Arlington Roommate Violence Lawyer
Domestic violence charges of assault in Arlington can have serious penalties that can negatively impact a person’s life in many ways, and one of these included potential charges of violence is violence between roommates. There are potential consequences such as the social stigma attached to a domestic violence conviction, that can affect an individual’s relationship with friends, family, and their community.
Therefore, when you are charged with assault and battery of your roommate or other serious assault-related charges related to a roommate situation, it is imperative you contact an experienced Arlington domestic violence attorney. These charges are, at minimum, class one misdemeanors and can often be considered felony offenses depending on the nature of the alleged violence. They are important charges and it is important to know that people do go to jail on a regular basis for assault charges in Virginia.
Classifications of Roommate Violence
The most common domestic violence crime in Virginia will be violence of a family member, considered the crime of assault and battery of a family member. Typically, roommates who are not related or are not in a relationship do not qualify under as family members. The definition of family or household member states a family or household member as a person’s spouse, former spouse, parents, children, brothers, sisters, or a grandparent regardless of whether they live in the same house.
Roommate violence considerations will define any a household member as an individual who cohabitates or who has in the previous 12 months cohabitated with the person and any children of either of them that were then residing in the same household with the person. There is a wide variety of ways classifications for family or household member will occur, but persons who are roommates and are not cohabitating are not considered appropriate for being charged with the crime of domestic violence.
When violence is not characterized as domestic violence, it is considered simple assault. It is covered in the context of the normal general district court as opposed to the juvenile domestic relations district court. The normal general domestic court has a variety of laws they can apply. They can have similar protective orders placed but they are not exactly the same as if it were a family member.
Roommate violence is not actually designated as a specific crime. Rather the crime would be simple assault. Assault is a class-one misdemeanor. All class one misdemeanors in Virginia are punishable by up to 12 months in jail and up to a $2,500 fine, or a combination of both.
For a more serious type of assault like malicious wounding, attempt of malicious wounding, or unlawful wounding, such as swinging or throwing an object at a person, trying to stab them with an object, or breaking a bottle and trying to cut them, someone can be charged with a more serious crime of violence involving their roommate.
Contacting an Attorney
If you are accused of assaulting your roommate, you have the right to an attorney. You should vigorously defend yourself against those charges and an Arlington attorney can assist you in defending your rights as they will know what evidence must be shown to convict you and where your defenses may lie.