Columbia Roommate Violence Lawyer

It may come as a surprise to many, but a fight with a roommate could result in a domestic violence charge. A roommate violence offense could carry serious penalties. If you have been charged with committing roommate violence, you may want to seek the services of an experienced domestic violence attorney. A Columbia roommate violence lawyer could advocate on your behalf and build a defense for your case.

Domestic Violence in Roommate Altercations

Under the South Carolina Code § 16-25-10, household members are listed as people living together or who previously cohabited. They currently live together or lived together in the past. Roommates are people who are presently living together.

Under the definition of domestic violence, the person accused of domestic violence must have inflicted physical harm or injury to the household member or roommate or attempted to cause physical harm or injury to the roommate with the apparent ability to do so under circumstances and created a fear of imminent danger. Under those circumstances, a person could be charged with domestic violence even though it is not a couple issue, it is a roommate issue. It is important to understand that domestic violence does not only occur between spouses or couples.

When Roommate Violence is Not Considered Domestic Violence

A domestic violence charge may not be considered when the altercation does not meet the definition of physical harm or injury or having that present ability to inflict harm. When someone is considered an invitee for the night, they are not a true roommate because the persons involved do not actually live together. A Columbia roommate violence attorney could challenge the definition of roommate by showing that domestic violence is not the appropriate charge because the parties never cohabited.

Same-Sex Couples Domestic Violence Protection

The recent case, Jane Doe v. State of South Carolina from the South Carolina Supreme Court, challenged the constitutionality of the old statute that only listed male and female who are living together. The old statute did not apply to same-sex couples. The South Carolina Supreme Court found the old statute was unconstitutional and eliminated a group of people who were ignored or were unable to depend on the safeguards of the domestic violence statute.

Contacting a Columbia Roommate Violence Attorney

When someone is charged with domestic violence, it is serious even at the lowest level. Third-degree assault and battery are defined under Section 16-25-20 of the South Carolina Code. Third-degree domestic violence is a misdemeanor that carries up to 90 days in jail. The highest domestic violence charge is of a high and aggravated nature, which is a felony that carries up to 20 years in prison. Even first-degree domestic violence is a felony, with a potential punishment of up to 10 years in prison. An individual wants an experienced lawyer to defend them, fighting to protect their freedom and reputation. You have a lot to lose when you are charged with domestic violence. If you have been charged with committing a roommate violence charge, contact a Columbia roommate violence lawyer who from day one can start building your defense. Call today to schedule a consultation.

Columbia Roommate Violence Lawyer