Melissa Hoppmeyer is the current Chief of the Special Victims and Family Violence Unit in Prince George’s County, the second largest State’s Attorney’s Office in Maryland. She is an experienced prosecutor with a decade of experience, who has made her career tirelessly advocating for victims of domestic violence and sexual assault. Ms. Hoppmeyer has assisted in drafting numerous legislative bills and has testified before the Maryland General Assembly on numerous occasions to help implement stronger criminal laws for crimes of violence and to ensure that domestic violence and sexual assault victims are treated fairly throughout the civil and criminal judicial system. This includes most recently, during the 2020 Maryland legislative session lobbying, advocating, editing and testifying on behalf of a change to the first degree assault statute, in order to make strangulation a first degree assault, a felony under Maryland law. This change allowed Maryland to join the 48 other states that categorize strangulation as a felony.
Ms. Hoppmeyer also serves as a technical trainer for law enforcement, fellow prosecutors and the community on issues including consent education, sexual assault laws, child abuse investigations and prosecutions, domestic violence, criminal procedure, and how to properly conduct trauma-focused investigations. Ms. Hoppmeyer has trained around the state of Maryland as well as most recently presenting for a National Conference on Sexual Violence on college campuses.
Ms. Hoppmeyer has developed, drafted and implemented policies within the State’s Attorney’s Office that provide clear guidelines for how the unit operates, creating an 800 page unit manual that includes operating procedures, sample motions, draft memos as well as highlighting important case law and statutes specifically aimed for the unit. She and Ms. Marsh have also developed processes to address high risk cases. Specifically, developing a High Risk and High Lethality Protocol for all domestic violence cases. Ms. Hoppmeyer also successfully developed a County-wide strangulation protocol that created a unified response to strangulation events and increased successful prosecution of strangulation cases in the office. Ms. Hoppmeyer works as an integral part of the Multi-Discipline team working to obtain accreditation for Prince George’s County’s Child Advocacy Center.
Ms. Hoppmeyer has been asked to speak throughout the State of Maryland on issues of domestic violence and sexual assault. Ms. Hoppmeyer developed an educational program called, “Will I be Believed” that is designed to teach the community about the process a victim of sexual assault goes through when he/she reports their sexual assault. Ms. Hoppmeyer serves of several councils and boards including the Domestic Violence Fatality Review Committee; Domestic Violence Coordinating Council; Sexual Assault Response Team and the Executive Board of the Child Advocacy Center. She is also the Co-Chair of the Criminal section of the Prince George’s County Human Trafficking Task Force.
Before her service as a prosecutor, Ms. Hoppmeyer clerked for the Honorable Albert W. Northrop of the Prince George’s County Circuit Court. Ms. Hoppmeyer earned her JD from The George Washington University. While earning her law degree, she worked as a legal assistant with the United States Office of Special Counsel and was actively involved in the Domestic Violence Clinic. Her efforts were recognized with the Community Legal Clinics Volunteer Service Award.
Ms. Hoppmeyer lives in Washington DC with her husband, two daughters and two dogs.