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New Bill Would Give Victims of Domestic Violence Control of Cellphone

A new bill has been sent to the governor in California that would enable victims of domestic violence to have their phone providers transfer their accounts away from their abusers.


The measure, which was introduced by Assembly Speaker Toni Atkins of San Diego, would give family courts authorization to order the transfer of billing responsibilities and phone number to the victim in the case of domestic abuse. The bill also outlines immunity to wireless service providers, their officers, agents or employees for conducting the transfer of authority.


According to lawmakers, the bill is an important step forward for victims, as it offers them the ability to maintain lifelines and support networks, life-saving resources that remain pivotal to their emotional well-being and safety.


In the state of California, there is currently no law that provides a means for domestic violence victims to amend their family share wireless plans if another party, including their abuser, is registered as the primary account holder. It remains at the discretion of the account holder to release the number.


Assembly Speaker Atkins noted that the measure is a critical change, now that the evolution of technology allows abusers to monitor their victims via call records and GPS tracking software. The measure was officially sent to Gov. Jerry Brown in late August, and was supported by several mobile providers, including Verizon, Spring, AT&T and T-Mobile.


Domestic Violence in California


When violent acts occur between family members or spouses, it can carry serious consequences for all involved. If a spouse or family member begins displaying abusive behavior, it is extremely important that the victim seek help as soon as possible.


It is important to note that, while many domestic violence cases occur between married couples or families, domestic violence can also occur between people living together, or even dating. Domestic abuse is not restricted to any race, sexuality or gender – both men and women can be victims of abuse by someone close to him or her.


Domestic violence is defined on a state-by-state basis, and the penalties that come with abuse convictions vary as well. Prosecutors may pursue more severe penalties against individuals who abused a spouse or significant other, versus a stranger. Additionally, domestic violence sentences usually involve special protections for past, and even potential, targets in abuse cases.


In San Diego and the surrounding communities in Southern California, the attorneys at Fischer & Van Thiel, LLP have extensive experience in supporting victims of abuse. Our legal experts understand the laws in the state of California, and are committed to helping victims protect themselves, and the people they love.


If you or someone you love is in an abusive relationship, know that you are not alone. Our attorneys welcome your call today, and are prepared to offer the support and sound advice you need at this time. To consult with us regarding your domestic violence issue, call us at (858) 935-6211.

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