Legislature approves Smith/Glover domestic abuse bill
State senators Tuesday granted unanimous final approval to legislation that increases domestic abuse penalties and expands existing laws.
The House already had unanimously approved House Bill 896 by Rep. Patricia Smith, D-Baton Rouge, and Rep. Cedric Glover, D-Shreveport.
The legislation expands “crimes of violence” to include battery that results in serious bodily injury to a domestic partner or dating partner that, and to include violation of protective orders if the violation involves battery or any crime of violence against the person who has obtained a protective order.
Glover praised the passage of the legislation as “an important step toward protecting women from abusive spouses. I’m still at a loss to understand how the act of domestic abuse battery is not already in and of itself a crime of violence.”
Declaring such action a crime of violence adds additional punishment to other penalties so that the offender must be imprisoned at hard labor for 5 to 50 years without benefit of probation, parole or suspension of sentence.
Existing law defines crime of violence as when the crime of battery is inflicted on a domestic or dating partner involves strangulation or burning, the victim is pregnant or the crime is committed in the presence of a child under age 14.
HB896 adds that if the offense results in serious injury, other than by burning, the offender will have another 5 to 50 years attached to any other sentence.
Since the Senate approved the bill without amending the House-passed version, HB896 now goes to the governor for signing into law.
Contributed by La. House of Reps.