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Senate approves bill for tougher penalties for domestic abuse

If someone has been convicted of domestic violence in the past, should that person be exposed to more serious penalties in the case of a repeat offense? If you've been victimized by a domestic violence offender, then your opinion may be that people who offend more than once deserve much harsher penalties. That's what the Georgia Senate believes, too, and soon, you and your attorney may be able to seek harsher penalties for those who are abusive to the people they are meant to be in a loving relationship with.

The Georgia Senate has backed tougher penalties for repeat offenders in a new bill, Senate Bill 193. The bill, if it passes both the Senate and House, will allow the potential misdemeanor charge for domestic violence to be raised to a felony charge instead if there was a prior out-of-state conviction for domestic violence.

What happens if the offense didn't take place out of state? In Georgia, those with a history of past crimes similar to domestic violence could also be arrested under a felony arrest, even if the first crime wasn't reported as a case of domestic violence. For example, someone who is violent to another person but faced assault charges could face domestic assault charges of a higher level, even though the first case wasn't against someone in the home.

What does this bill do for the state? The bill is meant to close loopholes that allowed those who were repeat offenders to walk free. The bill will need to go through the state House for consideration before it can be implemented.

Source: My Atlanta Journal Constitution, "Georgia Senate backs tougher penalties for repeated domestic violence," Kristina Torres, Feb. 02, 2016

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