Weston Roommate Violence Lawyer
Anyone who assaults, threatens, or harms a housemate or roommate could face the same criminal and non-criminal consequences as someone accused of domestic violence. If you are facing allegations of this nature, seeking help from an experienced Weston roommate violence lawyer could be vital to ensuring that your rights are protected under the law. Contact our firm to work with our team of skilled domestic violence attorneys today.
Is Roommate Violence the Same as Family Violence?
According to Connecticut General Statutes (C.G.S.) §46b-38a, “family violence” occurs when someone causes physical harm or reasonable fear of physical danger to a “family or household member.” As defined under the statute, people who qualify as “family or household members” include blood and marriage relatives, current and former spouses or intimate partners, co-parents, and anyone “presently residing together or who have resided together.”
Simply put, state law makes no distinction between roommates and family members when classifying criminal offenses as “family violence,” even if there is no familial relationship between the parties. However, other types of family violence cases, including verbal arguments and abuse, do not constitute “roommate violence” unless one of the parties faces immediate physical harm from the other. Unfortunately, the lines of violence are often blurred, but a knowledgeable attorney in Weston can help analyze these allegations during a consultation.
What Are Common Roommate Violence Charges in Weston?
Although a “family violence” designation does not allow for enhanced criminal penalties in Connecticut, the consequences of a domestic violence conviction could vary substantially based on the offense in question. For example, depending on the severity of the injury inflicted upon a victim and the involvement of any dangerous instrument or weapon, an assault charge could potentially be prosecuted as a class A misdemeanor under C.G.S. §53a-61. However, if an assault is against a pregnant woman and causes early termination of her pregnancy, the charge automatically becomes a class A felony.
Other offenses that may constitute roommate violence include:
- Sexual assault
- Unlawful restraint
- Breach of peace
- Disorderly conduct
A Weston roommate violence attorney could help construct a comprehensive defense against these or similar charges.
Dealing with a Protective Order Based on Roommate Violence
In addition to possible sanctions upon conviction, a family or roommate violence charge might also result in the court imposing a protective order against a defendant which would remain in effect until the defendant’s criminal case concludes. The terms included in this order will vary depending on the offense and whether the court considers the defendant likely to cause further harm to the protected party.
In less severe situations, the order may simply prohibit any further violence or harassment. However, grave circumstances may prompt the court to forbid the defendant from cohabitating with or contacting the protected party. Furthermore, as a knowledgeable lawyer in Weston could explain, a conviction could result in a court extending a temporary protective order into a long-term agreement that includes harsher restrictions.
A Weston Roommate Violence Attorney Could Help
Law enforcement officers and court authorities in Connecticut have leeway under state law to treat violence against roommates and housemates like any other form of domestic violence. Therefore, building a comprehensive defense strategy can be crucial to resolving charges like this positively.
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