COLUMBUS—State Senator Jay Hottinger
(R-Newark) today announced the Senate passage of his legislation, which would increase penalties associated with repeat violations of a protection order.
Too often, an individual who violates a protection order will continue menacing the victim who sought the order since the offender is likely to only receive a misdemeanor for the violation.
Senate Bill 171 addresses this problem by increasing the penalty for violating a protection order if the offender has one or more prior convictions of that offense or another specified offense. Under current law, the penalty for violating a protection order generally is a first degree misdemeanor. This proposal would allow the penalty to be increased up to a third degree felony.
“Offenders who violate protection orders should be given more than a slap on the wrist,” said Hottinger. “Increasing the penalties up to felony charges, and possible incarceration, will help prevent repeat offense—better protecting victims in Ohio.”
Senator Hottinger developed the legislation in collaboration with Licking County Prosecutor Bill Hayes, who cited many examples of individuals who knowingly violated the terms of their protection order, which by current Ohio law did not ensure an arrest.
Senate Bill 171 now moves to the Ohio House of Representatives for further consideration.