Roommate violence in Virginia is not going to be treated the same way as domestic violence unless the roommate is a romantic partner of the accused. Domestic violence or domestic assault and battery is confined to those cases where the alleged victim is a household or family member.
If you have been accused of roommate violence in Virginia, an experienced domestic violence lawyer can help you prepare your defense.
In general, domestic violence refers to people who are blood relations, who are married or living together as spouses or have children in common. Unless the roommate fits one of those categories, the case is going to be treated as a normal case of violence as though the individual is a stranger to the defendant.
If it is not classified as domestic violence, it must be considered a regular crime of violence where the person is not a household or family member of the defendant.
The immediate consequence of roommate violence in Virginia is the person is going to have a pending criminal charge on their record. In addition, even where a person is not a household or family member, the alleged victim can still get a protective order against the roommate, which may cause the person to lose possession of their home. They may not be able to stay there and may have to go somewhere else while the matter is pending.
The long-term consequences of a violence conviction in Virginia are that the person is going to have a violent crime on their criminal record. Future employers and current employers, if they do background checks, are going to see that. In addition, there is a stigma associated with having a criminal record of that nature. It is something that a person does not want to have if they can possibly avoid it.
The best way to protect themselves if falsely accused is to have the assistance of an attorney who has experience with cases of roommate violence in Virginia. Many people incorrectly believe that because they are innocent, someone else is lying, and they have been falsely accused. In many roommate violence cases, nothing could be further from the truth.
People are convicted every day based on lies, half–truths, and incorrect statements made by others. It is important, whenever the person is charged, to assume that the system is going to be against them and that the playing field is not going to be fair without having someone on the person’s side to help tip the scales.
If a person is charged with roommate violence in Virginia, they are more than likely facing charges which are going to involve assault and battery, or in more serious cases they will likely face a felony. These are the kinds of cases where it is always possible that the defendant may serve jail time.
There is always the risk that a person will end up with a criminal record and any kind of criminal record that involves violence is going to be troubling to employers and can have long-term consequences. It is critical to treat these seriously and get the advice of an attorney early in the process.
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