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Dating partners now under widened domestic abuse law in Louisiana

Louisiana Rep. Helena Moreno (D-New Orleans) proposed a few changes to the state's domestic abuse laws. Should House Bill 223 be signed into law by Gov. John Bel Edwards, the crimes of aggravated assault on a dating partner and battery of a dating partner will be created.

The penalties will vary for a conviction for one of these crimes; however, there is no decade-long firearm ban if the charged person is found guilty. A federal ban on firearms would be triggered for domestic crimes that involved intense violence, such as strangling or burning. This would also affect repeat offenders. This House bill passed 23 to 14.

Another bill -- House Bill 27 -- was sponsored by Rep. Patrick Connick, (R-Marrero) changed the definition of a "household member" in cases where a couple is involved in an intimate or sexual relationship. The sexual orientation of the couples does not matter. This bill was passed by the Senate 25-13.

The governor is expected to sign these two bills into law. That will remove Louisiana's name from a list of nine states that don't give dating partners the same protections as spouses.

Those who are victims of domestic abuse may find some comfort in the addition of these crimes to the state law book. An attorney who is experienced in these cases can help a victim petition the court for a restraining order to keep his or her abuser away. In addition, an attorney can help the victim when it comes to testifying in court against the abuser. Getting away from the abuse must be a priority in order to put an end to the violence.

Source: nola.com, "Domestic abuse laws would extend to dating partners under widened Louisiana law," June 04, 2017

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