Stamford Roommate Violence Lawyer
An aggressive or violent confrontation between you and your roommate could result in consequences typically reserved for domestic violence cases. If you have found yourself dealing with criminal charges or other court proceedings based on an interaction with a cohabitant of your apartment or house, speaking with a Stamford roommate violence lawyer is critical.
Is Roommate Violence a Form of Domestic Violence?
According to Connecticut General Statutes § 46b-38a, any criminal act that either directly causes bodily injury or creates a reasonable fear of imminent harm to a family or household member constitutes “family violence.” Under this same statute, the term “family or household member” in this context is defined to include:
- Current and former intimate partners and spouses;
- Blood relatives;
- Relatives by marriage;
- Co-parents of the same child; and
- Any two or more people “presently residing together or who have resided together.”
This means that an act of assault, sexual assault, harassment, threatening, or simple disorderly conduct that targets a current or former roommate technically qualifies as domestic violence in Connecticut. Because of this, it is crucial to seek help from a Stamford attorney who has experience handling family violence cases after being accused of harming a housemate.
What are the Possible Penalties for Housemate Violence?
The criminal sanctions that may be imposed against someone convicted of roommate violence depend entirely on the underlying offense. This is because there is no provision in the Connecticut Penal Code allowing for enhanced penalties specifically because someone’s charge is categorized as family violence. What this classification does allow, however, is for family courts to take action against the defendant that may substantially limit their rights.
In the period between someone’s arrest for roommate violence and the conclusion of their criminal case, the court may impose a protective order against them in the interest of preventing further harm from coming to the alleged target of their criminal act. If the case ends with a conviction, this order may be expanded into a standing criminal protective order that will last for at least a year and may be renewed at the court’s discretion.
Potential Impacts of a Protective Order
A protective order may forbid the accused from doing anything further to harass or physically harm their roommate, sharing the same living space, or having any contact with them whatsoever. This will depend on how serious a court thinks the situation is. Unfortunately, this means courts can order someone out of their shared living space for weeks or even months at a time based solely on an accusation rather than a conviction.
Additionally, violating a protective order for any reason carries felony-level criminal consequences, even for someone with no criminal history who breaches the terms of their order completely by accident. Guidance from a roommate violence attorney in Stamford can go a long way toward mitigating the severity of such an order and addressing alleged violations proactively.
Seek Help from a Stamford Roommate Violence Attorney
Being accused of causing harm to your roommate can disrupt every part of your life, regardless of whether your case ends in a conviction. Fortunately, assistance is available from a qualified and tenacious Stamford roommate violence lawyer. Call The Law Offices of Mark Sherman today to learn more, and click here to read what past clients have to say about working with us.