Although many people believe that domestic violence only covers familial and spousal relationships, these charges may also be brought for incidents involving roommates. If someone that you live with accuses you of a criminal offense against them, you could be charged with domestic violence under Arizona law.
These charges are serious, and a conviction could lead to steep penalties and a permanent mark on your record. If you are accused of roommate domestic violence in Mesa, reach out to an experienced lawyer immediately to protect your freedom and way of life. At Grand Canyon Law Group, our attorneys know how to handle these types of cases and will guide you throughout the legal proceedings.
It is important to understand that domestic violence is simply a way of describing the relationship between the two people involved in a criminal allegation. If the accused person is roommates with the alleged victim, the charges will typically be described as a domestic violence offense. So actual harm or violence does not need to occur for these charges to be brought. If a person accuses their roommate of threatening to harm them or damaging their property, this can lead to domestic violence charges. The most common types of roommate violence cases in Mesa that our lawyers handle involve assault, disorderly conduct, and criminal damage.
Although charges involving roommates may not be prosecuted as often or looked at the same way as those between spouses or a child and their parent, these cases have all of the same legal pieces.
It can sometimes be more difficult to get a dismissal for roommate violence cases. In these cases, the roommates tend to stay mad at each other, whereas family members often wish to avoid prosecution, which can be helpful in negotiations and trial.
Usually, an investigation for an accusation of roommate violence involves an officer showing up at the location, taking a statement from the accuser, looking around for any physical evidence, and looking at the person for any marks or signs of harm.
Sometimes, the officer will ask for a statement from the accused roommate. However, the officer could also decide to bring charges simply based on the statements from the alleged victim. The officer may then submit the case to the prosecutor to see if they want to pursue it.
All of the criminal implications for roommate violence charges are the same as any other domestic abuse case. A person accused by their roommate could face jail time, probation, and steep fines. The severity of the charge and penalty depending on if the underlying charges are for a misdemeanor or felony. Additionally, the accused will often be prohibited from contacting their roommate or returning to their home.
One of the most devastating potential consequences of roommate violence charges is a permanent criminal record. If convicted, a person will have a domestic violence mark on their record with no additional context, even if the incident occurred between roommates who hardly knew each other. This can affect a person’s future prospects and reputation. Maybe most importantly, this type of conviction makes a person a “prohibited possessor.” This means that they lose their Second Amendment right to possess a firearm. Sometimes this can be permanent. Sometimes it can be changed through motions to the Court.
It is crucial for anyone facing roommate violence charges in Mesa to seek immediate legal defense from the attorneys at Grand Canyon Law Group.
If you are under investigation for roommate domestic violence in Mesa, or if you have already been charged, do not delay in seeking the legal help you need. The knowledgeable attorneys at Grand Canyon Law Group can assess your circumstances and help build an effective strategy for your particular case.
The right legal defense as early as possible in the process could be key in avoiding or reducing the level of a conviction or preventing charges from being brought in the first place. Contact us today to learn how we could work with you for the best outcome possible in your case.