What happens next?
An act of domestic violence that started with a wife’s request to go home ended up with the deployment of a SWAT team to surround the husband and take him into custody. Darrell Wade Hopkins, who held his wife at gunpoint and repeatedly threatened to kill her, now faces both kidnapping and domestic violence charges.
Although most domestic violence cases do not involve the drama of a SWAT team, most of them follow a similar pattern. Once police receive a report of possible domestic violence, they send officers to investigate. When police come to a home, they often face an angry situation with accusations flying. Police must determine which person was more likely to be the primary aggressor based on the following factors:
- Previous complaints about domestic violence
- The extent and severity of each person’s injuries
- The likelihood of each person being injured in the future
- Whether one of the people acted in self-defense
The crime of domestic violence is based on other crimes such as assault, reckless endangerment, criminal coercion and harassment. When people commit these crimes against others they live with, or with whom they have a family or intimate relationship, then the crime becomes one of domestic violence.
The more serious the underlying crime, the more serious the domestic violence charge. This means that domestic violence can be a misdemeanor or a major felony. A domestic violence conviction can mean jail time, fines, loss of the right to own a firearm, and can be used against the convicted in divorce and child custody cases.
If you have been accused of domestic violence, it is important to get experienced legal counsel to mount the best defense for you. Contact our office to speak to a criminal defense attorney to find out how your rights can be protected.