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GPS may soon track domestic violence offenders in North Carolina

Individuals convicted of domestic violence offenses could face more scrutiny and requirements if a proposed bill is passed in North Carolina. State lawmakers have proposed a bill that would increase the surveillance of domestic violent offenders to protect victims of domestic violence.

The bill would allow judges in North Carolina the discretion to have a domestic violence offender wear a GPS tracking device to monitor their location. If the offender went to a prohibited location, like a victim's home or workplace, the victim and the police would be notified of the offender's location and the offender could possibly face charges for their violation.

The bill was proposed to protect domestic violence victims and make their protection orders more effective in keeping domestic violence offenders from stalking or contacting their victims. The bill was name after a woman who was killed by her husband after she had taken out a restraining order against him.

Lawmakers in the North Carolina House already voted to approve the bill, and now the Senate will vote. If the bill is passed, it would begin in July 2014. Lawmakers would still need to determine how to implement the GPS surveillance program and who would be responsible for paying for the program.

While many lawmakers and domestic violence advocates support the bill, questions about an offender's rights may arise if the bill is passed and signed into law. Individuals convicted of domestic violence offenses still have rights and some may question if it is legal to track offenders through GPS devices after they have already been convicted and served their sentence.

Source: WNCN, "NC domestic violence offender could face GPS," May 14, 2013