The legislature made several changes to stop domestic abuse this session, including mandatory minimums for repeat offenses of domestic abuse and better tracking and monitoring of abusers.
The approved bill creates new mandatory minimum sentences for repeat offenses of domestic abuse. A mandatory minimum sentence of 1/5 of the criminal penalty is required for a third or subsequent conviction of domestic abuse assault. Effectively, this means someone convicted of third offense domestic abuse would have a one year minimum sentence and could face up to face years in prison. The bill requires treatment for domestic abusers or they must serve more time in prison. The bill allows for greater use of electronic tracking of offenders when they are released.
The offense of stalking is expanded and a new offense for using a GPS device is created. Stalking is expanded to include the use of technological devices to track someone and makes it easier to prove a case of stalking by expanding the ways a victim can prove that the person felt they were at risk. A new criminal offense of unauthorized placement of a GPS device is created for any time someone uses one of these devices without a legitimate purpose.