Solicitor Stone praises new domestic violence law
COLUMBIA – Today’s newly-signed domestic violence law provides prosecutors more tools to effectively fight this crime.
The key changes to the new law – signed today by Gov. Nikki Haley -- enhances penalties for repeat offenders, enhances penalties toward those who commit domestic violence in front of children and bolsters penalties based on the severity of abuse.
Solicitor Duffie Stone was invited to attend the bill’s signing as a member of the Governor’s Task Force on Domestic Violence.
“This law recognizes the nature of domestic violence and gives prosecutors more tools to fight it,” Stone said. “We know that domestic violence is repeated, escalating, and learned behavior. This law allows us to punish offenders accordingly.”
Penalties for the most severe crimes were increased from 10 years to 20 years. Penalties for the lower offenses increased from 30 days to 90 days.
Finally, the new law comes with a flexibility provision, a provision that has been available to Fourteenth Circuit prosecutors since 2006. The flexibility allows the solicitor to prosecute even the lowest-level domestic violence offenders in General Sessions Court, along with those offenders charged with murder, rape and robbery.
“Rep. Shannon Erickson deserves a great deal of credit for this new law,” Stone said. “She chaired the special domestic violence committee and has worked tirelessly with her colleagues in the House and the Senate to draft and pass this legislation. I also appreciate the governor for signing it into law and appreciate Senator Martin for sponsoring the bill.”