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Senator Iwamoto Passes Domestic Violence Amendments on Senate Floor

Domestic Violence Amendments Pass on Senate Floor

SALT LAKE CITY – Sen. Jani Iwamoto passed S.B. 64, Domestic Violence Amendments, on the Utah Senate Floor Thursday morning. The legislation enhances penalties for repeated domestic violence crimes to a third-degree felony.

Currently, under Utah law, domestic violence infractions (defined in lines 111-114) result in a class A misdemeanor. S.B. 64 would carry a third-degree felony for an individual who commits a domestic violence offense after two previous convictions (lines 147-166) in the past 10 years.

"Domestic violence is cyclical in nature and escalates over time. Also, there is a risk of lethality that is always attached to domestic violence. Statistically looking at the number of fatalities in Utah, an overwhelming amount of them are related to domestic violence," Iwamoto said on Tuesday in the Senate Chamber.

Under the legislation, the enhancement window for domestic violence cases of criminal mischief is five years, rather than 10. Additionally, convictions on an individual’s juvenile record would not be accounted for in the 10 year window and cannot be used to enhance penalties as an adult.

The bill faced opposition on the Senate Floor by Sen. Anderegg, who wasn’t sure that increased penalties will be the solution to stopping domestic violence as a whole. Anderegg voted in support of it, regardless.

The bill passed third reading on the Floor with overwhelming support and only one dissenting vote from Sen. Johnson, without explanation. From here, the bill will be recommended to the House of Representatives for further discussion.



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