Living with roommates can be a great way to save money and make new friends. However, it can be difficult to live with people, especially when you might not always get along. Conflicts do arise, and sometimes, they can escalate and become physical. If you have been accused of roommate violence, seek the services of a Prince William County roommate violence lawyer. An intelligent domestic violence attorney could devote the time and resources necessary to build your defense. Call today to learn more.
Roommate violence is not be considered domestic violence, because roommates do not qualify as family members or household members. They are friends of the accused rather than related through blood, marriage, or a common child. In addition, the roommate has to have cohabitated with the accused within a certain period of time from the date of commission of the offense.
If roommate violence is not characterized as domestic violence, it would be considered a normal misdemeanor or felony assault. If the roommate in question does not legally qualify as a domestic victim, standard charges would be brought depending on the circumstances of the conduct in question and the injury inflicted. As a Prince William County roommate violence lawyer can explain, circumstances in which a person accused of roommate violence in Prince William County could be accused of domestic violence include if the roommate in question has a familial or intimate relationship with the accused such that the roommate qualifies as a family or household member under Virginia law.
One of the immediate criminal consequences of roommate violence is losing access to one’s home. If the court orders that the accused must stay away or refrain from contacting the roommate, the accused may not legally reside in their common abode. This has the potential to wreak economic hardship on the accused and to complicate the safekeeping or return of the accused’s personal property inside the shared home. Similar consequences could result if the roommate frequents other common locations with the accused, such as work or school.
The long-term consequences of a roommate violence conviction are, at a minimum, a Class 1 misdemeanor that stays on the accused’s record forever. Other consequences include having to deal with adverse scholastic, employment, and immigration statuses and opportunities. Many lease agreements also have clauses prohibiting roommate violence. A conviction could cause the collateral termination of the lease before the natural expiration of the lease. This could severely impact an accused’s daily and financial life as well as their long-term credit score.
A person falsely accused of roommate violence could protect themselves by first preserving all existing evidence of their innocence that they could safely and legally acquire once they learn of the charge. This evidence would be important to present to the court if the matter goes to trial. It could also be influential to present to the prosecution pre-trial to avoid trial altogether. Hiring an experienced Prince William County roommate violence lawyer to assist with this process would be the next step that a person should take to protect themselves.
A person charged with domestic violence should consider contacting a Prince William County roommate violence lawyer because an attorney could immediately begin improving a case by assisting the accused with understanding, defending, and predicting the results of a criminal charge. Oftentimes, a roommate violence lawyer is able to arrange for a non-criminal resolution of the case through creative and informal advocacy, or a reduction of the charge through negotiation with the prosecution. A defense attorney is one of the few parties in the case who is able to legally and calmly communicate with any other party or witness in a case without violating related court orders. Such services may make a roommate violence lawyer essential for mounting the best offense strategy. Indiviudals charged with roommate violence offenses should seek the services of a skilled attorney that could advocate for them.
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