New law protects victims of domestic violence

Legislation sponsored by State Rep. Jerry Costello (D-Smithton) to protect victims of domestic violence by allowing GPS tracking of people charged with domestic violence or kidnapping-related crimes was signed into law on Friday.

“Victims of domestic violence can continue to be in danger when the accused perpetrator is released on bail,” Costello said. “It is a necessity to aid law enforcement in any we can to fight ongoing domestic violence.”

Under previous law, a judge can require people who violate an order of protection to wear a GPS tracking device. House Bill 3744 gives judges the ability to require GPS tracking of people charged with domestic battery or kidnapping-related crimes as a condition of bail.  The violent crimes covered under this act include: felony domestic battery, aggravated domestic battery, aggravated battery, kidnapping, aggravated kidnapping, unlawful restraint, aggravated unlawful restraint and attempted first degree murder.

Even if the accused has not violated an order of protection, the judge can still require electronic surveillance.

For any questions or concerns about domestic violence, visit, opt into a live chat or speak with trained National Domestic Violence advocates available to take your calls at 1-800-799-SAFE.

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Corey Saathoff

Corey is the editor of the Republic-Times. He has worked at the newspaper since 2004, and currently resides in Columbia. He is also the principal singer-songwriter and plays guitar in St. Louis area country-rock band The Trophy Mules.
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