Speight, Timberlake & McKnight Bill Prohibiting Denial of Compensation for Victims of Crimes Based on Certain Unrelated Charges Passes Assembly

In an effort to assist more victims of crime regardless of their own history with the judicial system, Assembly Democrats Shanique Speight, Britnee N. Timberlake and Angela McKnight sponsor a bill that would prohibit a victim from being denied compensation based solely on certain unrelated outstanding warrants or charges brought against them.

In New Jersey, a person who is physically, psychologically or personally injured as a result of someone else’s conduct may apply to receive financial compensation through the Victims of Crime Compensation Office (VCCO). In the case of a victim’s death, their dependent may apply for compensation instead.

Under the bill (A-3883), a victim of a crime could not be denied an award by the VCCO based on certain outstanding warrants for their arrest or criminal charges pending against them. The victim’s history would not preclude them from receiving compensation if the warrant or charges were for traffic violations, petty disorderly persons offenses, disorderly persons offenses or crimes of the fourth degree.

Upon the measure passing the full Assembly Thursday, 65-6-0, Assemblywomen Speight (D-Essex), Timberlake (D-Essex, Passaic) and McKnight (D-Hudson) issued the following joint statement:

 

“A person’s history with the judicial system should not have any bearing on whether they receive compensation for the physical or psychological trauma they sustain as the victim of a crime. This legislation will ensure more residents receive the support they need from our state if they have been the victim of a crime.”

 

The legislation now heads to the Senate.