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Criminal Justice Committee Passes Bill to Raise Penalties for Felony Domestic Violence Offenders

October 12, 2023
Jeff LaRe News

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COLUMBUS – House Bill 111, which will raise the penalties for domestic violence offenders from a “low tier” third-degree felony to a “high tier” third-degree felony, passed the House Criminal Justice Committee 11-0. Bill sponsors, State Reps. LaRe (R-Violet Twp.) and Miller (R-Newark) were pleased to see unanimous support from the committee. 

Currently, when repeat domestic violence offenders are charged with a third-degree felony, they are subjected to a “low tier” sentencing range of 9-36 months. To reflect the seriousness of repeat offenders, House Bill 111 increases the third-degree felony to a “high tier” sentencing range of 12-60 months.

“An increase in the minimum sentencing for repeat domestic violence offenders actively works to protect victims and addresses the severity of the abuse committed,” said LaRe. “The increased sentencing will give survivors more time to establish long-term safety plans to remove themselves from their abuser.”

The legislation also creates a presumption favoring a prison term for third-degree felony domestic violence offenses if the offenders knew that the victim was pregnant at the time of the violation.

“The addition of a presumption favoring a prison term for offenders who knew victims were pregnant will help shield victims from a repeated cycle of domestic abuse that the current laws do not adequately defend against,” said Miller. “The legislation will help countless survivors trying to free themselves from their abusers.”

House Bill 111 awaits a vote on the House floor.