Can I Be Charged With Domestic Assault by a Roommate?

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The whole point of domestic assault and why it is different than assault is that the legislature is trying to prevent spouses or abusive partners from keeping abuse upon a "primarily weaker individual". I believe a lot of criminal defense lawyers would share that opinion. The law is trying to not allow people to abuse other people that have perceived power over another.

Unfortunately, that has spilled over to roommate disputes because under the letter of the law if you're living with the person in some circumstances they might be considered a "domestic victim" and you can be charged with domestic assault.

An interesting caveat to that is same-sex relationships. I have seen that there's a question about roommate versus Same-sex relationships. When I was working in the prosecutor's office. I would see police go to what was clearly a domestic assault case not a roommate's fighting case. It just happened to be two people that were in a same-sex relationship, when the police arrived at the home, the statements made are "we're just roommates" and the police are suspecting it is a domestic assault charge. If they're just roommates are people going to believe it's domestic assault? I remember at the time thinking to myself use your common sense, are they in a relationship? how long they've been together? but if the police can't prove it they will hesitate to charge you with domestic assault.

what should you do next if you get a domestic assault charge with your roommate?

The first thing you should do is call our criminal defense lawyers and figure out what your next step is. You've got a domestic assault charge. You want to get that off your record if you can. If the "victim" has a serious injury you're going to be charged with a first-degree, second-degree, or maybe third-degree assault charge. You're looking at a lot of more serious considerations. If you're facing a standard fourth-degree or municipal domestic assault charge as a roommate you should also call our criminal defense lawyers. My hope is that there's a way to work it out without having to go to a jury trial.

Krupp Law Firm
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