Wednesday, January 29, 2014

GPS Tracking following Domestic Violence conviction - 2014 Indiana Senate Bill 390

29 January 2014

One of the advantages to state legislation is that it is rarely verbose. Senate Bill 390 which has been introduced by Senator Richard Young easily complies with this practice. Senator Young is seeking to add a new section to the criminal code related to sentencing of Domestic Violence offenders. The complete text of the bill is;
Ind. Code § 35-38-2-2.8
(a) Except as provided in subsection (c), if:
(1) a person is convicted of a crime involving domestic of family violence; and
(2) the person is placed on probation or parole;
the sentencing court shall require the person to wear a GPS tracking device as a condition of probation or parole. The court shall require the person to wear the GPS tracking device for at least the first six (6) months of the person's probation or parole.
(b) If a court requires a person to wear a GPS tracking device as a condition of probation or parole, the court shall require the person to pay any costs associated with the GPS tracking device.
(c) A court is not required to require a person described in subsection (a) to wear a GPS tracking device if:
(1) the person is unable to pay the costs associated with the GPS tracking device due to indigency; and
(2) funding for GPS tracking is not otherwise available.

The effect of this bill is readily understood. Upon a conviction for Domestic Violence an offender, as part of the sentencing, will be required to wear a GPS device for no less than the first six months of probation or parole. The offender is required to pay for the cost of the monitoring. If, however, the person is indigent and funding is not otherwise available then the court is not required to order the GPS monitoring.

I have had clients who were on GPS monitoring as part of the condition of pre-trial release. While there is a financial cost associated with it, in at least one case it served my client well as he was able to use it to demonstrate that he had not violated the pre-trial No Contact Order as had been alleged. With the risk of probation revocation being high along with a reduced due-process standard the GPS monitoring could aid the probationers.

Likewise, the GPS monitoring could aid the protected person by certainly providing an incentive to the offender to not intentionally violate the No Contact Order. While the orders are never a guaranteed protection and neither would be the GPS monitoring it could still provide a valuable sense of security to the victim.

It is not clear to me from the language of the bill that a victim could offer to pay for the monitoring if the court could not otherwise require it. It does seem permissible though and could be worth it for those victims who would wish to pay the costs.

This bill has been referred to the Senate Committee on the Judiciary.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Make a suggestion for me to write about.

Parents who would like to achieve the best outcome for their children in a contested child custody case should visit my website and contact my scheduler to make an appointment to meet with me. Attorneys may request a free consultation to learn how I can maximize their advocacy for their clients.

Connect with me for the latest Indiana child custody related policy considerations, findings, court rulings and discussions.

View Stuart Showalter's profile on LinkedIn

Subscribe to my child custody updates

* indicates required
©2008, 2014 Stuart Showalter, LLC. Permission is granted to all non-commercial entities to reproduce this article in it's entirety with credit given.

No comments: