It eliminates a provision that payments to employee welfare funds (CGS 31-53(i)) that are considered past due under a written contract or rules and regulations adopted by the fund's trustees are treated as wages for purposes of allowing an employee, labor organization, or the labor department to sue and recover twice the amount due plus costs and reasonable attorneys' fees. A proprietor, partner, or corporate officer, director, or employee who fails to make a payment is subject to up to a $ 200 fine, up to 30 days in prison, or both for each week of nonpayment. A proprietor, partner, or corporate officer of director is personally liable in a civil action for the amounts due plus costs and reasonable attorney's fees (CGS 31-89a).

10. It eliminates a provision prohibiting burying a body within 350 feet of a house unless (1) a public highway intervenes, (2) the body is encased in a lined vault, (3) it is buried in a cemetery established by November 1, 1911 or a plot adjacent to it was made part of it with the public health commissioner's approval (which must be recorded in the land records), or (4) the cemetery was more than 350 feet away from any house when it was established. Currently, violations are punishable by up to a $ 50 fine, up to 30 days in prison, or both (CGS 53-332).

11. It eliminates a provision that requires the top of a container with a corpse to be buried at least 2. 5 feet below ground or 1. 5 feet below ground if the container is made of steel, bronze, concrete, or other impermeable material, with violations punishable by up to a $ 100 fine, up to 30 days in prison, or both (CGS 53-333a). The law also prohibits burial wholly or partially above ground unless in an established cemetery or ground or structure approved by the Department of Public Health (CGS 19a-313).

OTHER CHANGES TO UNCLASSIFIED MISDEMEANORS

The bill places a maximum prison sentence on the unclassified misdemeanor of willfully violating zoning regulations ( 5, CGS 8-12). Under current law, this crime is punishable by up to 10 days in prison, a fine of $ 100 to $ 250 per day, or both for each day the zoning violation continues. The bill caps the possible prison term at 30 days. Because the 30-day prison term matches the prison penalty for a class D misdemeanor, the bill deems this offense to be a D misdemeanor.

The law punishes eavesdropping by an employer under certain circumstances. By law, a first offense is a $ 500 fine and a second offense is a $ 1,000 fine. Under current law, a third or subsequent offense requires a 30-day prison sentence. The bill also allows the court to impose a fine of up to $ 1,000 for a third or subsequent offense. The bill deems a third or subsequent offense to be classified as a D misdemeanor ( 92, CGS 31-48b).

The law punishes false statement by a dealer, repairer, or motor carrier regarding vehicle inspection. For a first offense, the bill retains the fine of up to $ 1,000 but changes the maximum prison term from 90 days to three months. Thus, the bill deems this crime to be a class C misdemeanor ( 164, CGS 14-163e). For a second or subsequent offense, the bill changes the potential fine from at least $ 2,000 to no more than $ 2,000. It retains the maximum prison sentence of up to one year. Thus, the bill deems this crime to be a class A misdemeanor. By law, this conduct is also subject to the penalty for false statement.

Under current law, anyone who violates the law or regulations regarding fireworks displays and permits and causes death or injury is punishable by up to 10 years in prison, a fine of up to $ 10,000, or both. The bill makes this a class C felony, which has the same penalty except that the prison penalty is one to 10 years. As under current law, a judge can suspend any or all of the prison sentence as none of it is a mandatory minimum sentence ( 179-180, CGS 29-357, also see Table 9 for the penalty for violations that do not cause death or injury).

COMMITTEE ACTION

Judiciary Committee

Joint Favorable

Yea

42

Nay

0

(03/26/2012)