North Carolina is currently considering adopting a new law requiring domestic violence offenders to wear ankle GPS bracelets to track their whereabouts. The House Bill, H.B. 46, is also referred to as Allison’s law because it could, if made into a law, save lives such as Allison Holt, who was killed by her estranged husband back in 2009 two days after she filed a restraining order against him. A staggering 60 percent of violence-caused injuries were inflicted on family members, loved ones, or acquaintances, according to the Bureau of Justice Statistics and reported by Mother Jones. And, 60 percent of those injuries happened at home. Additionally, 79 percent of murders, when the victim-murderer relationship was known, were incidents where the victim was a loved one, friend, or acquaintance of the murderer. By keeping tabs on the violent person, lawmakers hope to curb the deaths and injuries of thousands of North Carolina victims each year.
About the Ankle Bracelet and the Program
The bill calls for the offenders to wear the GPS device at all times (24 hours a day). If they are found outside of their approved zone, they will be arrested immediately. This is all to provide safety for their potential victims. Last year in North Carolina there were 64 domestic violence homicides, according to North Carolina Coalition Against Domestic Violence and reported by WNCN News. The lawmakers of the bill are currently undecided and are seeking feedback from a future Department of Public Safety pilot program on the following:
- Whether GPS units should be worn only by offenders who violate a domestic violence protective order;
- Whether GPS units should also be worn by violent offenders;
- What constitutes a violent offender;
- How the program should be staffed;
- Type of GPS unit to be used;
- Type of GPS monitoring to be used and whether it will provide real time data;
- If the victim’s location will also be monitored for their safety, and what privacy concerns will arise because of that;
- Cost of the program; and
- Comparison of North Carolina’s program to those of other states.
Recent Successful Results in Close-By States
Several other states have had success, including Connecticut, which began their trial program in two high-risk regions back in 2010. The Connecticut Mirror reported that between 2010 and 2013 they had 168 defendants wearing ankle bracelets. As a result, none of the victims were injured or killed in additional assaults.
What is Domestic Violence?
Domestic violence, when the offender is in a relationship with the victim, is causing bodily injury, the attempt to cause bodily injury, or putting the victim or their family members in fear of injury. Placing the victim or their family members in emotional distress over their safety is also considered domestic violence.
Contact a Charlotte, North Carolina Domestic Violence Attorney Today for Help
If you or a family member is the victim of domestic violence of any kind, we strongly encourage you to contact an attorney immediately. Do not hesitate to call the compassionate attorneys of Powers Landreth PLLC Charlotte today.