There is a bill making its way through the Washington legislature that could allow for real-time electronic monitoring of certain criminals in the state.
Washington SB 5149, The Tiffany Hill Act
In November 2019, just a few days before Thanksgiving, Tiffany Hill was shot and killed by her estranged husband while she was sitting in her car with her mother and three children. Her mother was injured in the ambush, which happened just outside of Vancouver, Washington. Hill had just picked up her children from school and had no idea her husband was in the area. Keland Hill killed himself shortly after attacking Tiffany.
This is not the first time the proposed law, Senate Bill 5149, has been introduced to the Washington legislature. In fact, this is its third attempt to be passed. Senator Lynda Wilson, who co-authored the bill, said it failed in the past over concerns about costs and liability. She re-worked the language of the law for the 2020 legislative session and renamed in The Tiffany Hill Act in hopes that Tiffany's story will help get it passed. The bill has passed the Senate and is now under review in the House.
Simply put, the law would require electronic monitoring of those who have had a protective order taken against them. If that person were to come within 1,000 feet of the alleged victim, the alleged victim would receive a text alert either on their phone or by a phone call from a monitoring agency. The bill now includes language that would pass the costs of such systems to the lower courts.
The Tiffany Hill Act could also be used in other criminal situations, such as sexual abuse, stalking, and even for those convicted of DUI.
Calls for Changes to the Domestic Violence Court System
Tiffany Hill had told friends and family that she had suffered abuse from her husband for ten years. In September 2019, Keland Hill was arrested and put in jail for domestic violence. For the next two months, he repeatedly violated no-contact and restraining orders by either texting Tiffany or showing up wherever she was. In October, Keland Hill unsuccessfully tried to buy a shotgun.
A Clark County prosecutor who worked on Tiffany Hill's case has called preventing those who are showing escalating signs of abuse from being released from jail. Lauren Boyd has also proposed that Washington set up a domestic violence court system, similar to courts that are specific to drug offenses. Boyd said that defendants who try to buy a firearm—even though they have a court order preventing them from doing so—should not be released from jail.
Domestic Violence Attorney
Whether it is you or someone you know who has been accused of domestic violence, you need an experienced defense attorney who will fight for your rights. Steve Karimi is a former King County prosecutor who understands the ever-changing domestic violence laws, and he will work with you to mount a credible defense on your behalf. Contact The Law Offices of Steve Karimi today to get started on your case.