New York has established a new felony for repeat low-level domestic violence offenses.
The measure signed by Gov. Andrew Cuomo applies the charge of Aggravated Family Offense to defendants who commit certain misdemeanors and already have a conviction for a misdemeanor or felony against a household member within the previous five years.
Punishment is one to four years in prison.
Sponsors say many abusers repeatedly commit low-level offenses that carry minor penalties, enabling them to continue subjecting victims to fear and harm.
Sen. Stephen Saland says Thursday the measure also elevates domestic violence harassment from a violation to a misdemeanor. That can mean up to a year in jail.
It also prohibits anyone subject to an order of protection and charged in that person's death from controlling that person's burial.