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DAVID CLARK
Criminal Defense Attorney

Building a Philadelphia Roommate Violence Defense

An accusation and a conviction of roommate violence could significantly impact an individual’s life. It may be difficult to obtain housing and certain jobs if convicted.  Following an accusation of violence, it is best to seek help from a roommate violence lawyer.

There are many benefits to hiring a roommate violence lawyer who is familiar with the court, the flow of cases, and the prosecutor’s office. It also helps to get an attorney who is familiar with these kinds of charges, since each charge has its own legal standards regarding what needs to be proved. A Philadelphia lawyer who is familiar with these charges would know when the prosecutor has failed to meet the burden of proof and what evidence will be required to reach that bar.

This knowledge and experience may mean the lawyer can get the charges lowered or reduced at an early stage, such as the preliminary hearing.

A skilled attorney will be able to present facts, evidence, or mitigation to them in a way that will get the person a better result in their case. Speak to an attorney to start building a Philadelphia roommate violence defense.

Domestic Violence Offense

Philadelphia roommate violence is investigated as an incident of domestic violence. They will report any injury, alleged pushing, shoving, grabbing, and threats as well as reporting that the offender was still present at the scene when the police arrived.

If the situation concerns domestic violence, it would be heard in the domestic violence courtrooms for trial or preliminary hearing. That is Room 906 or in Room 405 in the Criminal Justice Center. Multiple cases of domestic violence will all be listed in the same room on the same day.

The prosecution will take place via the Family Violence Unit, which is a subset of prosecutors that includes skilled prosecutors either by request of the District Attorney or by interest by the prosecutor. They will elect to be a part of the special unit and prosecute issues involving domestic violence.

Steps to Take Following an Accusation

Immediately following accusations of roommate violence, a person should not try and reach out to the roommate themselves to resolve the situation. What they say could be interpreted as witness tampering or intimidation. Even an apology could be used against them in court as an admittance of guilt.

Instead, they should reach out to a lawyer immediately to prepare for the coming hearings and prepare their defense. They can work with the attorney to show mitigating factors in the case regarding why the charges should be reduced.

Since people are often connected on social media and through other channels, the person should refrain from posting about their arrest or any photos, videos, or statements about the case. If the other party is posting about the case online, they should contact their attorney. Such posts could become valuable evidence in the case.

Protecting Against False Accusations

A person can protect themselves from false charges of roommate violence by removing themselves from the situation if things are getting tense with the roommate. If they qualify, they can plea a protection from abuse order at a family court alleging that there may be escalation to the point of violence by another person if they are in a tense situation.

If they find themselves in a situation in which the police have already been called, then when the police arrive, they should not make statements about what happened. Instead, they should contact a lawyer as soon as possible so that the lawyer can reach out to the investigating officials and to the prosecuting body. The lawyer may be able to resolve the case without a need for the court system to be involved.

Finally, if their case is serious and substantial enough that the prosecutors and the investigating officers do want to move forward, working with an attorney will give them their best chance to have their case defeated on its merits or dismissed for a procedural error. This means that the lawyer can prove that there was some ulterior motive for filing these charges or that the alleged victim lied about what happened. They may be able to prove that the prosecutor failed to produce sufficient evidence to prove the charge beyond a reasonable doubt.

How a Roommate Violence Attorney Could Help

An experienced may be able to get the charges dismissed or even lower the person’s bail. Overall, an attorney can save the person from the reputational damage of having this charge associated with them and their name forever. They can help the person maintain the current job they have. If they are at a workplace where being convicted of an assault charge would make them ineligible to stay at that job, the attorney can help. The attorney also can help them to have better options for future employment if they do not have these types of charges on their record.

Speak to an attorney to get started building a Philadelphia roommate violence defense. Call today to discuss your case.