Wilton Roommate Violence Lawyer
An allegation that you assaulted, harassed, or otherwise harmed or threatened to harm a roommate can be especially complex because of how Connecticut law defines “domestic violence.” After an accusation of this nature, seeking guidance from a seasoned Wilton roommate violence lawyer could be vital to protecting your immediate interests and long-term prospects.
Does Violence Against a Roommate Qualify as Domestic Violence?
When most people think of “domestic violence,” they understandably think of violence against an intimate partner, child, or other immediate family member, since that is what most domestic violence cases involve. Importantly, though, Connecticut General Statutes (C.G.S.) § 46b-38a(1) defines “family violence” as any violent or threatening conduct directed at a family or household member—which means an intimate or familial relationship is not always required for an offense to be classified as domestic violence.
It is also worth noting that state law does not distinguish between current and former housemates or roommates or between various living arrangements in this context. If someone engages in violence against any person they cohabitated with for any amount of time, they could potentially face legal proceedings and consequences commensurate with a domestic violence charge if the court feels it would be appropriate.
Offenses that often receive this classification when committed against roommates or housemates include:
- Assault, under G.S. §§ 53a-59 through 53a-61;
- Threatening, under C.G.S. §§ 53a-61aa or 53a-62;
- Strangulation, under C.G.S. §§ 53a-64aa through 53a-64cc;
- Sexual assault, under C.G.S. §§ 53a-70 through 53a-73;
- Breach of peace, under C.G.S. § 53a-181;
- Stalking, under C.G.S. §§ 53a-181c through 53a-181e;
- Disorderly conduct, under C.G.S. § 53a-182; and
- Violating any protective or restraining order, under C.G.S. §§ 53a-223 through 53a-223b.
A qualified Wilton roommate violence attorney could help contest any kind of criminal offense that state authorities consider domestic violence.
What Might Happen After a Roommate Violence Arrest?
In Connecticut, although a criminal charge that is designated as domestic violence does not allow courts to pursue enhanced criminal sanctions or alternative penalties if the case ends with a conviction, it will dramatically accelerate the early stages of that criminal case. For example, most people accused of domestic violence will be ordered to appear in court for arraignment on the very next business day—sometimes even within 24 hours of their arrest—rather than days or weeks later.
Additionally, at this initial hearing, the judge may implement a protective order based on the belief that doing so would be important to preventing further harm to the person allegedly targeted by the defendant. Depending on the circumstances, this order could simply prohibit any further harassment of the protected party, require the defendant to find alternative living arrangements, or even bar them from having any contact whatsoever with the alleged victim.
This order will last until the conclusion of the criminal case, at which point a conviction may prompt the court to extend the order or even expand the scope of restrictions against the defendant. Representation from a capable lawyer can be key to minimizing the impact of this type of order during a roommate violence case in Wilton.
Learn How a Wilton Roommate Violence Attorney Could Help
Whether it allegedly targets a household member or a direct relative, law enforcement authorities in Connecticut take allegations of roommate violence seriously, and courts may impose severe consequences upon conviction. Resolving this kind of charge amicably could be much easier with support from a knowledgeable Wilton roommate violence lawyer. Call Mark Sherman Law today to schedule a meeting, and click here to see what past clients have to say about working with us.