TOUGH NEW LEGISLATION WILL IMPROVE PUBLIC SAFETY
Laws will protect domestic violence victims; target sexual predators, impaired drivers
Safety of Hoosiers was a priority this year, with lawmakers passing legislation to protect victims of domestic violence, keep violent sexual predators off the streets, address the increase in theft of valuable metals and stiffen penalties for impaired driving.
The first three enrolled acts listed below take effect July 1. Senate Enrolled Act 343 became law when it passed in March.
Senate Enrolled Act 27 creates a “cooling-off period” in domestic violence cases by requiring suspects be held in custody for eight hours following their arrest and prohibits their release bail during that time.
House Enrolled Act 1276 requires a hearing within 48 hours of the arrest of someone charged with a sexually violent crime to consider the alleged perpetrator’s prior criminal history and determine if the defendant should be released on bail. This legislation was passed in response to the murder of an Indiana girl last year by a convicted sex offender out on bail.
House Enrolled Act 1052 imposes stiffer penalties for impaired drivers causing crashes resulting in death or serious injury. Impaired driving causing death will be Class A felony with a possible 20 to 50 year jail term and $10,000 fine, while the penalty for causing serious bodily injury while impaired will be a Class B felony with a possible 6 to 20 year jail term and $10,000 fine.
Senate Enrolled Act 343 mandates the Sentencing Policy Committee to study issues related to the theft of copper and other valuable metals. The committee will study ways to heighten awareness among metal dealers because of the recent increase in thefts of valuable metals from homes and construction sites
Sen. David Long (R-Fort Wayne) is President Pro-Tem of the Indiana Senate. He serves District 16, which includes portions of Fort Wayne.
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