INDIANAPOLIS — A bill that would change the amount of time people arrested for domestic violence must stay in jail is one step closer to the governor’s desk.
Senate Bill 158 would require those arrested for domestic violence to stay in jail for 24 hours before posting bail. Currently, the mandatory holding period is eight hours.
“What we know is that we’re not doing well in this category of folks that are victims of domestic violence,” State Sen. Michael Crider (R-Greenfield) said. “This bill is an attempt to help those victims have more time to get their lives in order and to get separation from the person that intends to cause them harm.”
Those in favor of the bill claim the current eight hour holding period is not long enough.
“A lot of domestic violence arrests take place at night. If you have an injury that doesn’t require you to go to the hospital, but it does need medical care, our victims will wait until the morning to seek medical care,” Courtney Curtis, Assistant Executive Director of the Indiana Prosecuting Attorney’s Council, said. “By the time they get home from the doctor or from even making a statement to the detective, the offender is back in the home.”
The bill will also raise the charge of invasion of privacy to a Level 6 felony if the suspect has a prior unrelated criminal stalking conviction. It is currently a Class A misdemeanor.
The bill passed in the Senate with a 47-2 vote.
The House Committee on Courts and Criminal Code voted in favor of the bill on Thursday. The bill will now go to the House floor.