Domestic violence is a serious issue across the United States. State lawmakers in Louisiana are looking to address this issue with legislation aimed at protecting victims of marriage violence. House Bill 896, also known as the “Crimes of Violence” Bill, increases penalties and expands existing laws related to domestic abuse. It was approved by the Senate on May 8, 2019.
Under the new bill, the legal definition of “crimes of violence” will be expanded to include domestic violence-related offenses. This includes battery resulting in serious bodily injury to a domestic partner. Violation of a protective order resulting in violence will also be defined as such.
By defining these as crimes of violence under Louisiana criminal law, additional punishments will now apply to perpetrators. The offender must be imprisoned at hard labor for a minimum of 5 years without the possibility of probation or parole. The maximum punishment in these crimes is 50 years, with an additional five to 50 years to be added if the offense results in serious injury.
Overall, the new Louisiana state bill will mean harsher penalties for those convicted of marriage violence in the state. Prior to the passage of this bill, crimes of violence were limited to particular domestic incidents such as strangulation, burning, violence against a pregnant partner or a crime in front of a child under the age of 14. Despite the new criminal law standards, an understanding of family law is often needed as well to manage issues of separation, protective orders and child custody in abusive relationships. A family lawyer within the state is a good resource for understanding these issues.
Source: shreveporttimes.com, “‘Crimes of Violence’ bill heads to governor“, May 10, 2018