When roommates get into a physical altercation, there is the opportunity for a third-degree assault charge, and because of the relationship between the defendant and the complainant as roommates, the crime will be classified as a domestic violence offense.
Domestic violence charges in New Haven can have serious penalties that can negatively impact a person’s life in many ways. The social stigmas attached to a domestic violence conviction can affect an individual’s relationship with friends, family, and community. In addition, it can hinder their ability to choose where they live and their freedom to vote or possess firearms.
For this reason, it is very important to speak with a New Haven domestic violence attorney who is aware of the prosecutors, the judges and the various options available in the domestic violence courts. A qualified attorney can serve as a person’s advocate and can help them navigate the complexities that come with a domestic violence conviction due to roommate violence. They understand the frustrations that come with these charges, and they can work to build the strongest defense possible to fight for a person’s rights and freedoms. In addition, an attorney who is familiar with the New Haven area can use their knowledge to create a robust defense unique to New Haven laws and courts in order to work for a positive outcome.
Domestic Violence Classification
If a crime is alleged and the parties do not satisfy the statutory relationship definition to fall under the domestic violence classification, then the person will simply be charged with whatever the underlying crime is.
Whether it be assault, threatening, stalking, harassment, or strangulation, they would simply be charged with a criminal offense and it just simply would not be classified as a domestic violence situation.
Penalties and Collateral Consequences
The possible consequences associated with a domestic violence defense depend entirely on the particular allegation. For example, if a person is charged with assault in the third degree, that is classified as domestic violence. It is a Class A misdemeanor which carries a maximum sentence of one year in jail.
If, however, a person is charged with assault in the second degree, it carries a maximum of five years in jail, so the maximum possible sentence is dependent upon the charges with which the individual is charged.
Aside from the immediate consequences of possible incarceration, probation, and fines, there are also collateral consequences. Those can impact the ability to choose where one can live, the ability to vote, and the ability to possess firearms.
Protecting Against False Accusations
Due to both the long-term as well as immediate consequences of a roommate violence charge, it is very important to make contact with a lawyer in the very beginning so they can establish a strong defense, protect your rights, and take the necessary steps to minimize the consequences as quickly and easily as possible.
The most important thing someone who is falsely accused should do is to contact a lawyer from the very beginning. This will allow them to establish a defense and ensure that their rights are protected from the beginning.