When most people think of the term “domestic violence,” they think of spouses or romantic couples. However, domestic violence charges can occur any time two or more people co-exist, and one accuses another of a violent or abusive act.
In cities like Tempe, or Tucson, that have large college campuses, students may encounter these kinds of legal scenarios. What do you do when you are accused of domestic violence toward a roommate? How does this impact your education, your housing, and other facets of your life as a college student? Here’s what you need to know.
Domestic Violence isn’t Always Between Partners
Roommates – whether living together on a college campus or independently in other housing – are considered cohabitants under Arizona law. Therefore, any violent act from one roommate to another can result in several charges, one of which is domestic violence.
No romantic or familial relationship must be proven for a domestic violence charge to stick. In fact, any two people living in the same space – friends, roommates, etc. – can be involved in a domestic violence case.
Domestic Violence Doesn’t Have to Happen at Home
Did you know that you can have a fight in a bar, club, at school, in a library, or almost anywhere else and end up being charged with domestic violence? If the person you fought with was your roommate or cohabitant, domestic violence is just one of several charges you may find yourself facing for a fight in a public location.
Domestic Violence Carries Serious Legal Weight
Most people don’t realize just how serious a domestic violence charge can be. These charges can result in several penalties, ranging from misdemeanors to felonies. In addition, domestic violence offenses carry additional consequences relating to your right to possess a firearm. While the resulting penalties depend largely on the circumstance of the offense and the case, the knowledge that you could spend time incarcerated for the offense should be enough to motivate you to talk to a Phoenix domestic violence lawyer right away.
What should I do if I have been accused?
If you’re facing a domestic violence charge from a roommate or cohabitant, don’t feel as if you must navigate the confusing days ahead alone. Contact the legal experts at AZ Defenders, your go-to criminal lawyer. We have extensive knowledge and a broad understanding of Arizona laws surrounding domestic violence – including those regarding cohabitants. We can help you make the right decisions to improve your outcome and protect your future.
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