Changes to Domestic Violence Laws Afoot?

This past Monday the state’s top elected Democrats arrived into town to make a case for federal legislation that would expand anti-domestic-violence services to underserved populations in and around the state.

In a news conference at the offices of the King County sheriff, U.S. Sens. Patty Murray and Maria Cantwell urged Senate colleagues to renew funding for the 18-year-old law.  The legislation would continue grants to local law enforcement and shelters for battered women; expand services to Indian reservations and rural areas; add more free legal assistance for victims; and add “stalking” to the behaviors considered domestic violence. The legislation would also allow battered illegal immigrants to obtain temporary visas and expand domestic-violence services to same-sex couples. The current bill would authorize funds through 2016.

Republicans have objected to these provisions, saying that they would increase bureaucracy and allow fraud; Sen. Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, has in fact gone so far as to accuse Democrats of manufacturing a crisis for political gain. Democrats are of the mindset, however, that the provisions would cut spending by 17 percent from 2005 levels and allow for expanded services by consolidating programs to reduce administrative costs and duplication of services. The Senate is expected to take up the reauthorization later this month. When Congress last reauthorized funds for the law, in 2005, it did so unanimously by voice vote. The current authorization has 61 sponsors.

It should go without saying that anyone charged with domestic violence in Washington State should immediately seek the assistance of a seasoned Seattle domestic violence lawyer. The Seattle criminal attorneys that make up the criminal defense team of SQ Attorneys are highly seasoned and reputable Seattle domestic violence lawyers that are dedicated to providing top notch, aggressive representation for those arrested for domestic violence in and around Western Washington and the greater Puget Sound region. The team is designed to create success by working with law enforcement and the prosecuting attorney’s office so as to ensure that all facts and circumstances related to the criminal allegations brought against the accused are considered in creating the fairest, most equitable and just resolution possible in light of all the surrounding circumstances. If accused of a crime protect your rights – contact SQ Attorneys, (206) 293-9590; (425) 998-8384 – it will be the best decision you make all day.

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