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Louisiana governor considers changes to domestic violence laws

While many domestic violence cases have evidence of a victim being harassed, abused or injured by their partner, adequate punishment can be hard to come by under certain state laws in Louisiana. Domestic abuse not only causes fear and danger for the victim, but it can also be threatening to that person’s children, loved ones and colleagues.

After considerable time and careful articulation, Louisiana’s Governor is in the process of passing two bills that will positively modify current laws regarding domestic violence. Both have been successfully passed by the Senate and are now awaiting the Governor’s approval.

One bill proposes stricter consequences for individuals who violate protective orders placed against them. Whether or not they have acted in violence, if they have breached a court-ordered measure, they are immediately facing fines and imprisonment. The fines leveled against them and prison time sentencing vary depending on whether or not it is a recurring offense. Additionally, the perpetrator is not allowed to have any contact with the victim or their family throughout all proceedings.

Another bill has been modified to extend the consequences of domestic violence laws to apply to dating partners in addition to perpetrators who are married or living with the victim. The bill provides needed protection to dating couples. Currently, perpetrators who are not married to or living with the victim can only be charged with battery while the new bill will make them subject to more serious consequences.

Victims of domestic violence and their family members often face a long road to recovering physically, mentally and emotionally. For people involved in domestic abuse situations, contacting an attorney may be a beneficial resource to navigate proceedings confidently.

Source: The Times, “Bill to expand domestic violence laws heads to Gov. Edwards,” Katie Gagliano, June 5, 2017

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