P.O. Box 12068, State Capitol
Austin, Texas 78711
Tel. (512) 463-0112
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 26, 1999
AUSTIN -- The Texas Senate today approved a bill from State Senator Jane Nelson, R-Flower Mound, that places domestic violence assaults that result in serious bodily injury on the list of 3g offenses, which are considered the most serious crimes under Texas law.
This designation - which also includes crimes such as murder, rape and indecency with a child - means that anyone convicted of an assault that causes serious injury will not be eligible for parole until they have served at least half of their prison sentence. SB 22 is the sixth Nelson bill targeting domestic violence that has passed the Senate this session.
"Coming into this session, I told myself that for the epidemic of domestic violence to be taken seriously, the Legislature had to make the symbolic decision to place it on the list of crimes we consider the most heinous," Senator Nelson said. "The Senate's decision today tells me that this issue has officially arrived."
Currently, aggravated assault is on the 3g list, but it only kicks in if the perpetrator brandishes a deadly weapon, which means that severe beatings carry lighter sentences than crimes involving weapons that result in no injuries.
Following are the other bills in Senator Nelson's domestic violence package that have passed the Senate, along with information about where they stand in the House:
- SB 24, which targets repeat abusers by making a second family violence assault a third-degree felony, is pending in the Criminal Jurisprudence Committee.
- SB 23, which extends the duration of an emergency protective order from 31 to 61 days, is pending in the Jurisprudence Committee.
- SB 50, which extends the duration of permanent protective orders from one to five years, is pending in the Calendars Committee.
- SB 461, which allows a judge to order as a condition of probation that convicted abusers pay up to $100 to a women's shelter, has passed both chambers.
- SB 588, which allows a judge to suspend concealed handgun licenses when issuing a protective order, is pending in the Calendars Committee as a substitute HB 821.