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Domestic violence and the law

Reported by: Robert Byers
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Updated: 5/20 6:47 pm
ABERDEEN, Miss. (WTVA) -- Local law enforcement officers and others on Tuesday exchanged questions and answers concerning domestic violence.

The presentation by the Mississippi Attorney General's office was hosted by the Aberdeen Police Department.

Those attending got a refresher on what they need to know from start to finish when handling domestic assault cases.

They're situations officers here deal with almost daily, which means they need to know what the law allows and doesn't.

"Look for the evidence of what they said happened. For instance, if she says he pushed me into the wall and knocked a hole in the wall, then it's our job to look for that hole in the wall," said Major Quinell Shumpert. 

Currently, if a person is convicted of domestic violence twice in a seven year period, a third time becomes a felony.

Among the laws added to the books beginning July 1st of this year is an additional domestic violence assault charge that's not bound by a certain time frame.

"With the new law on the fourth charge, once you get there there's no time frame. If you've been convicted previously three times of domestic violence assault simple or aggravated, or a similar crime from another state, then everything in your past counts. We're not bound by a seven year time frame," said Paula Broome with the Mississippi Attorney General's office.

Officers we talked to say they often deal with people who press charges in the heat of an argument and then decide to drop them.

"A girlfriend might get mad at her boyfriend or a boyfriend might get mad at his girlfriend. They might make up something and claim domestic violence. That happens a lot and it takes away from the seriousness of it," stated Shumpert.

This training is designed to help authorities effectively wade through what happens in these cases in order to make a proper arrest and get a conviction.
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