COLUMBUS—State Senator Jay Hottinger (R-Newark) today announced the Senate's unanimous passage of his legislation which would increase penalties associated with 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 28 addresses this problem by increasing the penalties for aggravated menacing and menacing provided the victim of the offense had a civil or criminal protection order against the offender. The bill would increase the penalty for aggravated menacing to a fourth degree felony and the penalty for menacing to a fifth degree felony. Additionally, if the offender is a repeat violator, the penalty would increase to a third degree felony for aggravated menacing and a fourth degree felony for menacing.
“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 offenses—better protecting victims in Ohio.”
Senator Hottinger developed the legislation in collaboration with Licking County Prosecutor Bill Hayes and Newark Chief of Police Barry Connell. These local officials both cited numerous examples of offenders who continue to violate a protection order because there is no meaningful jail time for the violation.
Senate Bill 28 now moves to the Ohio House of Representatives for further consideration.