Today, the Orange County Domestic Violence Commission presented two bills slated for the Florida legislative session next month.
The No Contact Legislative Bill (SB 342) would ensure no contact orders given by the court will take place immediately; preventing perpetrators from contacting victims and their families while in jail.
Senator David Simmons (R), who sponsored the bill, is "optimistic" it will pass.
"We're going to work to see if we can get it passed, and we feel confident that we have a very good chance."
State Attorney Jeff Ashton says the No Contact Legislation Bill will help prosecute violators of no contact orders by using jail calls as evidence.
"The beauty of this new law is it will enable us to prosecute offenders even without victim cooperation, because you don't necessarily have to have a victim testify to prove that there was a violation of contact."
The Electronic Monitoring Bill (SB 1286) will make it a third degree felony if anyone tampers with or removes an electronic monitoring device.
Former Chief Judge Belvin Perry helped draft this bill and it is sponsored by both Senator Simmons and Representative Vic Torres (D).
Carol Wick, Chief Executive Officer of Harbor House, says, “Both these bills are very critical to the safety of not only domestic abuse survivors, but any person who’s a victim of crime where the offender still poses a threat.”
Currently, it’s not a criminal act to remove a GPS monitoring device unless it’s a part of community control.