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Louisiana Domestic Abuse Battery Law

LSA-R.S. 14:35.3

A. Domestic abuse battery is the intentional use of force or violence committed by one household member upon the person of another household member.

B. For purposes of this Section:

(1) “Community service activities” as used in this Section may include duty in any morgue, coroner’s office, or emergency treatment room of a state-operated hospital or other state-operated emergency treatment facility, with the consent of the administrator of the morgue, coroner’s office, hospital, or facility.

(2) “Household member” means any person of the opposite sex presently living in the same residence or living in the same residence within five years of the occurrence of the domestic abuse battery with the defendant as a spouse, whether married or not, or any child presently living in the same residence or living in the same residence within five years immediately prior to the occurrence of domestic abuse battery, or any child of the offender regardless of where the child resides.

(3) “Strangulation” means intentionally impeding the normal breathing or circulation of the blood by applying pressure on the throat or neck or by blocking the nose or mouth of the victim.

C. On a first conviction, notwithstanding any other provision of law to the contrary, the offender shall be fined not less than three hundred dollars nor more than one thousand dollars and shall be imprisoned for not less than thirty days nor more than six months. At least forty-eight hours of the sentence imposed shall be served without benefit of parole, probation, or suspension of sentence. Imposition or execution of the remainder of the sentence shall not be suspended unless either of the following occur:

(1) The offender is placed on probation with a minimum condition that he serve four days in jail and participate in a court-approved domestic abuse prevention program, and the offender shall not own or possess a firearm throughout the entirety of the sentence.

(2) The offender is placed on probation with a minimum condition that he perform eight, eight-hour days of court-approved community service activities and participate in a court-approved domestic abuse prevention program, and the offender shall not own or possess a firearm throughout the entirety of the sentence.

D. On a conviction of a second offense, notwithstanding any other provision of law to the contrary, regardless of whether the second offense occurred before or after the first conviction, the offender shall be fined not less than seven hundred fifty dollars nor more than one thousand dollars and shall be imprisoned for not less than sixty days nor more than six months. At least ninety-six hours of the sentence imposed shall be served without benefit of parole, probation, or suspension of sentence. Imposition or execution of the remainder of the sentence shall not be suspended unless either of the following occur:

(1) The offender is placed on probation with a minimum condition that he serve thirty days in jail and participate in a court-approved domestic abuse prevention program, and the offender shall not own or possess a firearm throughout the entirety of the sentence.

(2) The offender is placed on probation with a minimum condition that he perform thirty eight-hour days of court-approved community service activities and participate in a court-approved domestic abuse prevention program, and the offender shall not own or possess a firearm throughout the entirety of the sentence.

E. On a conviction of a third offense, notwithstanding any other provision of law to the contrary and regardless of whether the offense occurred before or after an earlier conviction, the offender shall be imprisoned with or without hard labor for not less than one year nor more than five years and shall be fined two thousand dollars. The first year of the sentence of imprisonment shall be imposed without benefit of probation, parole, or suspension of sentence.

F.(1) Except as otherwise provided in Paragraph (2) of this Subsection, on a conviction of a fourth or subsequent offense, notwithstanding any other provision of law to the contrary and regardless of whether the fourth offense occurred before or after an earlier conviction, the offender shall be imprisoned with hard labor for not less than ten years nor more than thirty years and shall be fined five thousand dollars. The first three years of the sentence of imprisonment shall be imposed without benefit of probation, parole, or suspension of sentence.

(2) If the offender has previously received the benefit of suspension of sentence, probation, or parole as a fourth or subsequent offender, no part of the sentence may be imposed with benefit of suspension of sentence, probation, or parole, and no portion of the sentence shall be imposed concurrently with the remaining balance of any sentence to be served for a prior conviction for any offense.

G.(1) For purposes of determining whether a defendant has a prior conviction for violation of this Section, a conviction under this Section, or a conviction under the laws of any state or an ordinance of a municipality, town, or similar political subdivision of another state which prohibits the intentional use of force or violence committed by one household member upon another household member of the opposite sex presently or formerly living in the same residence with the defendant as a spouse, whether married or not, shall constitute a prior conviction.

(2) For purposes of this Section, a prior conviction shall not include a conviction for an offense under this Section if committed more than ten years prior to the commission of the crime for which the defendant is being tried, and such conviction shall not be considered in the assessment of penalties hereunder. However, periods of time during which the offender was incarcerated in a penal institution in this or any other state shall be excluded in computing the ten-year period.

H. An offender ordered to participate in a domestic abuse prevention program required by the provisions of this Section shall pay the cost incurred in participation in the program. Failure to make such payment shall subject the offender to revocation of probation, unless the court determines that the offender is unable to pay.

I. This Subsection shall be cited as the “Domestic Abuse Child Endangerment Law”. When the state proves, in addition to the elements of the crime as set forth in Subsection A of this Section, that a minor child thirteen years of age or younger was present at the residence or any other scene at the time of the commission of the offense, of the sentence imposed by the court, the execution of the minimum mandatory sentence provided by Subsection C or D of this Section, as appropriate, shall not be suspended, the minimum mandatory sentence imposed under Subsection E of this Section shall be two years without suspension of sentence, and the minimum mandatory sentence imposed under Subsection F of this Section shall be four years without suspension of sentence.

J. Any crime of violence, as defined in R.S. 14:2(B), against a person committed by one household member against another household member, shall be designated as an act of domestic violence.

K. If the victim of domestic abuse battery is pregnant and the offender knows that the victim is pregnant at the time of the commission of the offense, the offender, who is sentenced under the provisions of this Section, shall be required to serve a minimum of forty-five days without benefit of suspension of sentence for a first conviction, upon a second conviction shall serve a minimum of one year imprisonment without benefit of suspension of sentence, upon a third conviction shall serve a minimum of two years with or without hard labor without benefit of probation, parole, or suspension of sentence, and upon a fourth and subsequent offense shall serve a minimum of four years at hard labor without benefit of probation, parole, or suspension of sentence.

L. Notwithstanding any other provision of law to the contrary, if the domestic abuse battery involves strangulation, the offender shall be imprisoned at hard labor for not more than three years.

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The above statute is provided as a free service of the Baton Rouge personal injury attorney and criminal defense attorneys at Babcock Partners, LLC. Our Baton Rouge accident attorney and Louisiana criminal defense lawyers provide extremely aggressive representation for individuals in local, state, and federal courts throughout all of Louisiana.

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Updated: February 17, 2014