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New York lawmakers introduce new domestic violence laws

Bringing an end to domestic violence is an issue that everyone can get behind, even those who have different political views.

Recently, New York lawmakers introduced a series of family law bills targeting domestic violence. The new legislation seeks to increase the punishment for repeat offenders, provide judges with more discretion and enhance protection for victims of domestic violence.

Senator Daniel Squadron introduced the legislation in honor of a fallen New York Police Officer. The officer was murdered while responding to a domestic violence call involving a perpetrator with a long history of domestic violence-related offenses.

Under current law, repeat offenders often face minimal punishments, receiving little more than a misdemeanor for their crimes. The new legislation, however, takes a hard stance on repeat domestic violence offenders, significantly increasing their penalties.

Under the new law, anyone charged with two offenses in a five-year period will face felony charges. These charges will carry up to a four-year prison sentence. The legislation will also provide judges with more freedom to order extended periods of probation.

The legislation also creates new protections for victims. Among these new protections, the law allows judges the ability to approve longer protection orders and creates substitute-mailing addresses for victims that will be maintained by the Department of State. The legislation is expected to pass by the end of June and go into effect sometime near the end of the year.

The hope, of course, is that the legislation will ultimately be met with a decrease in domestic violence, something people of all political persuasions can get behind.

Source: The Empire, "State Lawmakers Agree to Crack Down on Domestic Violence Offenders," Cindy Rodriguez, June 11, 2012

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