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article imageDomestic Abuse Now a Felony in U.S.

By Shawna Vasquez     Jul 6, 2009 in Crime
Repeat domestic abuse will now be a felony and will no longer be a misdemeanor. Also, sex offenders are no longer allowed to be employed as ice-cream delivery drivers.
In the past domestic abuse was a misdemeanor and meant that the offender went to jail over night and then would go home. Now with the new law Senate Bill 1020 there will not be just a over night stay. A conviction means that the guilty person will be going to prison for as much as 10 years and could pay a fine of $5,000 or both.
Domestic abuse has been a misdemeanor and over looked by society. However, Senator Jonathan Nicholas has changed that for Oklahoma. Now a person might really think about the conviction of a prior offense and know that the new law will not allow a slap on the wrist.
“The prior incidences only need to be proven through direct evidence of any type," Nichols said. "It could include photographs, videotapes, emergency-room reports, a witness or an emergency-room attendant. Direct evidence takes many forms in the law.”
This law was established because of repeat offenders and also there is a section of the law that includes the hiring of sex offenders. This section of the law has been added because of sex offenders working for ice-cream delivery trucks. The new law requires the employer to screen and conduct background checks for potential drivers.
Sex offenders found to be operating ice-cream trucks will face 2 ½ years in prison, a fine of $1000 or both. If an employer finds out that a person has a sex offense, then that employer is responsible for reporting the individual to the law.
Senator Jay Paul Gumm is one of the sponsors for this part of the law, he said, "There hasn't been a case in Oklahoma, but there have been several in other states," including California, New York, Pennsylvania and Florida.
More about Domestic abuse, Felony, Sex offender
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