Source: Assembly Republican Press Release-
Legislation sponsored by Assembly Republicans Mary Pat Angelini, Dave Rible, Scott Rumana and BettyLou DeCroce that makes the crime of home invasion when a person is present a first degree offense was approved by the General Assembly today. The bill (A-4329/S-2932) is in response to the break-in, robbery and vicious assault in a Millburn residence in June.
“The video showing the break-in and assault that took place in Millburn was horrifying,” said Angelini, R-Monmouth. “The intrusion and callous disregard for the homeowner was shocking and disgusting. A criminal who acts with such indifference should face a severe penalty, without leniency.”
The Home Invasion Bill stipulates that entering a home with the intent to commit a robbery, a first or second degree crime, or certain kidnapping and sexual crimes when a person is present is a first degree crime, which imposes a 10-30 year prison term.
“The contempt demonstrated by the assailant shows the cruel indifference criminals have for the public,” said Rible, R-Monmouth and Ocean, who is a retired police officer. “Words cannot aptly describe the fear a person and their loved ones feel when a burglary occurs when they are home. A person who acts with utter disdain and disrespect for other human beings and their property must pay the appropriate penalty.”
A home invasion offense would be subject to the No Early Release Act which stipulates that the convicted must serve at least 85 percent of their sentence.
“Home invasion is an egregious violation of a person’s right to live peacefully in their home,” said Rumana, R-Passaic, Bergen, Essex and Morris. “The trauma of burglary is bad enough, but when a person is in their home and fearing for their life, the mental and physical anguish never goes away. A criminal who acts so viciously deserves to face the stiffest sentence under the law.”
“The assault in Millburn is an example of how callously indifferent criminals are,” said DeCroce, R-Morris, Essex and Passaic, who sponsored legislation signed into law last year (Alex DeCroce’s Law) advocating for the rights of crime victims. “The brutality of this attack is a vivid example of the horror people endure. Many victims of crime bear the emotional trauma forever, especially when it involves an intrusion into their home. The criminal who is responsible deserves to pay a steep penalty for the harm they cause.”
Currently, the charge for the unlawful, non-violent break-in of a home is a third degree offense and does not require a prison sentence.