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Could I be Charged With Domestic Violence for Fighting With My Roommates?

 Posted on July 18, 2023 in Criminal Defense

Allen Criminal LawyerDue to the rising cost of housing and the stagnation of wages, more and more young adults are choosing to live with roommates. Roommates can be fun to have if you all get along well. Unfortunately, conflict often arises when there are very different people trying to cohabitate in the same house or apartment. There is a general loss of privacy that comes with living with others. You may find that some of your roommates are messy while others are neat, or that some are night owls while the others are early risers. Conflict between roommates can easily build up until one day, it turns violent. There does not need to be a full-blown attack or brawl for criminal charges to be levied. In fact, as little as a shove or slap can be considered an assault. If this action is taken against a person you live with, you could be charged with domestic violence. Domestic violence is a far more serious charge than simple assault. If you are facing domestic violence charges after assaulting a roommate, it is important to seek the advice of an attorney immediately. 

Domestic Violence is a Victim-Based Offense 

The difference between simple assault and domestic violence lies in who the victim is to the offender. Most types of familial or romantic relationships between victim and offender will move the offense from simple assault to domestic violence. What is less well-known by the general public is that an assault against any member of your household is considered domestic violence rather than simple assault. It does not matter if you are living with a romantic partner, with family, or with platonic roommates - if you assault one of them, you are likely to be charged with domestic violence. 

Domestic Violence is More Serious Than Assault 

While both charges are generally misdemeanors, domestic violence is by far the more serious offense. The legal penalties, like potential jail time and fines, are higher for domestic violence. You should also know that while you may be able to have a simple assault charge expunged one day, there is no such option if you are instead convicted of domestic violence. Additionally, there is a massive difference in the collateral consequences. Others who see “domestic violence” on your criminal record may make untrue assumptions about who you are as a person. 

Contact a Collin County Criminal Defense Lawyer 

In many cases of roommate violence, Law Offices of Biederman & Burleson P.L.L.C. can work with prosecutors to have your charge reduced to simple assault. Our committed Allen domestic violence lawyers will do all we can to protect you from what could be overly harsh consequences. For a free consultation, please contact us at 469-333-3333




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