DC Roommate Violence Lawyer

Roommate violence and domestic violence are not their own criminal charges, but rather, roommate violence will be considered under domestic violence prosecution in DC. Roommate violence cases are the types of cases that would be heard in a domestic violence court at the D.C. Superior Court and be prosecuted by the domestic violence division of the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

Cases heard in the domestic violence courtrooms are allegations that involve crimes committed against people who have some kind of close intra-family relationship. If you are facing charges involving roommate violence, it is important to combat them early on with the help of a skilled defense attorney. A DC roommate violence lawyer can best help to build a defense to your charges.

Roommate Violence Classifications

An intra-family relationship can be broadly defined, but people most often think of domestic violence between individuals who have some kind of relationship, whether dating, married, or related by blood. Another kind of intra-family relationship is the relationship between people who share a domicile.

Sharing a domicile does not necessarily mean a parent and their children. Roommates are considered to have an intra-family relationship, so crimes alleged to have been committed by one roommate against another roommate can be charged as domestic violence offenses and prosecuted in the domestic violence courtroom of the District of Columbia Superior Court. These DC roommate violence offenses would not involve situations like conflict over rent that may have been unpaid.

Before a case can be heard in the domestic violence court, there has to be a criminal offense alleged, such as an assault, a threat, malicious destruction of a roommate’s property, and similar kinds of criminal offenses committed by one roommate against another roommate. Once an offense has been alleged, it is important for a DC roommate violence lawyer to be contacted.

Allegations

People who are currently sharing a domicile as roommates where one roommate has made an allegation of an assault, a threat, or destruction of property against another roommate that results in the other roommate being arrested, most often are prosecuted in the domestic violence court and by the domestic violence division of the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

Some situations where that would not happen could be situations in which the roommate relationship is tangential to the offense. This means that if two individuals may have been roommates years ago and get into a fight that results in one of the former roommates making an accusation of an assault against another former roommate, then because the individuals involved were not roommates at the time and had not been roommates for several years, it may not be prosecuted in the domestic violence court. More likely it will be prosecuted as a normal assault in the misdemeanor courtroom.

False Allegations

When a person has been accused of committing a criminal offense against a roommate, the first thing they should do is contact a DC roommate violence lawyer. It is important for the person accused to not attempt to negotiate a resolution directly with the roommate, because that could, in some situations, be in violation of court orders. Courts can often have a requirement that while a person is pending criminal charges, they cannot have contact with the roommate who has made the accusation.

A judge could even require that while a person’s criminal cases is pending that they vacate the apartment and find a different place to live. These can seem harsh, considering a person has not even been convicted of an offense yet, but a person would have to comply with any conditions of release imposed by a judge. If the individual does not, they could face additional criminal penalties, have their release conditions revoked, and may be held in jail while the case is pending.

Contacting a skilled defense lawyer as soon as the person has been accused of committing a criminal offense can help them understand what their requirements are and what they can do to avoid being accused of tampering of witnesses or committing even more serious offenses like obstruction of justice.

Benefit of an Attorney

Any time a person has been accused of a crime, whether accused by a roommate, a girlfriend or boyfriend, a spouse, or family member, the most important thing for a person to remember is that they are facing criminal charges that are being prosecuted by the United States Attorney’s Office. This is not a situation in which both people can get arrested and simply work it out between each other. They need the benefit of a DC roommate violence lawyer’s help.

Criminal offenses are prosecuted as crimes by the U.S. Attorney’s Office. Therefore, people need to approach them as criminal offenses in the same way they would approach a drug charge or a weapons possession charge. Because these kinds of offenses involve people who are often closely related and know each very well, it is a common misconception that these are internal matters and can be resolved between the two people involved. That is not the case.

Contacting an Attorney

These offenses are prosecuted aggressively by D.C. prosecutors, and therefore, should be defended just as aggressively. A person should hire and speak with experienced domestic violence lawyers who are familiar with the domestic violence courts, understand the procedures, and understand what it means to be charged and prosecuted for a domestic violence offense. Only by speaking with an attorney who has a great deal of experience in these kinds of cases can a person fully understand what kind of penalty they might be facing and determine the best way to challenge the allegations to be able to push for the best possible resolution.

Only by speaking with an DC roommate violence attorney who has a great deal of experience in these kinds of cases can a person fully understand what kind of penalty they might be facing and determine the best way to challenge the allegations to be able to push for the best possible resolution.